I absolutely have no idea how the post I created disappeared in my wordpress account. I mean all this time I thought I had a new blogpost! Anyway, I am just going to calm myself, take deep breaths, and try to do this one more time.
Probably a few days ago I received a comment on one of my book reviews from an author saying that he would like me to read and review his work. And of course I got so excited with the idea. I had to tell him that I try to be very objective about my reviews and if he was still up for it then why not! So he sent me the book (kindle version), and went ahead and read it and here are my thoughts.
Now I know this might be pretty petty but I have a thing for book covers. I just really, really dislike covers that look like the ones you see on the old romance novels. You know the ones with faces of just people standing there or in an awkward position for the camera or whatnot. I don’t know how to describe it. Basically those covers that contain nothing but a face or people in a non-artsy way. There must be tens of books I refused to read solely because their covers were awful to me. I’m not saying that the cover is horrible, no. In fact, in my honest opinion it is appropriate for the title really. All I am saying is they could have done better. I just think it’s too literal, cliche if you may. A vampire novel and a pretty girl’s neck, get what I’m saying? People say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but admit it, we do.
As I was exchanging messages with the author, the title of the book didn’t pop up in the conversations, so I have no clue what it was. I only knew that it was a vampire short story, and it was offered to me. So when I saw the title, I found my face break into a smile which could have been translated into “what the —” Then it continued on to “Well that was straightforward.” It actually did make me stop and think if I really want to go on and read it. What happened to the mysterious, catchy, thought provoking titles? No? I understand that this works for certain areas of the reading public, which is after all the point. And as I read on I realized it really did go with the story. I’m just a freak and continued feeling queasy about the title, so moving on…
As a self-confessed reading addict, I was naturally looking for several things when I read a book which are staples like character development, plot movement, writing style, among others. But when we deal with short stories it is quite different since there is not much space for entire spectra of events and characters. I liked how the author was able to introduce and create this character without much dragging with words. Of course not much is given about the lead character and his background since this is part one of a series and his origins will most probably explained in the later installments. But, you kind of build this idea of who he is as a person and his job which he interestingly continued to do.
The girl was also introduced cleverly I think. And I was sooooooo glad when I saw that she didn’t end up being the love-that-will-beat-all-odds kind of girl or that would have really turned me off.
What I liked about this story was how the carnal desires of the vampire was described. Towards the end of the story, the details and how the sensations were placed into words were rich and clear. I remember looking at my notebook and seeing what I wrote. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL was how I described it. It’s as if you want to rip that girl’s throat yourself. Gory? I know.
This story was entirely about a new vampire explaining who he is. Yeah, that’s about it and for a starter story to a series that is pretty natural but it didn’t really weigh on me very much. I was glad though, that this wasn’t yet another vampire love story. But then you don’t know that until the very end… clever.
I have read short stories before, ones that are parts of a series so I have an idea of what I like and dislike about them. What I found out while flipping through this was that I didn’t dread coming to the end page. I didn’t not want it to end. To put it bluntly, I didn’t mind it ending, and didn’t yearn for more. I thought, there’s a hot (supposedly) new vampire on the loose giving in to his vampire instincts which is new for a main character. Most would have been able to control their “thirst” and be awesome and noble and stuff. But then, someone’s got to be realistic about things right? I could just imagine the last scene where he has blood red eyes looking out the window, grinning with the pleasure and sick satisfaction of his first kill.
I didn’t dislike this short story. If anything, it was refreshing after very heavy reads I got through before this one. It wasn’t bombarded with too much drama or emotions or conflicts. But I wouldn’t say I look forward to reading the rest.
I debated on how I am going to rate this, but for the sake of the last third part of the story where everything gets gory and natural and blood and where there is good mixture of intensity and desire… 3/5 where short stories are concerned.
*** Thank you to C. King Grey for letting me read his work. His works are available at Amazon if any of you are interested in some blood action.