New Concepts Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-58608-902-1
Fantasy Romance, 2006
Is Vampire Close part of a series? There is no indication of this book being part of any series on the publisher website, but I have to wonder because in the first chapter, I feel as if I’ve landed right smack into the middle of a story.
Let’s see, there’s Fiona McPhee, our heroine, who is out one night doing her thing when she’s approached by a vampire named Ruaridh MacLaren. Fiona aids Joan, an American demon hunter. The fact that Joan is an American comes into play only because she’s the only main character here not speaking in an Scottish accent. And by accent, I am talking about things like how “you know” is now “ye ken”. Rory, as he calls himself to make life easier for Joan, brings news of a prophecy that may or may not herald the end of the world. All three are soon working to stop this prophecy from being fulfilled, provided they can figure out what it is actually about in the first place. Oh, and Rory and Fiona feel a thing between them, snicker.
This story has plenty of tongue-in-cheek moments, but I can never figure out what it is trying to do. This story exists in a vacuum because I have no idea who these characters are. There is no backstory, no attempts to define the characters – they just do their thing in this story and that’s it. The lack of character development won’t be so bad if I am entertained by the story. But I’m not. I’m annoyed by the overuse of accents, I find the jokes more self-indulgent than funny, and I am actually bored by the whole thing.
Maybe having to wade through all that “ken” and “ye” and such has completely befuddled me, but I can’t help feeling that reading this book is like hearing a long and convoluted attempt of a joke only to be left wondering what the punchline is.