Sunday, November 11, 2012
VampCon (Disappointingly, NOT about a Vampire Convention)
This pulpy vampire novel doesn't waste any time getting to the action. From the start, the humorously named Jonathan Stoker gets thrown into this vampire congregation--some fancy meet and greet with all the vampires, like a big, ugly family reunion. A different slant on vamps, this departs from all Anne Rice-ian and Twilight notions of pretty vamps and gets to some gritty and kind of nasty origins involving giant spider aliens with poisonous salivating bellies. Narsty. Throw in some ancient magic and the notion that vampires' abilities are affected by their past sins and you get a spin on the time old traditions that works well in this novel. While I kind of wanted a little more from the characters, the pacing and action beats kept me reading.
Summoner Time Machine #1: VampCon begins and is not a convention. Still a little disappointed about that, particularly with the influx of geek culture in our-- Okay. So Ariel, magic slinging vamp extraordinaire, manipulated her summoner juju to make sure that Jonathan Stoker attends this congregation. Good usage of the summoners to show us their power, because it becomes incredibly important later. So they arrive at VampCon, Peter of the Many Voices shows up and all hell breaks loose because of one McRory too many. Pretty much everyone's going to die at the hands...or feelers of giant nasty ass spiders.
Summoner Time Machine #2: Flash forward to the future---Peter melded with a spider and Ariel pulled out a summoner to save everyone's asses from VampCon. So it pretty much hit the reset button, giving Winston a chance to rouse the three that Peter's prophecy told would cause problems with world spider domination. (As an avid hater of spiders, I would like to add a resounding ew to this plan) So the three rally, Jonathan Stoker, a man handy with a wrench and good gut impulses, Aram, a pacifist priest who can see everyone's deaths and HJ, a vampire wrecking ball, aka the shifter.
Summoner Time Machine #3: All the action heads back to the site of the original VampCon, except in the other tower where Peter has the place ready to connect to alternate dimensions. Unleash spidery doom, rah, rah. All of the characters who survived the original battlefest at VampCon (badge, lanyard and all) meet up again at the North tower and commence their boss fight against Peter and the Spiders. A couple explosions, some kickass fight scenes and really tense moments later, the good guys have won, even though Jonathan Stoker needs a new wrench.
This felt like an action movie to me and hopped from one scene to the next fairly quickly. I liked the organization of the story into three parts with the time lapses since I thought that worked very well for the story structure. Character-wise I wanted to throw Donny McRory off a cliff from the start, more because his dialogue tried a little too hard to be annoying and I thought HJ's convictions on lesbian-ism got a little Banky-ish in regards to Espen, but Jonathan and Ariel held the story together quite well. All in all, a fun jaunt.
*I received this book for review