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American Vampire Mass Market Paperback – February 22, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Armintrout (the Blood Ties series) traps GPS-challenged Graf McDonald, a tough-talking, chain-smoking vampire, in the town of Penance, Ohio, in this thin stand-alone. He's the first visitor in five years, as the community is being held in stasis by a monster called "It." After Graf saves 23-year-old Jessa from "It," she reluctantly allows him to hide from the sun in her basement. Having survived five years with few resources other than what she can trade for or grow, Jessa doesn't want to turn to Graf for help, but they come to lean on each other as the other locals target them for sacrifice. Armintrout wisely holds off on revealing the secrets of "It," allowing Graf to grow emotionally as he and Jessa get closer, but aside from the unusual premise, there's not much to distinguish this from other dark paranormal romances. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

On his way to a vampire party in New York, Graf McDonald takes a wrong turn and ends up in Penance, Ohio, which one can enter but not leave. Trying to find gas, he finds Jessa, on the run from a horrible monster called It. When Graf finds that all roads lead back to town, he takes up residence with Jessa, whose abusive ex-boyfriend, Derek, sees her as his property despite the fact that he has kids and Becky, a drunken wife, at home. The unpleasant residents of the town have been cut off from the rest of the world for the last five years while It preys on them, and they are more than suspicious of Graf, the first person to find a way in since It showed up. When Becky and the kids disappear, Graf has new terrors to face as the residents of Penance target him. Urban fantasy author Armintrout, best-known for her Blood Ties series, offers a traditional horror story that will be welcomed by fans of the genre. --Diana Tixier Herald

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778328783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778328780
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. McFeeters on July 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Graf is a young Vampire, who is on his way to visit his sire in DC for a 4th of July celebration when he gets lost in Ohio. Hungry and desperate for shelter, because of the rising sun...he pulls into a old shut down gas station. Its then that things take a twist. I thought that this story was a nice change, and I hadn't read anything like it so far, so for the idea itself its worth reading.

Jessa and the small town of Penance have been stuck in limbo for 5 years, why, they don't know. All they know is they can't get out and no one can get in. There is another problem, there is a Demon running around town wreaking havoc whenever it wishes. It's a unsettling situation, because when people start to think they are doomed they do odd things, like blame the problem on a 17 year old "witch" and burn her at a stake sort of things.

When Jessa meets Graf at the gas station she is in shock...one, because she has not seen a stranger in 5 years and two the demon is after her that night. Graf saves her life and thus a odd pairing is created as Graf and Jessa try to figure out what's going on and how to get out of town. Graf needs to escape for obvious reasons, Jessa has worn out her welcome in the spooky town as she is labeled the town tramp for her involvement with Derek her now married x-boyfriend.

The spoiler is: Jessa was Home Coming Queen, her x-boyfriend Derek was Captain of the Football team. When they graduated Jessa went off to college, but she is forced to come home when her parents and younger brother die in a car wreck, that same week she and the rest of the town become trapped. Derek, who was never able to go to college and couldn't see a life past High school football and popularity.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hipster vampire Graf has landed in Hell and he can't get out. Not Hell exactly, but Penance, Ohio. Before I continue, let me preface this review by saying I am from Ohio, from a town much like Penance and the very thought of being stuck in that town with no way out is in fact, my own private version of Hell.

Some kind of dark magic has befallen the poor farm community of Penance, Ohio and their dire misfortune is completely ruining Graf's Fourth of July plans with his Sire and the bloody bash that is sure to ensue. He meets Jessa, a local that is running from kind of monster -It- that has come to town and refuses to leave. If It won't leave, then the town-folk of Penance are stuck as well. No one can get in, or out. But Graf has managed to get in and that alone has raised suspicions around town about who he is and what he is doing with Jessa, the biggest heathen in the zip code.

Jessa has quite the reputation as both a liar and a whore, and helps that reputation along by maintaining an affair with her ex that keeps popping out babies with the new wife. Not only is stuck in Hickville, he's also saddled with the most undesirable person within the city limits. His hunger can only be held so long before he needs fed, and this tow is full of bodies leaking blood from one encounter or another with the monster.

I really enjoyed this book although it made me cringe. The thought of being a woman, like Jessa, who got out of town and managed to go to college just to come back to town for what was meant to be a brief stay only to be held captive for over five years is a metaphor that is more of a reality to most small-town girls like myself. There is always an ex-boyfriend that holds some wretched place in your heart.
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Format: Kindle Edition
American Vampire is the story of Graf, a vampire, and the town he unfortunately finds his way to, Penance. The town is caught up in a nightmarish world where no one can escape and all the residents are terrorized by something they call It. Graf meets Jessa, a misfit among the townies and befriends her in the hope that she'll at the very least provide a good meal for him and at the very most help him to find a way out of the town.

The other residents of Penance are stereotypical local yokals. Jessa is seen as the town slut because she is having an affair with one of the local guys, a man named Derek. While this offers a little in the way of characterization for her, its main use seems to be to show how chivalrous the vampire Graf is compared to Derek, who leaves a lot to be desired.

The It monster is hokey from the beginning and hurts the story more than anything else. Something terrorizing a town for five years could be incredibly interesting, but this It isn't it. Unfortunately, It is about as interesting as everyone else in the town.

Much of the book wants to be a vampire story but never quite makes it there. When Graf finally does act like a vampire, it's not sexy or scary, which are really the only two viable options for a vamp character. When it finally does get to where it seems to want to go, it's quite late in the book and the reader has spent at least 80% of the book wishing for something other than the misadventures in Mayberry on meth.

Overall, American Vampire doesn't deliver for this vampire fan. Graf had promise but never quite fulfilled it, and the rest of the characters simply didn't do it for me.
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