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Vampire Close Paperback – May 26, 2010
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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When I started this book, I felt like I missed the first fifteen minutes of a movie and I'm right in the middle of a scene, a bit lost; it was quite discombobulating. The main love interests, Fiona and Rory, are both Scottish and that's how it's written, so there's dinna, och, cannae, ken, etc., which really distracted from the story. Maybe if only one character spoke like that, it might have been bearable, but with two of them, it was just too much. Fiona herself was unlikeable, prejudiced, oblivious to her "sexpot" looks, and way to innocent to be believable for her age, while Rory's forceful, generally undesirable, and doesn't even seem like a vampire other than his fangs. What's really missing from the book is emotion. I felt nothing, other than mild dislike, for anyone or anything -- I just didn't care about these people. Joan, an American demon hunter and Euan, a Highland-born Brit (or "Sassenach" as Fiona disdainfully calls him) deacon, were slightly better at first, but there still was not enough shown for me to have a personal interest in them. The plot was vaguely described, and frankly, not very interesting. Nothing was shown, it was just told, mainly through an abundance of gabbing, so I never got the sense of urgency and the book just meandered into its finale.
I had a few other problems, but nothing that wouldn't give certain events away. Maybe die-hard paranormal romance fans will like this, but it became a chore to complete and I ended up disliking it the more I read, so it just wasn't for me.
Received for review through the Goodreads First Reads program.
"Vampire Close" would have been a much better novel had it gone through several more edits and drafts before going to print. Given that this is a self-published novel, Ms. Saville's work did not get the editing attention it required. Several instances of poor editing caught my eye as I read the novel, from incorrect and over usage of ellipses (throughout the novel), using "complimented" instead of "complemented" (p. 9), and spacing issues (p. 10, 82, 138, 225, and 255).
Additionally, the character of Rory MacLaren, who is supposed to be charming and roguish, came across as overbearing and rather annoying. I kept finding myself wishing that demon slayer Joan Armstrong would finish the deed, or move over and let Buffy the Vampire Slayer take care of business.
One of the best parts of any paranormal romance novels are the action scenes. The first action scene (p. 130) with Joan Armstrong lasted only about two paragraphs. There was not enough description or creativity put into this scene to satisfy me; I actually had to go back and read it again, thinking I had missed something important. Another battle scene takes place at the end, and is a bit more satisfying, but still lacking.
If Ms. Saville is able to find more reliable critique partners for her work and a more responsible and knowledgeable editor, I would be interested in reading more of her work.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.*