Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Reformed Vampire Support Group

Just finished Catherine Jinks' The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Loved it! It had me from the cover art - reminds me of the old Addams Family cartoons in the New Yorker. It's sort of an anti-vampire book. So if you turn your nose up at the typical vampire books that there is currently a glut of, you'll probably like this one. The main character, Nina, became a vampire as a teenager back in the 70's when she was fanged against her will after a party. So she's in her 50's but is, for all intends and purposes, still the teenager she was when she was bitten, since vampires don't age. But you come to find out that most of the other things that you think you know about vampires is a lot nonsense. Nina belongs to a support group made up of other vampires that were also fanged either by the same vampire she was, or by someone he had fanged, and run by a kindly local priest. One member of the group is a doctor, who has developed enzymes, that if taken regularly, can allow a vampire to survive without human blood. They still need some nourishment, and it needs to be fresh blood, so another member of the group raises guinea pigs for that purpose. So take your enzymes and fang a guinea pig every evening when you get up (don't forget to clean the bathroom afterwards, 'cause it gets pretty messy) and you're not really fine (rather weak actually) but you'll survive without needing to fang humans. The characters are all, well, characters. Delightfully weird. Essentially a very bizarre, highly dysfunctional family-like group. When the vampire who originally fanged most of them is killed, they're afraid that there may be a vampire slayer on the loose who may know where they live. Adventure follows as they try to plan to find the man they think it is and reason with him. Not remotely close!

Not laugh out loud funny, but always amusing, and the characters are very likable. A great light read, with nothing objectionable for middle schoolers, but fun for high school kids as well.


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