Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vampire Beach by Alex Duval

Omnibus featuring Bloodlust and Initiation, both first published in 2006.

Jason Freeman is stoked when his family relocates to DeVere Heights, Malibu. The kids at his posh new high school are surprisingly friendly, and pretty soon Jason's part of the in-crowd. He even gets to meet the hot-but-unattainable girl.

Then, the morning after one off-the-hook party, a girl washes up on the beach dead. There's no explanation - except a suspicious-looking bite mark on her body.

Now Jason has to admit that what you don't want to know can hurt you. And when an o
ld friend pays him a visit, they have no idea that they're about to put themselves in mortal danger. Literally. (book back blurb)

How are you put in mortal danger theoretically? That irked me.

Anyway, I've had this book for about 10 months, I'm just getting to it now and I just realized, when I picked it up to read it, that it was an omnibus. I had no idea. Gotta love my observant self.

So we have rich kids. In Malibu. The new kid that gets accepted. Rich kids have fangs. New kid gets tossed in the middle of it. How freakin' ORIGINAL. See, when I see the words 'beach' and 'vampire' together, my mind immediately goes to The Lost Boys so when I finally picked this up (after some puttering around, I kept going to Barnes and Noble, picking it up and putting it back down) and bought it, I was half-expecting something somewhat similar. Oh silly me. I should have known this wasn't going to trend towards the good.

What a yawn fest. Seriously. Jason wants Sienna but can't have her because she's his buddy's chick but none of the other girls entice him. That is the damn focus for 2/3rds of the first book. Internal back and forth and back and forth - oh god she's so beautiful but I shouldn't want to kiss her because she's Brad's chick but I want her but I can't but I can't help myself but I have to . . . SHUT THE FUCK UP! Talk about getting totally hung up. On both books, no less.

Also in both books, absolutely nothing going on except parties and pretty people for two-thirds of them. Anything worth reading is all shoved and resolved within the last third of the book. Thank god they both only took me an hour to read each. I might have had to stick this thing in a punkin' and to some chunkin'.

The pretty, popular crowd, aka the vampires, weren't your typical rich kids. They were actually down to earth and normal, which was nice and refreshing. That refreshing quality also made them boring as shit. And they're vampires. WTF? Jason is the typical new kid without too much awkwardness, unless he's around Sienna. And he's around her a lot. They accept him but he's the cool kid for being friends with the pretty people AND guys like Adam who's a movie geek that never had an in before now. Add in the bratty sister and the overly concerned parents and you're good to ride the cliche mobile down the trope highway.

Adam had the funny lines. Jason is not a compelling character at all. The events of both books really happen around him as opposed to to him. He just ends up getting himself involved because he's the main character and he'd be even more boring than he already is if he didn't. Sienna turns out to be a little on the slutty side because what would the books be without some teenage romance angst? Dani is your typical younger sister that's as one dimensional as the page I read her on. Who else? The popular guys . . . Zach . . . cardboard. Jason's friend from Michigan, Tyler, twitchy and was pretty much the only one with potential but the author likes rapid fire and clean-cut resolution so that didn't play out like it could have. Am I missing anything? Doubt it.

Oh right. The nice vampires. That don't kill people. And can go out during the day. And donate to charity. That exist because it's a hereditary trait . . . JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. They weren't just emasculated. They didn't even have vaginas. They were just downright eunichs, neuters that needed to get back to their damn bridge game or something. Seriously. Can we cycle back in REAL vampires please? WTF is the point in being this all-powerful supernatural being if you can't even use any of it? And have to go to high school? WTF is with vampires and high school? It was cool with the original Buffy. It was still cool with the series. By now it's so tapped out that that ass is raw. Can we let it heal, please? For the sake of vampire balls? Vampires used to be something to fear. Now they're something to snuggle. *yak*

I think a little more time could have been spent tightening the plot, not to mention editing out all of the typos, than rushing two books out in a year. Quantity over quality, huh?

I'd recommend these for a beach read but, in all honesty, I don't even think they're worth that. They're just not exciting or compelling or even all that interesting to be honest. The second book definitely had more potential than the first but I'll be damned if I read yet another book where I have to wait 120 pages before anything of interest starts to happen. I guess if you feel so inclined to reading them, they'll literally only take about an hour to finish each. Dense is not the word I would use to describe these books. But really, I wouldn't waste that hour. You could be doing better things, like raking leaves.


Maria D'Isidoro said...

Normal, down-to-earth vampires are an oxymoron in the worst way. They survive by drinking BLOOD. They live FOREVER. There is no way your psychology is not getting fucked up from that. Very few modern vampire stories match the awesomeness that is Lost Boys, because those vamps kicked ASS. They were too cool for school.

But the over-saturation of vamp lit is making me seriously rethink having a vampire as a character in my story. Yet I don't know what else to make him! I guess I could make him a demon. That might be more interesting. *worries* :(

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D

Hahahahaha ... omg, your review cracked me up! I love your refreshing, straight-up reviews, Donna :) "raking leaves"

Ever since I saw this cover over on your sidebar where you were "chomping" on it, I've been curious.

Just what we needed ... another tale of beautiful young high school kids simply drowning in teenage vampiric angst. Sigh.

Makes me want to write my own vampire story, but as a parody to all these Clearasil conundrums ;)Maybe set the plot up around a noobie in a nursing home or something ...

Donna said...

Yeah, I was really back and forth before I bought it but it intrigued me enough for me to finally cave. Meh. We're not right all the time, right? LOL! Now it's in the "donate to the library" pile.

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