On a suggestion from a friend I picked up this unusual indie series last week, reading the first two volumes. It’s a good story, straddling the line between comedy and serious urban horror/fantasy, with both drama and laughs. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

These were the first books I’ve read by Gualtieri, and from his notes it sounds like they’re early efforts from him. If so he’s off to a good start. These have comedy motion picture written all over them, and I hope somebody grabs that ball and runs with it — it’s perfect for the big screen.

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Cover Art for an Earlier Edition

As light as it is, it does have an intriguing, developing storyline through the first two books. Bill is not an ordinary vampire, and doesn’t seem to quite fit in with ordinary vampire society. In addition, vampire society itself is in the midst of upheaval, most of which is initially only hinted at. This provides plenty of ammunition for interesting storytelling in these first two books, and suggests and big events to come.

Much of this story reminded me of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It has the same kind of geek and nostalgic appeal, without being overly cloying about it.

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I plan to read the rest of this series at a later point in time, feeling compelled to move on to other things at the moment.

A brief word about the audio recording, which is available at a small extra cost to the Kindle edition: The recording lacks polish, and while I appreciate the efforts of the reader, Christopher John Fetherolf, to use distinct voices for each character, there are a number of false starts during the work — places where he starts to read a sentence, stops, and starts the sentence over again! I’m sure stuff like this happens all the time, but usually it’s edited out so we don’t have to listen to it. Maybe I’m just spoiled by high quality work everywhere else, but that just seemed a little shoddy to me. And that’s not even counting the mispronunciation of a word that CANNOT be mispronounced in a geek-oriented story: Tatooine! Still, Fetherolf does put solid work into the voices.

Rating: 4.5/5
Audio: 3/5

 

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