Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bite Me: A Love Story

All the usual suspects from the first two books return in this, the third installment in Christopher Moore's Vampire Love Story series. This is an unusual series in that the first book was written in 1995, and the second book was not published until 2007. I read the first one when it was originally released, so I reread it last year in order to read the second one - and while I loved the first one, I found the sequel to be a bit disappointing. I guess it seemed as though the characters had been scooped up from the time period of the first book and plunked down in a San Francisco that was a decade older, and also that some of the humor and plot twists were taken at the expense of the characters, who I felt didn't have as much depth or emotional resonance as in the first book.

Still, a book by Christopher more that's slightly disappointing is head and shoulders above most other books, and perhaps my expectations were unrealistically high for that second book. I approached this one with tempered expectations, at any rate.

Abby Normal, "minion" of vampire couple Jody and Tommy, narrates much of this book through her diary. She is a perky goth girl who aspires to be, as she puts it, Nosferatu. There are frequent point of view switches throughout the novel, so we see things from Tommy and Jody's perspective (although not as frequently as I might have liked), as well as from the points of view of the police officers from the previous book, Abby's boyfriend, Chet the shaved vampire cat, and the Emperor of the City, among others.

Chet is turning the other cats of the city into vampires, which creates a public menace (particularly for homeless people). Foo Dog, Abby's boyfriend, who created UV-light jackets with destructive powers against vampires in the first book, is experimenting with vampire blood and rats, which creates some rather interesting (and hilarious) difficulties (involving a shop vac and the vampire rats' ability to turn to mist). Tommy, who was imprisoned with Jody in a bronze statue, becomes a raving lunatic because, unlike Jody, he is unable to turn to mist and spend his nights in a dreamlike state - he is trapped inside the statue for so long that, when he is inadvertently released, further mayhem ensues. Then a dark ship pulls up in the harbor: the old vampires are back to clean up the mess the old one left - and that means eliminating everyone involved. But not if Abby Normal can help it. And then there's a mysterious Japanese guy who wields an astonishingly effective sword against undead cats...

This book was a lot of fun, and the ending was unexpected and rather bittersweet - although it felt right, which made me think that this may be the final book in the series. I enjoyed the references to characters from other of Moore's books (particularly those from A Dirty Job, which is still my hands-down favorite of his books), as well as Moore's skillful use of language, which never fails to make me smile. I look forward to reading whatever he decides to set his pen (keyboard?) to next.

Books in the Vampire Love Story series:
1. Bloodsucking Fiends
2. You Suck
3. Bite Me


Bite Me: A Love Story (#3 in the Vampire Love Story series) by Christopher Moore (William Morrow, 2010) [Review copy received from publisher]

Other reviews of books by Christopher Moore:
Coyote Blue
A Dirty Job
Fool

Also reviewed at:
Back to Books: "In all, a whole lot of insane hilarity with vampyre cats, an old samurai Japanese guy, and the usual main crowd of eccentric characters. A definite read for Moore fans."
The Book Muncher: "...this novel is one twisted adventure of vampire and human misdeeds and sloppy solutions that manages to succeed in being both interesting and wickedly funny."
Sassymonkey Reads: "I really wish I could say that I loved it. I didn’t hate it but I’m afraid it’s not one of my favourite Christopher Moore novels."

2 comments:

  1. I just snagged this book from the library and cannot wait to read it. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. And I love Abby Normal!

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  2. Serena - If you love Abby, you're going to adore this book! I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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