*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
A fun yet dark M/M vampire book—this sounded perfect for me! And while I did have a few issues, I enjoyed it for the most part.
The portrayal of vampires in this book was very much a caricature, the author poking fun at certain things about the way they’re commonly portrayed. The main character, Felix, and his sister (both vampires) talked as though they weren’t caught up with the current times, they hissed at people, etc. Even the explanation of the origin of vampires and why they have the powers, strengths, weaknesses, etc. that they have was comical (but also interesting and unique). Also, Felix was totally a stalker—not a sexy stalker, just a stalker. John sprayed him with pepper spray and shooed him off with a broom at one point. But these were purposeful things done by the author, meant to humorous, and they were. This was the tone of the book for the first half of the book or so, and you have to be able to accept that if you’re going to enjoy it. I thought it was fun.
This book also had some darkness though, especially in the second half. Like the humans Felix’s brother-in-law kidnapped and used in order to fuel his own life. And Felix and Cat’s misery because of the situation they were stuck in. And all the alcohol and drugs they used to make things more bearable. And the death curse hanging over John’s head. And his isolation and seeming depression because of it. And his grief over his mother. And *SPOILER* his attempted suicide. *END SPOILER* I got teary-eyed a few times because I felt for the characters.
As for the characters themselves, one of the issues I had was that I found Felix to be a little inconsistent. He was mostly made out to be kind of an idiot and sometimes didn’t understand basic human and/or modern things, but then other times he’d suddenly show a surprising amount of intelligence and understand certain human/modern things, and he was apparently well versed in blending in as human in order to club hop and find sexual partners, even though he didn’t seem capable of blending in from what I saw. It was just a little jarring at times. His strangeness was endearing though.
The rest of the characters, on the other hand, were more consistent and developed. John was sad, kind of numb, seemingly depressed, and living in a self-imposed isolation because of the curse. He kind of just wanted to die already so that he could stop sitting around waiting for the curse to take him, until he finally found a reason to have hope. Lo was feisty, temperamental, and opinionated, but a good person and a good friend. Cat had been through so much and was so trapped that it took its toll on her, but she eventually found her will to fight again.
There was also romance in this book, between Felix and John, and it was cute, at times funny, but I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them, and that was another issue I had.
But the sibling relationship between Felix and Cat was sweet! They really cared about each other and were there for each other. The kind-of friendship that formed between Felix and Lo was surprisingly sweet too.
There was a bit of deus ex machina in the plot (mostly John’s mother’s contributions), but not so much that it ruined the book for me. The characters still had their own parts to play in addition to the help they were getting.
Overall though, I enjoyed the way the author poked fun at some vampire tropes, I enjoyed the darkness and how much more interesting things got in the second half of the book, I felt for John, and I thought the relationships among characters were sweet!
Anyone who likes M/M romance, vampires, witches, humor, darkness, and hope.
I’m not sure it’s what I’m in the mood for but it doesn’t sound too bad. I like the idea of the tropes but poking at them a bit.
For What It’s Worth
It’s fun sometimes when authors poke fun at tropes.
It’s hard to find a book with a portrayal of a vampire that is not cliche, but this sounds quite interesting!
To be honest, I like all portrayals of vampires, even the cliche ones lol, but yes, this one was a fun portrayal!
Hmm… not sure if this is for me, Kristin. I sure would enjoy a vampire M/M romance, but I’m not sure I’d really enjoy the poking fun thing… If I want to read about vampires, I’m all for being original, but why include vampires if it’s to mock them?
I’m glad you enjoyed this, even if you did have some problems with hit.
Sorry my autocorrect changed your name, Kristen, I noticed just as I clicked ‘post comment’.
Don’t worry about it. People spell my name wrong all the time lol.
I can imagine the poking fun thing would not be for everyone, even I was a little iffy at first. It did have some originality though, surprisingly. Thanks!
Have you seen ‘What We Do in the Shadows?’ I think it’s on Netflix in some countries; this just made me think of it, with the vampires being a caricature and not understanding some modern things lol
It sounds like a pretty good read (and I like the cover, mainly because of the blue rose though haha)
I actually started watching it and got bored lol. But I think maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood and wasn’t able to concentrate, so I’ll have to try the movie again at some point.
Yeah, it was an enjoyable read 🙂 And I do like the blue rose on the cover!
I do like books that are a bit self-aware and humorous. Sorry the actual romance wasn’t the best though, at least in terms of the chemistry. Thanks for sharing!!
Sometimes those types of books can be fun!
Despite its flaws, this sounds like so much fun! Especially in the way the author pokes fun at tropes.
It was a lot of fun! And it was sweet 🙂
so first let me tell you this./.. I’m reading about Vampires again!!! WHOHOOOO Certain Dark Things. And Loving it so far. Soooooo I’m so looking forward to get some great recommendation here on your blog. I had to wince and grinned at the hissing though LOL leaving this little detail aside this one sounds so deliciously dark 🙂 and the cover!! another awesome cover!
YAY MY BELOVED IS FINALLY READING ABOUT VAMPIRES AGAIN!!! You can def find the vampire recs on my blog 😉 To be honest though, not sure if this one would be the one for you because of the tropey silliness. But it was fun, and I like this cover too!
Wow, this one actually sounds so perfect for you! The vampires (of course) the satire and the darkness! I’m sorry there were some things that didn’t work for you, but hey – you can’t win them all, right? I’m glad you found enough to like and it was entertaining!
Right?! It ended up being not quite perfect but still good, so I’d call it a win 🙂 Thanks!
How you describe it as fun, but dark M/M does sound like a good read for you. That’s great you mostly enjoyed it. It sounds like it’s well done with the funny and dark parts. Although that type of humor that pokes fun at things doesn’t always work for me, it depends a bit on the book.
That’s too bad Felix felt a bit inconsistent at times. Good to hear the rest of the characters were more consistent. They do sound all well developed.
I see you just finished Juniper Unraveling, I am curious to hear your thoughts about that one!
It sounded exactly like my kind of book! I get what you’re saying, I was kind of iffy at first with the humor poking fun at vampires, but then I kind of adjusted my expectations of the realism of the book and was able to enjoy that.
You definitely made the right choice not to read Juniper Unraveling because it would not have been for you. My full review will be up next week 🙂