*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.