Title: Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Author: Mario Acevdeo
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Mystery
Meet Felix Gomez, Iraqi-vet Vampire P.I. who has been called to Denver to investigate an outbreak of Nymphomania. It sounds silly because it is. But it’s equally adventurous and well written. It’s a slightly older title, but the series is still fresh with a current addition that came out in April (Rescue from Planet Pleasure).
At Dragon Con people would walk up to the WordFire Press booth and ask, “Do they come with pictures?” To which Acevedo would, without skipping a beat, reply, “No, only scratch and sniff.”
I laughed every time. It just didn’t stop being funny to me.
I think that’s how Felix Gomez will be as I continue to read the series. I’ve never been so amused as while reading Nymphos of Rocky Flats. It has all the excitement of the X-Files with the plot development silliness of Eureka. Just as I had settled into the pace of the book and thought, “Ok, I’m ready for all this to wrap itself up,” he’d toss something else at me and I’d giggle, “Maybe not…”
I enjoyed having a vampire story-line with a more realistic life story being dropped into an absurd universe (Iraqi War Vet meets Vampirism, Werevolvishness, and Aliens) – as opposed to the typical unrealistic life stories being dropped into a more familiar world (Two-hundred year old man falls in love with high school teen in the mundane school cafeteria; I’ll take aliens over high school again).
What I didn’t expect were the author’s deep thoughts on life to make subtle waves in some of his writing. Hints at politics and undertones on what might be Acevedo’s worldview were made but never formulated completely. Having met the man, I know he is intelligent, well-read, and has a lot of wisdom regarding the world. As much as I enjoy his humorous banter, in both real life and his books, I’m interested to hear or read what his deep thoughts on life are.
Aside from deep thoughts, this book is all guy all the time but one girls can enjoy too. It sells in mass market paperback form at the bookstore to middle-aged men like hotcakes all the time, but I plan to start pushing it toward more ladies. The trade paperbacks have a longer shelf life, but honestly, I think it’s just because of where they are located. I’m already mentally planning a place to feature them for Halloween as I type.
A previous reviewer referred to the Felix Gomez series as Dude-lit. “When Girls Go Wild… Call in the Undead” the tagline of the book says. If this doesn’t place it in that fabulous sub-genre of Dude-lit, I don’t know what would. The fact that the book is the first vampire novel ever to be declassified by the U.S. government is another tell-tale sign.
Ironically, scantily clad women in hooker boots is not sub-genre specific, merely a hint that it’s urban fiction as it’s something that women expect to see on their chick-lit as well. It is a consumer behavior impulse I will never quite understand – like how magazines for men and women alike feature half naked women on the fronts… And despite the book being classic dude-lit, I’m a chick and I loved it. Then again, as a character in Rocky Flats points out: “Earth women are surprisingly complicated…”
Side Note on Content & Ratings: I was pleasantly pleased that with all the hinting and perverted jokes, the book isn’t actually raunchy. The movie version would probably still be rated R for nudity, but there’s a reason the books are not classified as erotica, and for that I was grateful. If it had been, I’m not sure I could look the author in the eye again – and I really like him, he’s fun. There’s more porn in the Outlander series than in Rocky Flats.
Author: L.J. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The Vampire Diaries is a young adult vampire horror series of novels written by L. J. Smith. The story centers around Elena Gilbert, a high school girl torn between two vampire brothers. The series was originally a trilogy published in 1991, but pressure from readers led Smith to write a fourth volume, Dark Reunion, which was released the following year. The first four novels in the original series: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury and Dark Reunion all feature Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert as the main protagonists. The first three novels in the original series are from both Stefan and Elena’s point of view, but the last book in the original series, Dark Reunion, is from Bonnie McCullough’s point of view. – Summary from wikipedia
I initially started reading The Vampire Diaries because I got hooked on the show. I have a rant about television shows, movies, and book reading regarding the whole ordeal here: https://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/books-to-movies-to-tv-shows/, basically saying I was shocked to find that I love the series and hate the books.
Well, why bother reading the rest of the series after loathing the first book so much? I’m a start a series finish a series kind of girl, no matter how awful. It’s just polite to give the author a chance to 1) redeem themselves after a bad experience 2) let the characters and story warm on you, sometimes you meet someone and think they are horrible people only later find out they were just having a bad first impression day 3) be sure you weren’t just in a judgmentally bad mood that day.
And I tried, I really did. I read the first volume of books one and two and got all the way through book three of this second volume. One chapter into the fourth part and I gave up. How can the show be so intriguing and the books be so awful? Amazing liberties taken with the story by those fab people in Atlanta, that’s how. These books are truly terrible; I don’t know why I bothered.
Smith has the uncanny ability to make dialogue something I dread. Instead of the simplicity of a he said she said, we get every –ly word found in my third grade Webster’s dictionary thrown at us, even when they don’t make the best of sense. Admittedly, I always hated the overuse of this in writing, but didn’t really understand how much until Stephen King put my own thoughts into words in On Writing. Now that I have read detailed explanations of my own gut instinct, I find it even more nauseating.
L.J. Smith’s original books are merely a reoccurring fad due to people’s fascination with vampires. But if you’re looking for Stefan, Damon, and Elena time – watch the CW television show, it’s available on Netflix. If you’re looking for some Vampire literature, stick to Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. Then, there’s always one of my cotton candy favorites: Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. My copies of The Vampire Diaries series got thrown along with Twilight – the library donation bin.
*Edit/Postscript in the form of a confession: I am not and never have been the target market for this book. It’s unfair for me to judge so harshly when the book was clearly not meant for me and I knew that from page 2 of the first installment.
Unclean Spirits is a fun adventure filled fantasy to veg out with your favorite snack and a comfy pillow. Hanover did a good job of taking an overused theme (vampires and metaphysical ghosties verses the good guys fighting evil) and turning it into something fresh and fun and not too plot heavy with romance. Jayne Heller makes for a great escape fiction heroine and I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the trilogy turns out.