I am not a huge fan of vampires. I’ve read a few books that involve vampires, and haven’t really loved any of them (except The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, because it’s soo good!). Still, when I think of vampires, I tend to go for more of the traditional, scary, Dracula kind. After all, if you look at how vampire legends began/were perpetuated, there are some really horrible stories (Google Vlad the Impaler or Elizabeth Báthory if you’re curious). Pretty, Twilight-esque vampires are not my thing. So when I saw that was pretty much the premise of Jim McDoniel’s debut novel, An Unattractive Vampire, I was definitely curious.
Yulric Bile is a thousand years old. Three-hundred of those years have been spent trapped under a house, thanks to a famous witch hunter. When Yulric is finally released, he finds himself facing a host of problems: Simon, an eight-year-old boy with a dangerous amount of knowledge; Amanda, his vampire-obsessed older sister; the terrors called cars; and, worst of all, modern vampires. No longer are vampires things to be feared. Instead, they are idolized, beautiful, and, most unforgivably, good. Which utterly horrifies Yulric. So he sets out to fix this mess, or at least find (and kill) the person responsible. The result is a battle centuries in the making, one which will decide who has the right to decide what it means to be a vampire.
Unique premise aside, I didn’t expect too much from this book. But I ended up really enjoying it! Not only is it well-researched, but it’s absolutely hilarious! I laughed out loud several times while reading it. I loved seeing the modern world through Yulric’s perspective – having been underground for the past three-hundred years, he is intrigued by the telephone, terrified of cars (who flash weird lights and tend to hit him when he’s in bat form), and fascinated by the television (and what’s on it). I also really liked Simon, who is such a weird kid – while his sister is out at vampire clubs, he teaches himself Cantonese and attempts to order custom recreations of antique weapons from blacksmith shops. This book was pretty bizarre, but in the best way. I feel like this story could have gone really wrong, but McDoniel somehow made it work. I will be keeping an eye out for his next book!
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a bit of satirical vampire fiction. Think sparkly, pretty vampires are silly? This book is probably for you. I had a lot of fun reading this book!
An Unattractive Vampire is set to be released tomorrow, March 15th, but it look like it’s already available on Amazon, so you can head on over there to get your copy. (I’m also not sure of it’s availability in stores, as it is published by a smaller company, but it looks like it’s also available online at Barnes & Noble.)
This book was provided to me by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.