The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
|The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks|
|Reviewer: Karen Inskip-Hayward|
|Summary: A light-hearted and fun read with a new take on vampires.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: June 2009|
After reading Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and really enjoying it, I fancied trying The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Meyer has proved that fiction aimed at teenagers can really be a good read and that vampires are interesting and even sexy! Jinks has a different angle of approach to our fanged friends though. Vampires are not seen in such a romantic way, but instead are more down to earth and ordinary.
The hardships of being a vampire are described through the eyes of our heroine, Nina, forever stuck as a fifteen-year-old after being bitten in 1973. She explains her condition means she suffers a variety of side effects, including nausea, weakness, pale skin and bleeding from the eyes if they aren't protected by sunglasses during daylight. She's part of a group called the Reformed Vampire Support Group, where the local vampires help each other and keep themselves on the right path. For these vampires have vowed not to bite other humans, instead surviving on a diet of guinea pigs and supplements.
The Support Group is a mish-mash of different kinds of vampires from knitting old ladies to a former rock star. As with any group, there are good and bad apples amongst the buch and one of the bad ones – Casimir – is soon found killed. This leads the group to a quest of finding his killer and assuring the group's safety and security. This leads them on an interesting adventure, where they meet some frightening men in the Australian Outback and a teenage werewolf.
Although I found the book slightly hard to get into, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to any ages from teenagers upwards. It has a bit of everything – drama, comedy, farce, horror, thriller, adventure – yet is never too scary or gory. It is fun and involving, written in a style which makes you smile and quickly warm to our heroine.
There are some excellent characters, besides Nina. I personally related to her mum, a non-vampire who ends up being hostess to a group of non-humans and – as a mum would – worries about them eating properly, while stressing out over keeping the house clean. The priest Father Ramon is a fascinating character too, being human but a kind of charity worker here, devoting his life to helping the disadvantaged. He is useful to the vampires too, as he is able to function in daylight!
I liked the way Jinks reworked the vampire folklore, which brings it up to date and moves it away from Hammer Horror films and Dracula. We learn about fanging and blooding and it all sounds convincing enough to draw you into the story.
Despite the slow-ish start, I enjoyed the book overall and would be interested to read more about these characters in the future. If you've finished all Stephenie Meyer's books, why not try this one?
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If you've enjoyed this book and exhausted Stephenie Meyer you'll probably enjoy the stories about the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks at Amazon.com.
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