The Reformed Vampire Support Group

Catherine Jinks, Author . Harcourt $17 (362p) ISBN 978-0-15-206609-3

Jinks’s signature facility with plot and character development is intact as she turns to the topic of vampires—as fans can anticipate, hers are not the romantic superheroes of the Stephenie Meyers books. Hers are a ragtag bunch: anemic, whiny, unattractive, they feed on guinea pigs (because they’re small, “their drained cadavers can be concealed without much effort,” and they breed quickly), and they turn for support to an idealistic priest. Nina, the narrator, is in her 50s, but was “infected” at 15 and chafes at being treated like an adolescent; she writes a sensational vampire series with a seductive, powerful heroine totally unlike herself, giving Jinks opportunity for comic contrasts. Throwing in delicious details and aperçus, the author works her way from the murder of one of the vampires to suspense and adventure of the sinister yet daffy variety beloved by readers of Evil Genius . The plot twists, more ornate than in previous works, ramp up the giddiness—and, perhaps, camouflage the corpses, blood and other byproducts of the genre. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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