JOE VAMPIRE: THE AFTERLIFE by Steven Luna

VampireYeah, I know.  I said I would never read another vampire book.  I said I was so done with vampire books.  But THIS vampire has a blog!  How can I resist a vampire with a blog?

This is the second of the Joe Vampire series.  Since vampires live forever, I guess this series could theoretically go on forever.  Especially if the author gets turned into a vampire.

OK, here’s the vampire deal.  Joe is a decent fellow whose friend in a fit of pique or something, puts him in a situation where he got bitten and turned into a vampire.  All that happened in the first book, so other than thinking that with friends such as him, who needs enemies, I am not overly clear as to why.

Apparently, the process of turning into a vampire is not immediate.  It can take days or weeks, it all depends on the individual.  Well, after a painful period of conversion, and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross‘s seven stages of grief (shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope), Joe has come somewhat to terms with his condition, and has worked out a way to be as unvampire-ish as possible.  He uses a dremel three times a day to grind down the fangs, and has settled on chicken blood for feeding, now keeping a flock of chickens in his back yard for that purpose.   He takes some special Chinese herb mixture to tone down the vampireness and make him less vulnerable to the sun, has a night job, so he can minimize that sun problem, and along with his best friend, (not the one who bit him), is working on creating a band.

He tells very few people that he is a vampire, and has met a young woman who does know, and loves him anyway, and they get married.  And then the unspeakable happens — his best friend and band mate gets bitten by a female vampire nasty lady, and most of the remaining story is about Joe trying to help his friend cope, but said friend doesn’t want to cope, he wants to be a full-on vampire,  and on and on.

I really enjoyed it.  It is told in first person using the blog posts.  He is sad, and witty, and comical and sincere, and it is all about loyalty, friendship, and coping with the hand life deals you.   Want some quotes?  Why not:

I’m not good when it comes to going above and beyond.  I’m at my happiest staying beneath and within.

Everybody knows that all you ever get from a bunch of sour grapes is a lot of bitter whine.

And finally,

“I just don’t understand how it’s scientifically possible.” [vampirary]  “How is anything scientifically possible?  Science doesn’t define rules by which things must happen; it defines rules by which things are happening already.  It doesn’t dictate nature;  it merely transcribes.”

Vampires are referred to as ‘the undead’, but truly, as beings that are practically immortal, they’re really more living than the rest of the populace.

I now am going to have to look very closely at anyone raising chickens in their suburban back yard.

dracula

 

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