by Christopher Moore
(Note: This book is the third in Christopher Moore’s vampire series, following Bloodsucking Fiends (1995) and You Suck (2007). If you haven’t read the first two books, you might want to skip this review, since it may contain spoilers re: the plot. Also, dude, if you haven’t read them then GO DO IT because they are awesome.)
The city of San Francisco is being stalked by a huge shaved vampyre cat named Chet, and only I, Abby Normal, emergency backup mistress of the Greater Bay Area night, and my manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog, stand between the ravenous monster and a bloody massacre of the general public.
Whoa. And this is a love story? Yup. 'Cept there's no whining. See, while some lovers were born to run, Jody and Tommy were born to bite. Well, reborn, that is, now that they're vampires. Good thing theirs is an undying love, since their Goth Girl Friday, Abby Normal, imprisoned them in a bronze statue.
Abby wants to be a bloodsucking fiend, too, but right now she's really busy with other stuff, like breaking in a pair of red vinyl thigh-high Skankenstein® platform boots and wrangling her Ph.D.-candidate boyfriend, Steve (the love monkey). And then there's that vampire cat Chet, who's getting bigger and smarter—and thirstier—by the minute. Abby thought she and Steve could handle the kitty cat on their own, mais non . . .
Before you can say "OMG! WTF?" Tommy and Jody are sprung from captivity, and join forces with Abby, Steve, the frozen-turkey-bowling Safeway crew, the Emperor of San Francisco and his trusty dogs Lazarus and Bummer, Abby's gay Goth friend Jared, and SF's finest Cavuto and Rivera to hunt big cat and save the city. And that's when the fun really begins.
(Yeah, the plot is so manic I didn’t want to try and summarize it myself.)
The narrative is dominated by the adventures of Abby, who has been upgraded from minion to star of the book. Her blog entries, chock full of ‘Net slang, form many of the chapters. This is both a strength and weakness; Moore did a fantastic job catching the way people talk on-line. OMG, WTF, awesomesauce, and ‘full of win’ are pretty common phrases now, right? (Note to self: Find origin of ‘awesomesauce.’ I hate that word and it’s creeping into spoken conversations.) But it was Abby’s constant use of “Kayso” and “So I was like” that really made the online-speak seem authentic, because everyone has these weird phrases they use over and over again in speech and it almost always shows up in your writing. (In my own writing, I have a habit of breaking paragraphs suddenly and starting a new one with “Anyway,” and I begin far too many sentences with “I mean”.) So I really admired the effort Moore put into creating and capturing Abby’s voice. That said, man oh man oh MAN is Abby annoying. I did not like reading her valley girl blog posts at all. Plus, the device was a little awkward in that Abby always had to have her laptop with her, and she was constantly stopping to update her journal entries in the middle of the action.
Most of the other characters have appeared in previous Moore novels; once again we see Detective Rivera, Cavuto, The Emperor, Tommy, Jody, Elijah, Kona (debut appearance in Fluke), Lily…the list just goes on and on. There are several new people, including an old artist with a katana and several of Elijah’s other “children” vampires. (One of the female vampires is named Bella. *snicker*) But the character with the biggest changes would have to be Chet, the giant shaved vampire cat, who is still growing and becoming more intelligent while filling the city with other vampire cats at a very alarming pace. On the other hand, thanks to Chet’s efforts San Francisco no longer has a homeless problem…so I guess that’s a benefit to having vampire kitties around.
While I enjoyed reading the book quite a lot, I was also disappointed with it. Maybe I was just expecting too much because I like Moore so much? I thought that many of the characters and plot threads just didn’t come together to create a cohesive backbone to the book. I mean, Bloodsucking Fiends was about Jody’s new life as a vampire and her adaptation to her changed lifestyle. You Suck had the relationship challenges of Jody and Tommy trying to make life together as freshly-minted vampires work. Bite Me had…hordes of vampire cats rampaging the city of San Francisco. Thematically, that’s just a little harder to work with. I still laughed, and it was still fun…but I guess the book simply lacked the bang! I wanted to conclude the trilogy.
4 stars out of 5
Question for those of you who read the book: What was going on with Elijah? Why was he all animalistic? Was that explained and I just missed it?