August 22nd, 2016

book collector

book 90

Vampire Vacation (The V V Inn, #1)Vampire Vacation by C.J. Ellisson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway which didn’t influence my review. I wavered between giving this two or three stars but in the end rounded up as it wasn’t badly written per se but more just not my thing in some ways. I read a lot of erotica and to me there are two broad sub categories of erotica, a plot heavy story with a few good, hot scenes and the other being tons of sex and almost no plot. I favor the first and this was definitely the second. It borders on what fan ficcers would call PWP.

To be fair it started with some plot. Vivian (whose real name is Dria which took a moment to realize) is an old vampire who runs a vampire hotel in Alaska (all that darkness) which is less a hotel and more of sexual fetish club and Dria does a lot of running around dressed like a dominatrix and then telling men to leave her alone because she’s happily married (way to send mixed signals as a nominal hostess here). She is married to a human, Rafe whose life is extended by occasionally drinking her blood and part of their group is a werewolf as well but not as a sexual partner.

Anyhow Dria finds a dead man in one hotel room. She, the wolf and her husband dispose of the body and start interrogating the guests and doing a bad job of it. She’s aware she’s doing a bad job. She has a habit of ‘acting on instinct.’ You’ll see her thinking that every time she does something stupid or rude or nonsensical.

Then the investigation gets sidetracked by her desire to make sure her guests are having a good time. i.e. are sexing it up. She tries to help Olivia to attract the vampire, Antonio by using another vampire to make him jealous so Antonio will swing into action and claim her (shudders, and just plain yuck. That is NOT romantic to me, or smart) and did I mention she has all the rooms wired for video and sound to help protect the humans who are the snacks (as the vampires don’t need to kill). Yeah at one point she and her husband use that as porn for their own love making.

Oh and that comes after there’s been another attack and someone has cut the power to the hotel (okay all they know is the power is out and she had just been offering herself up to be whipped by a guest so the guest could learn how the BDSM toys work…um apparently no one here has ever seen a horror flick and don’t know those who have sex in the middle of the crisis die first). I mean that really almost made me stop reading because not only is it creepy it’s dumb especially since Dria thinks it’s a vampire she once turned over to the Tribunal when she was an enforcer (i.e. how the vampires police themselves in this world). And she thinks he’s here for revenge.

Did I mention she was also sent a newly turned vampire, Asa, who was turned during his military service in the Middle East and instead of working with him or explaining how things work in her domain she starts attacking and screaming at him to force him to join her seethe (a vampire family) or die. I have no idea what this was handled that way but honestly Dria doesn’t strike me as intelligent but she is a bit of a Mary Sue so there’s that.

The last third is the best part of the book. We’re past the endless sex scenes and everyone is hunting the killer, that means all the vampires, a werewolf and the human servants. That was well done and exciting.
Honestly if the middle and all the sex had been trimmed somewhat this would have been a stronger story. It gets lost in the middle. Also there is some formatting weirdness where the mental conversations which are italicized were not so it was confusing.

View all my reviews

Book #37: Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome

Number of pages: 475

The second sequel to Swallows and Amazons feels very different from its predecessors. It opens by introducing the eponymous Peter Duck. While in Swallowdale, this was the name of an imaginary friend, now Peter Duck is a real-life sailor, who tells the children a story of how he saw pirates burying gold on Crab Island.

It isn't long before all of the children seen in the previous novels set sail with Peter Duck and also Captain Flint to go in search of treasure. While this sounds a bit like the plot to the first book, real pirates - led by Black Jake - and a mysterious red-haired boy, are added.

A lot of the action takes place at sea, at the heroes realise quite early on that Black Jake is pursuing them to Crab Island, and the pirates in this book do form a significant threat, and this leads to some scenes that are (for a children's book) quite intense.

I enjoyed getting to revisit the characters from the first two books again, and liked the fact that the plot managed to feel almost completely original, and it was enjoyable wondering if the red-haired boy would turn out to be good or bad.

I am enjoying reading through this series a lot. While I did pick up a copy of the eighth novel, Secret Water recently, I want to read them in the correct order, so am hoping to read the fourth, Winter Holiday soon.

Next book: Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals (Jesse Armstrong)