Real Vampires Don't Sparkle

Real Vampires Don't Sparkle - Amy Fecteau Matheus had put a lot of effort to escaping his past and leading a nice boring life free from any kind of drama – or any real human contact. Until he was recruited to steal something from his workplaceAnd by recruited, we mean threatened with terrible, horrible torture until he complied. If there was any doubt as to the sincerity of the threats, his contact is a vampire. And to ensure his silence, he makes Matheus one tooLearning to become a vampire isn’t easy – less so when you have considerable resentment towards the vampire who murdered you. There’s a lot to learn, a lot of hoops to jump through, city politics to navigate, hunters to dodge – and some surprising revelations to learn about himself as well.But even that gets complicated when his long hidden past returns in force.A book about vampires! Time for me to get my big big pile of clichés and tropes and scenarios I’ve seen again and again and again…And throw them out the window! Because they don’t apply here! Yes, I’m quite gleeful about this. A vampire story without so many things that are now staple – and impossibly gorgeous vampire, lots of angst for no good reason, a whole lot of sanitising what it actually means to be undead and a monster with a heavy side order of super powers and romance.Not this book. First of all becoming a vampire is difficult and really messy – as Quinn notes, he really should have brought a mop.The vampires drink blood and kill people. This isn’t a choice and there isn’t an alternative – for a vampire to go on living they kill people. This is a moral quandary and it is treated as such –something to think about and feel guilty about and try to find exceptions and minimise the damage and have considerable resentment from Matheus towards Quin for both murdering him and dooming him to murder other people. It’s not angst in a “oh what a terrible person I am” but it’s extreme discomfort, anger and fear over what Matheus has become and what he has to do rather than the very tired angsty monologues over nipping a vein. It has a depth, a nuance and a strength to it that is sorely missing in so many stories of monsters that regret who they are.In fact life and death continue to be a major theme in the books. There are a lot of deaths and they’re not even slightly sanitised. It’s graphic, it’s often brutal and it’s not pretty nor is it meant to be. People die – and no-one’s expendable and no-one’s disposable and even people hunting you or working for the evil corporation are people with families. At the same time, while everyone who dies is human, Matheus is not a saint – and he’s certainly not going to weep for his torturer – and Quin is far too jaded by his centuries to feel anything.Which makes this book seem awfully grim – but nothing could be further from the truth. If I had to pick one point about this book that was truly awesome it would be the humour. Matheus’ internal monologue is hilarious, his snark is of the highest quality and his banter with Quin is truly excellent. Their bantering back and forth would make the book itself. Because it’s not just screamingly funny, it also covers quite a few of the nuances in their relationship – Matheus taking out his daddy issues on Quin (and my gods does that man have some epic daddy issues), to hating Quin for killing him and turning him into a vampire, to relying on Quin to guide him as a vampire, to grudgingly liking Quin and then exploring his own questions about himself and the nature of his relationship. It’s funny, it’s deep and it’s nuanced.Read More