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October Releases

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review: Staked (Void City #1) by J. F. Lewis


UNREPENTANT. UNIMPRESSED. AND TOTALLY UNDEAD.


Eric's got issues. He has short-term and long-term memory problems; he can't remember who he ate for dinner yesterday, much less how he became a vampire in the first place. His best friend, Roger, is souring on the strip club he and Eric own together. And his girlfriend, Tabitha, keeps pressuring him to turn her so she can join him in undeath. It's almost enough to put a Vlad off his appetite. Almost.

Eric tries to solve one problem, only to create another: he turns Tabitha into a vampire, but finds that once he does, his desire for her fades -- and her younger sister, Rachel, sure is cute. And when he kills a werewolf in self-defense, things really get out of hand. Now a pack of born-again lycanthropes is out for holy retribution, while Tabitha and Rachel have their own agendas -- which may or may not include helping Eric stay in one piece.

All Eric wants to do is run his strip club, drink a little blood, and be left alone. Instead, he must survive car crashes, enchanted bullets, sunlight, sex magic, and werewolves on ice -- not to mention his own nasty temper and forgetfulness.

Because being undead isn't easy, but it sure beats the alternative.


     It has taken me a few days to get to this, but finally, my review is here. I must say, Lewis debut is why he has made it on my favorite authors list. But even so, there were some things in this book that sort of annoyed me to the point that I wanted to start smacking some sense into people. Not Lewis mind you, although I don't think he would mind, given this book, he seems sort of kinky. 
     This book throws you right into the action, which I love. We are introduced to the main vampire named Eric. I love Eric just due to the fact that he has this won't-take-any-bullshit attitude. We instantly find out that Eric seems to have some issues with his memories. There is a dead vampire next to him in a filthy alley, he killed him, but has no idea how. In that same filthy alley, Eric is stalked by a werewolf who pretends to be a bum. They fight and it was dirty and graphic and I loved it. This pretty much sets the mood of this book.
     After being saved and barely making it out alive from the rising sun, Eric goes back to the strip club he owns, The Demon Heart (great name) and this is where we meet the main female of the book. His girlfriend (aka warm sex toy), Tabitha, is head over heels for Eric. But we know Eric doesn't really feel the same way, not only due to the fact that he is a jerk, but the only woman he has ever loved, Marilyn, never wanted to become a vampire. Nonetheless, Tabitha begs him to turn her and he does it as a way to let her go. This is where plenty of bullshit ensues. I mean like the good oh my God I can't believe that happened bullshit, not the bad bullshit. That makes sense, right?
    We are introduced to Talbot who is a sexy werecat (I think he is, we are never told) and he is the one who helps Tabitha, not Eric. Eric is off trying to save his ass and screwing Tabitha's barely legal sister, Rachel.  Eric is in hot water, but ends up in hotter water when he finds out he killed the packmaster's son (alley bum).  I loved how the werewolves were like God's warriors. They are out to destroy vampires at all costs. It is nice and different. But we see that they end up fighting for the same cause over time. I believe this is partially because no one can kill Eric. He is a Vlad. An actual, real immortal vampire. He is impossible to kill, he just regenerates. It is nice to read a book that has immortality correct. Immortality just doesn't mean living forever especially if a simple stab to the heart is all it takes to put you down for good. I don't know, maybe it is just me.
     I absolutely loved this book. It is a great urban fantasy, that is written by a man. That alone is enough for me to buy it because it is so rare, well at least it seems that way. This book was very action packed and gory. It really took me back to the beginning of the Anita Blake series, just a little more macho. I loved that it sticks to the original myths about vampires. It is sort of old school, which makes it more enjoyable.
   With that being said,  I did have a few problems though.
1) Well this isn't much a problem, but it is something that I would have liked. I wish Talbot had a bigger part. He was very mysterious throughout and that only peeked my interest more in him. It would have been nice to see him have a little story.

2) The cover. I know, nitpicky, but still. A cover tells you a part of the story inside. The cover as seen above is misleading. It shouldn't be Tabitha on the front cover. It should be Eric. He is the main character. Most of the chapters are about him. It starts with him and it ends with him. Also the gun she is holding she actually can't hold. The gun can only be held by Eric because it was made for him. So the real cover to stick to should be the one below. Eric looks a tad bit older than I imagined (he "died" when he was 30) and still doesn't seem to be the dominant focus, but it still makes more sense than the one at the top of this post.


3) I loved Eric, he is probably one of the coolest vampires ever. But he is a guy which means he is "man-stupid*" (Thank you Adrian Phoenix, I will start using that). You know he is a good guy. Deep, deep, deep down he is a good guy. He has a brain, he is not stupid as far as the real world goes, but where common sense is concerned, he is a dumbass. He is sleeping with Tabitha's sister. To make that situation worse, he knows there is something off about her, he admits it to himself. But being that he is a guy, his blood is elsewhere. He cares for Tabitha, but does seem to love her in a warped sort of way, but he doesn't try to work with her on it, instead he wants their relationship open. Then there is the stuff about who it is that is actually setting him up, he tries not to think about it because he knows it is as bad as it seems.

4) The character of Tabitha herself. Don't get me wrong, I like her, I just can't respect her. The reason I love Urban Fantasy is because the lead characters are a force to be reckoned with. I love stories about strong, female leads who will do anything to protect people especially those she loves. Tabitha is not that character. She wants to be turned into a vampire for the wrong reasons (well, in retrospect, I am not sure there are right ones). She says it is because she loves him, but she is so selfish, she doesn't take the time to figure what he really wants. Tabitha doesn't fight for him anywhere in this book, instead, she is a doormat. She would be his puppet if that means she can stick with him. I wanted to punch the hell out of her because of what happened in the end. If she actually grew a pair of lady balls, it probably would have ended differently. I mean I didn't expect her to become a instant badass overnight, but she didn't even try to be a badass. She never tries to get to know him outside of the bedroom. I am hoping the further I go she learns to pull her head out of her ass, but for now, she needs sense slapped into her.

    Overall, this book was just fun to read. Again, the fact that it was written by a man really gives you perspective. It is a book that I believe women will enjoy and men would love. Lots of violence with actual mean and scary ass vampires. If you are a fan of Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series (review for Already Dead posted HERE ) then you will love this. It was an adrenaline rush for me. I wish vampires movies would be done more like this. I liked all the characters, no matter their faults This book has some dark humor to it which I will always love. So if you are someone who wants to like vampires and breaks out in hives at the mention of Twilight (BOOOOOO!), then get your hands on this. It will be one hell of a read.


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Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D