Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Vampire General- Intern with the Vampire by Kit Iwasaki

Vampire General- Intern with the Vampire by Kit Iwasaki was described to me as 'True Blood Meets Scrubs' and I have to admit, I was intrigued. I purchased the book myself without even contacting the author about a review copy!

The book pretty much lives up to its promise---well-written, brisk-paced, very readable. A human doctor finds herself swept up into the world of the supernatural when a mysterious patient costs her her job, and she accepts his offer to go work at his hospital, which services the 'transhuman' population. The two cases she follows involve a mermaid and a man with 'zombie genes' who needs help reanimating safely.

The story itself was overall great fun, but I have two complaints. Firstly, it's super-short. The word count listed at Smashwords is a respectable 30,000 and change, but the description fails to mention that a full 10% of this is a different story by another author. Had I known that the actual story I was paying for was so brief, I would probably not have shelled out $1.99 for it.

The other complaint was the characters themselves. Even our heroine admits that her new co-workers are mean and unappealing. It's such a fascinating premise the author has set up here, it's a shame to soil it with such nasty people. They hate the heroine for no apparent reason, dismiss her legitimate questions, tell her they don't really care when she raises a genuine medical issue and in short have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I'm not quite sure why the author made this choice, either. There was plenty of danger, intrigue and romance just in the premise. Grey's Anatomy, but with vampires? Neato. So why did the author have to make all the characters so darned unlikeable?

I am giving this a 3.5/5 for clever concept and passable execution, but if it had been a little bit longer (or cheaper), and if the main characters had been in the slightest way appealing, this could have been an easy 5/5.

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