Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Book Review: The Vampire Stalker, by Allison van Diepen

What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

--image and summary from Goodreads.com

The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen was not what I expected it to be. From the blurb on the back, I thought it would be a hilarious take on how rabid book fans can be, to the extent that their wild fantasies actually come to life. Having read the Twilight books, I was half-hoping for some witticims on the whole craze over vampires recently. Even looking at the cover, I thought it was trying to mock the seriousness of vampire novels.

I got a bit of that, but not nearly enough to placate me. Instead, the story was far more serious--Amy, the main protagonist, is struggling after her parents' divorce, what with her sister constantly pushing her away and her failed attempts at writing anything but fanfiction. Some of her issues drove really close to home for me, which is good in a sense but not what I was looking for from this book.

The characters were all rather flat. The book was so short that only Amy and her love interest, Alexander Banks, vampire slayer come to life out of one of Amy's favourite book series, are the only characters that really get showcased. Though Amy's younger sister does seem to have a bit of a character arc--perhaps even more so than the main characters. Amy's friends were cool and I would have loved to hang out with them, but they didn't jump out at me from the page. Even now I'm trying really hard to remember the names of the characters in this book, because their personalities were simply non-existent to me.

I think the main issue is that this book was simply too short and took itself too seriously for me to handle. It's not a bad book by any means, but the interesting ideas in it took a back seat to Amy and Alexander's budding romance, which tied up a little too neatly for me. The choice Alexander makes in the end would not have been so simple for real people, whose loves for love interest or family are often tangled together and of the same strength. Actually, I would have thought love for family, your own blood, would trump the attraction you feel to a girl you hardly know and have just met.

But perhaps that's me being nit-picky. I'm hardly one against happy endings, but I was just expecting so much more from this story that the big happy bow wrapped around it makes me want to act like a cat and tear it to shreds. If it had been a wee bit more witty and even darkly comedic (I just wanted to laugh, for goodness' sake!), I may have been more forgiving. But the blurb promised more than what I got, and, though that's not the author's fault by any means, it makes me wary to trust any book blurbs because you really have to wonder if those people actually read the book.

However, this book is light, sweet, and short enough for a summer beach read. So if that's your thing definitely check it out and decide for yourself. This is simply my opinion. :)


3 out of 5 stars!