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The Opposite of Life

(The Vampires of Melbourne)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  34 reviews
‘I remember screaming very loudly. In TV shows that’s where the ad break comes in, while some ninny is screaming her head off. No ad breaks in life, though.’

Lissa Wilson has seen more than enough death in her family, so when people start being savagely killed whenever she has a night out in Melbourne with her beautiful new boyfriend, she’s determined to investigate and to
Paperback, 270 pages
Published 2007 by Pulp Fiction Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Start your review of The Opposite of Life (Geekvamp, #1)
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
Prepare to have all your favourite vampire myths debunked! In The Opposite of Life by Narrelle Harris, you’ll meet a plucky librarian, Lissa, and Gary, a vampire whose fashion sense goes no further than garish Hawaiian shirts.

Harris’s novel is set in Melbourne and it’s lovely to read her depiction of a town she obviously knows so well. The detail she includes about the Melbourne streets will appeal to Australian readers and particularly those from Melbourne, but I wondered if it would hold the s
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I keep saying, “No more vampire books!” But then I come across something interesting, and my protestations go out the window. And, in all fairness, vampire books seem to be everywhere I look.

I brought home this book and my husband said, “Vampires in Melbourne? Sounds lame.”

My first reaction was to be annoyed. Just because this book is set in Melbourne shouldn’t mean it’s instantly classified as lame! My second reaction was to feel guilty, because I’d thought exactly the same thing. In fact, that
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lissa Martin is an intelligent, sassy librarian living in Melbourne, Australia. After a break up with her boyfriend, her friend Evie takes her out clubbing. Lissa finds two dead women in the toilets, the room awash with their blood. Her nightmare is only just beginning, as it become apparent that there are vampires in Melbourne, and the body count is rising.

"The Opposite of Life" is a fantastic dark urban fantasy/horror novel from talented author Narrelle M. Harris.

The main character of Lissa is
Jane Routley
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An intelligent fascinating vampire thriller starring librarian Lissa and Gary who must be the worlds geekiest vampire. I really enjoyed this book and it made me think too.
Marian Weaver
Mar 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
No. Just ... no. Don't walk, run away from this one.

Apart from the author's apparent fascination with comparing vampires to chillies (I kid you not), there is nothing original, nothing even remotely interesting going on here. Socially awkward girl meets gorgeous Goth boy. GGB, against all odds, likes SAG. gets killed. SAG discovers - gasp! - that vampires are real and killing people. SAG meets Social Awkward Vampire Boy. Together, SAG and SAVB fight crime. The end.

Now, this is a debut novel, and
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
I was convinced to buy this by a persuasive bookseller at a sci-fi bookstore in Melbourne ("it's by a local author and it's actually good!"). I really enjoyed it - the Melbourne setting is very cool. Harris does good vampires - I really liked that drinking blood keeps their brains more active. I'd never really thought about it before, but duh, unless you're bringing magic into the equation, if your brain is dead how well is that really going to work?

Lissa, the main character, is excellent - I l
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The main character was intelligent, likeable and easy to relate too and the storyline had some interesting twists.

I love the fact that this book was set in Melbourne and how the author captured it so well!
Leanne ~ Tales From The Heart
Really enjoyed this book set in my hometown of Melbourne.
Kyla Ward
“Why not?” I leaned forward in the chair and he stepped backwards. “Because vampires are killing Goths all over Melbourne, and regular civvies shouldn't know about it? Well guess what, Gazza? There's blood and bodies everywhere, so there are cops everywhere, so it's too late to keep it quiet from the civvies. We're already hip deep in it.”

Lissa Wilson, a librarian in Melbourne city, knows she is close to the edge. The abyss that opened inside her upon the deaths of her sister and brother is neve
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Lissa and Gary are both likeable characters and I want to watch their friendship develop. The mystery element of the story was a little predictable but it unfolded well enough that I was willing to go along for the ride and to watch the detail of the unfolding.

It was lovely to read something set in Melbourne and to see clearly the location of events.

A couple of paragraphs felt awkward to me (one in particular did not gel with the character that had been built up to t
Jason Franks
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Opposite of Life is, in many ways, the opposite of modern vampire novels.

I don’t mean that it’s an old-fashioned vampire romp--there is nothing old-fashioned about it--but what I do mean is that this book does everything that that its contemporaries do not.

Narrelle Harris brings a fresh take on what a vampire is and how the 'rules’ to which they are subject work (or do not work)... but it’s really the characters that make this one such a ripper. There’s not a single character or relationship
Tsana Dolichva
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Opposite of Life by Narrelle M Harris is the author's first published novel starring Lissa and Gary. I recently reviewed its sequel, Walking Shadows. I have to warn you, this review is coming from the position of having read the second book first and I can't avoid comparing the two.

The Opposite of Life introduces Lissa and Gary and the vampires of Melbourne. It's a somewhat darker book than Walking Shadows. There's a lot more death in it — the story centres around a series of murders and Lis
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, there are three kinds of books: books I don’t like, books I like and books I like so much that I can’t wait to push them on my friends saying, “You HAVE to read this!” The Opposite of Life? Well, that goes in the last category. I’ve put off sending an overseas package because one of my friends has to read this book so I'm giving her a print copy.

I’m not usually a vampire novel kind of woman, but when a wonderfully sweet man sitting at the Pulp Fiction Press table at Conflux writers confe
Ju Transcendancing
It took a while for me to settle into reading this - while I can slip into reading about US cities I've never been to easily, and I can buy into why they seem familiar, the familiarity of the Melbourne setting here threw me at first. That's a good thing - it really *feels* like Melbourne and I just wasn't expecting that. 

I enjoyed the way in which Lissa and Gary came to hang out - although the whole  murder premise didn't quite work for me in the setup, I could ignore that because I liked the wo
Suzanne (Doppleganger)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish it were available in the US. I want to share it with all my reader friends but after paying for shipping from Australia, I'm not going to lend out my copy. They have to get their own. ;)

I love Lissa as a character. She reacts to vampy behavior less like the sterotypical vamp book heroine and much more like I could see myself reacting. If you've read it already go ahead and laugh, but yes I probably would do exactly what she did when threatened.

The vampire
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires, australiana
After reading so many vampire novels it's nice to see what an author can do that's new, without completely making them into parodies (yes, Stephenie Meyer I'm looking at you). The vampires in the Opposite of Life are still scary, still supernatural to an extent, but Harris gives a fresh take on *why* vampires need to drink blood.

I know Melbourne as a city very well, and the landmarks scattered throughout the book were a nice touch. I knew where they were but they weren't so specific as to be dis
Tamara Witika
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, library-book
Lissa is a normal Melbourne sheila. She has family dramas, a dickhead ex boyfriend, a part time job that barely covers the essentials, and hopes of it all improving. I wouldnʻt say that life improves much for her during the novel, but I think it changes and it changes her and her response to being alive. I really enjoyed my journey with her and getting to meet Gary, the shy nerd guy vampire. Great precursor to Walking Shadows, the 2nd title in this Melbourne based modern vampire series. Bring on ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed "The Opposite of Life" very much. It was a reasonably gentle yet gritty read which was engaging and interesting, with characters I could readily relate too; being set in familiar locations depicted very well appealed to me too. I found it a very satisfying read.

I liked the way the story unfolded, the message in the story and that the ending wasn't predictable. It's a book I recommend to my vampire story loving friends and anyone else who likes a good read.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-2012
I don't make a secret of the fact that I'm burned out on urban fantasy/paranormal romance.

This book, quite frankly, was a very pleasant surprise. It has its flaws - I don't completely buy into the protagonist's motivations, for instance, when she keeps flinging herself into trouble, but overall, it's just enjoyable enough that I can deal with that. Some good humour, good characters and a generally atmospheric setting.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
I have been reading this over a couple of months and probably haven't given it the attention it deserves. That said, I finished the last half, and must say, I really enjoyed it!

Her writing style reminds me faintly of Kerry Greenwood, and I loved all the little Melbourne references.

I look forward to reading the sequel!
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The heroine is tough, vulnerable, smart and brave. This takes 'dysfunctional family' in a most interesting direction. It is a vampire book, but unlike any other vampire book I've ever read. The most significant vampire character is kind of a nerd, and a nice guy. You might need to get it as a Kindle ebook in the States. ...more
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was very much looking forward to this book. A day later I am finished & whilst I enjoyed it, got a few laughs & admire Ms Harris' talent, I don't know why but I feel just slightly let down. Probably because it was so built up in my mind.
Either way, it was a very easy, entertaining read and I would recommend it for people who like vamps but don't necessarily want to read too much gore.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved the treatment of the undead in this book. The society was realistic and well thought out. I also loved the tone and the characterization.

I found the ending (the part with her mother) lacked the realistic characterization of the rest of the book and was a little over the top.
Lauren Mitchell
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
These vampires are the sort of desperate scary that really, really works for me. I love that it's set in Melbourne. I love that I could picture all these places in my head. I love all the things and I wish this review were more coherent. ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I received this novel as a birthday present and thoroughly enjoyed it! I hope that there will be more. It reminds me of a mix of Maeve Binchy and Kerry Greenwood with a supernatural twist. I love that the main character reminds me of my best friend, and the sister reminds me of mine.
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, read-2016
I wanted to like it. Really. But the mystery part was too obvious and I didn't care enough to finish it. Sorry. Melbourne's a great city. It's got a wonderful variety of sub-cultures especially Goths. I'm sure they're adorable. I just *really* didn't care about the main characters. ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Helen Patrice
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bought this cos Narrelle is a mate, started reading and thought 'oh, bloody hell, vampire fic.' But her style and voice kept me reading, and I LOVED it. A great new take that makes sense. ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun and quirky and Melbourne - great combo
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Fun easy read. Not too gruesome
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I grew up in a home bursting with books. My father was in the Royal Australian Air Force – we moved roughly every three years – and my parents were passionate advocates of reading and the importance of access to a library of ideas, no matter where we lived.

Between a childhood spent on the move yet steeped in literature, and a naturally dramatic personality, it’s no surprise I became a storyteller.

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The Vampires of Melbourne (2 books)
  • Walking Shadows (Geekvamp, #2)

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