Jessica's Reviews > The Accidental Vampire

The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands
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's review
Jan 15, 2010

did not like it

Oh boy, oh boy. My first real paranormal romance -- not YA, not vampire hunting with a side of relationship, but an honest-to-goodness real-live romance novel. I read it on the way to Chicago.

Ah, the eternal question: where the [insert expletive of choice:] are the editors?

I spend a lot of time wondering this. I see movies like, for example, The Da Vinci Code, and am astonished that apparently, in every single stage of production, everyone involved failed to notice -- and remark upon -- the fact that "This can't be this -- the fleur de lis!" is not a line that should have ever been written, let alone spoken on screen. Honestly, people, you all failed. What scriptwriter thought this was a good line? Why didn't the editor smack some sense into him? Didn't Tom Hanks notice that this tortured syntax was awkward to say, not to mention an untenable abuse of the English language, when he had to wrap his tongue around it? Why was the director okay with it? Didn't anyone notice that no one @(*#%^ing talks like that!?

Getting back to novels, I may blink at one or two grammatical mistakes or run-on sentences or really, really lousy pieces of dialogue, but I accept that even the best authors occasionally have brain blips and even the best editors can't catch everything.

But when it happens on practically every page, I start to get annoyed.

THE ACCIDENTAL VAMPIRE had what sounded like a cute premise: Elvi Black doesn't know how she became a vampire, and since she's taking her cues from Dracula, she's getting a lot of it wrong. When her best friend sneaks a personal ad for Elvi into the paper, the novice neckbiter meets up with Victor, an ancient vamp who will -- oh, never mind, I'm just going to quote the back of the book here, because this sort of campy goodness really should be shared:


I figured, oh hey! Humor! They're not taking themselves too seriously! This can't be that excruciating!

Le sigh.

Elvi is an idiot. She goes five years without food (although not without blood, obviously) because vampires in movies don't eat. It never occurs to her to try it and see what happens. She gets rid of all the mirrors, despite the fact that she can see herself in them, because vampires don't have reflections. And the townspeople for whom she's a mascot of sorts are just as stupid as she is.

It wasn't funny; it wasn't even cute. It was just painfully, painfully stupid.

Along come her prospective beaux, all of whom are fine hunky males of the bloodsucking persuasion. And that was when I realized:

Holy crap, this really is porn for middle-aged women.

Not just sexual porn (although there's plenty of that sort of thing going on as well) but emotional porn. When the other vampires inform her that yes, she can actually eat, Elvi runs out immediately to the grocery store and is escorted by all the men, who enable her lack of impulse control enthusiastically. When she's laid up, they all bake for her. Everything she does, no matter how mundane or how careless, is fascinating to them.

They're not even romantic -- just slavish.

Then there's the explanation for vampirism. Vampires are from Atlantis, and they have things in their blood called "nanos" which keep them ever-young, but are fueled by blood.

Apparently, for all their highly advanced technology, these Atlantean fraktards weren't creative enough to figure out what came after their dangling prefix. Seriously, guys, nano-whats!?

The author spent a lot of time repeating herself, verbatim, sometimes within the same paragraph, all of which made it really hard to finish the book. I rarely ever skim a text rather than actually reading it, but at some points I had to or I wouldn't have been able to finish it.

She also goes to great lengths to emphasize that Elvi and her best friend Mabel are older women (in their sixties). How enlightened! Except it makes it that much harder to forgive the characters for having the reasoning powers of a developmentally disabled toddler. For most of the book, someone is trying to kill Elvi. Oh, the suspense! SPOILER: It's her neighbor and friend, whose son is wearing pale makeup and fake fangs. The neighbor learned from watching Dracula that the only way to cure vampirism is to kill the vampire who bit the kid. So they go through elaborate assassination attempts (despite the fact that they really like Elvi and don't object to her being a vampire) without ever bothering to notice that their son's pallor rubs off on his clothing.

Most of the suspense for me came from wondering who was putting the Stupid Juice in the town's water supply, but alas, that mystery was never resolved.

Oh, and as contrived and sappy as you can imagine the denouement being? Triple it.

I don't understand. There's just no reason for it to be this bad. Does anyone actually enjoy this sort of bad writing? I mean, I feel like you could have the domestic-man-porn and the sex and the vampirism and still have something that's not so frustrating to read. Sure, you're going to feel a little silly for reading it, but it shouldn't be this headache-inducing.
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Reading Progress

08/10 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Theresa I'm so glad I'm not the only one who felt that way. Going through all the 4-star ratings was making me lose my faith in humanity.

Jessica To each their own, I guess, but YES. I keep wondering whether I somehow got the pre-edited edition.

Theresa OMG is that how it ends? I couldn't stand to keep reading anymore so I didn't get there. I mean, usually these books are at least good for the sex scenes, but this one just wasn't so I just couldn't handle more.

That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

The biggest tragedy of this book is that the whole Atlantean nanobots thing is actually kind of interesting and could have been really cool. Except for how the book was so terrible and stupid as to taint the one interesting idea.

... and it was a better book than Twilight but I can forgive Twilight something for the age group it was written for.

Ccmagee The other books in the series are better. but, had I read this one first I don't think I would have read any of the other ones. I ended up skipping to the last two chapters just to find out how it ends I just couldn't get into this one.

message 5: by Stephanie (last edited Sep 29, 2010 08:25AM) (new)

Stephanie I have read the first 6 books and they did get better as I kept reading, but when I started this one well now I am wondering how I will ever get that hour back...

Sammy Loves Books BRAVO!! Your review reflected all of my thoughts, but I refused to put enough time in writing a review to express my disdain for this book. Thank you for expressing my feelings so perfectly!!!

message 7: by Sa (new)

Sa FATE GAVE HER FANGS. HE'LL SHOW HER HOW TO USE THEM. -->That should've warned you about what to expect.*grins*

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