Hello, February. Thus begins our brief infatuation with blood-soaked love. I will freely admit that I will give just about anything literary a try. I will read absolute crap just so I know what’s up. Most of the time I can stumble and shove my way through bad stories with a “that was ok” attitude. And then sometimes I’m wrong and it really is that bad. But what I really love is finding a story that I think is going to be hokey beyond belief and I find massive amounts of entertainment in.
For me, the most important thing in a fictional story is either to be entertained or intrigued. I like my serious commentary on the human condition writers, but sometimes my brain hurts and I just want pure cheesecake fluff that allows me to just be entertained. My two favorite genres for entertainment are Romance and Horror. That’s right, I’m a romantic. And as a fan of both I can honestly say that the market is overly saturated with vampire romance (which I will discuss more in-depth in a later post). The reason I mention this is that a lot of the vampire romance out there is complete and utter shit. Just horrible, horrible writing. Keeping this in mind, I was hesitant to pick up a Katie MacAlister book. With titles such as Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang and Sex, Lies, & Vampires you get the impression that this chick doesn’t take horror seriously. And thank God! She doesn’t!
MacAlister is the type of author that is a true entertainer. She writes wholly for the enjoyment of the story, not to convey a superior message or make us address the darkest thoughts of our own lives. And for this I thank her. With a tongue-in-cheek approach to horror she gives us a no-commitment romp through romance, vampires, damned souls, demons, dragons, saucy women, and completely off the wall silly situations, yet still maintains the creepy, paranormal bend you would expect from a horror writer. MacAlister writes vampire romance for the every woman.
Her heroines are normal people. They tend to fit outside the norm of what people expect from a vampire novel heroine. They’re tall, strong women with smart mouths and even smarter brains. No wilting flowers here. One of my biggest gripes with romance novels is the whole “bosom clutcher” mentality. “Oh no! Something is amiss, I’m going to clutch my ripped bodice to my bosom and wish for a handsome man to save me!” No, thank you. MacAlister’s women takes vamps by the fangs and go full bore. This is what being a smartass chick should be like: sassy, strong, and smart as hell. While her vampires are a bit soft for my tastes, they still
exhibit the traits I require; seductive, deadly, and most of all, not defanged. These guys are in the “Tortured Soul” department of vampirism. And while they run the risk of getting dangerously close to becoming emopires, they stay on the right side of things.
The Dark Ones series of books encompasses 12 short stories and novels following around all manner of vampires. MacAlister also writes several series of paranormal, mystery romances involving dragons, steam punk, black magic, and all manner of occultism through her usual wit, ridiculous humor, and flow. She’s funny AND creepy!
As a word of caution though, MacAlister is cheestacular. I mean positively silly cheesy. She is completely goofy in some scenes and serious in the next. Sure, there’s violence and mystery and super steamy sex, but it lacks the edge required for good horror consideration. If anything, it’s fun, light-hearted, and completely irreverent to seriousness. And sometimes that’s exactly what I need.