"Much Ado About Vampires", by Katie MacAlister

Pros: Great interaction between characters, and a wonderful world-building concept.
Cons: It felt at times like I would have gotten more out of the story if I’d read the previous Ones novels.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Uncorrected proof courtesy of Penguin Group
Expected release date: October 4, 2011

 

Corazon Ferreira’s day is not going the way that she’d planned. A chance encounter while photographing a house for sale has left her transported to the Akasha, with no hope of getting home without finding some help. The only assistance she can find is that of Alec Darwin, vampire, and though she’s loath to accept his aid his knowledge would be of great help to her. Now he’s determined to protect her, and she’s determined that she’s not going to give into temptation. But for a woman who’s lived by her head for so long, it would be nice to listen to her heart for once…


 

Since I’ve read Katie MacAlister’s Steamed and have discovered just how much I love her humor, I’ve been hoping that another one of her books would find its way into my review pile. Sure enough, Much Ado About Vampires: A Dark Ones Novel didn’t disappoint! It’s always a joy to read a paranormal where the characters don’t take themselves too seriously, because it seems that more and more characters are becoming wrapped up in the darker aspects of paranormal. The best (and somewhat surprising) part is that Ms. MacAlister has mastered the delicate balance between humor and suspense; I never lost the momentum of the story because of a stray snarky comment.

I also appreciate the way that Ms. MacAlister worked so much background information into the story. Since this was the first Dark Ones novel that I’ve read, it was a treat to dive into the story this late in the series and feel like I understood at least ninety-five percent of everything that was going on. Ms. MacAlister included the context for this story as a prologue, and even includes the short story where Corazon and Alec first meet at the end of the book, giving the reader a very clear picture of these two and their story. The five percent that I felt was missing was, I think, due in a large part to the fact that I like to see how the whole world was built so that I can get a sense of how the events in the book will affect the world I’m reading about. If you’re not a reader who is greatly concerned about the ripples from the events in one book then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one just fine, but I wish I could have gotten a little more context for the significance of these events. That would have also allowed the plot to stand out more in comparison to the other paranormal novels that I’ve read.

With that being said, I cannot get enough of the warmth of Ms. MacAlister’s books. They’re the paranormal romance equivalent of soul food, deeply comforting because I can feel her love for her characters and their stories pouring off of the pages. Her sense of humor really can’t be beaten. I was nearly in tears before page 30, and there’s a Monty Python reference that simply cannot be missed. That same sense of playfulness also extends to her characters; these aren’t just characters that I enjoy reading about but also characters that I would love to meet in real life.

Ms. MacAlister’s books are enjoyable warm stories with a few good chuckles sprinkled in, and Much Ado About Vampires is no exception. If this is your first Dark Ones novel, then you may miss some of the nuances of events in the book but you’ll have no trouble following the threads of the plot. Readers who enjoy snarky vampires and feisty vampires will also find plenty to love here, and there are plenty of giggles to be had as well. I’m eagerly awaiting her next book!

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