Author: Nancy A Collins
Series: Vamps #1
Published: 1st August 2008
Length: 222 pages
Warnings: sex, drink references, violence, romance
Other info: The other two in the series are called Night Life and After Dark. Nancy A Collins has also written the Sonja Blue series, starting with Sunglasses after DarkSummary : When the sun goes down, New York's true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.
Bathory's reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn't want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.
Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.
Review: Lililith Todd is the daughter of Victor, a rich, influential Old Blood vampire. As a result, she is a "not very civil individual" (Credit to Iza for that nice way of putting it). At Bathory Academy, she is adored/hated in the way that not very civil individuals are. Enter Cally Monture, Newblood, powerful stormgatherer, and general rival to Lililith. Then various things happen, and the whole book is basically the rivalry between the two, with their backstories, family troubles, friendships and the obligatory forbidden romance on the side.
The characters had very clear personalities and were easy to imagine and distinguish, apart from the identical twins, which you always mix up in everything anyway. However they did seem very cliched: you have the girl who rules the school, her boyfriend, her friendship group that breaks up to join the down to earth new girl, her new loving boyfriend and her friends who stick with her. Lililith was generally unlikeable, and seeing her group fall apart was very satisfying to see unfold. Cally is very nice, but everything she does is stereotypical and therefore boring.
For example, you get Cally and Peter. Peter Van Helsing. Some of you may know the name Van Helsing as being that of a stereotypical vampire hunter (Blame Dracula). But yes, Cally falls in love with the person who is supposed to be shoving a stake through her heart and removing her head. Not my kind of thing. And then there's Lililith and Jules, which is based purely on the fact that due to family contracts, she will marry him. And arranged marriages don't really count.
The writing was a little bland; general third person, nothing to make it stand out, no distinguishing features, but not completely terrible. The world building was very good, explaining fully how the vampires could basically hide in plain sight. The spin on vampires as being mainly rich members of society isn't too original, but the way Collins put these rich vampires in modern day America instead of Victorian England was different and worked well.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a vampire story that fans of chic lit will enjoy. Those looking for bloodthirstier vampires will have to go elsewhere.
Parajunkee's Vampire Challenge #9