Welcome to my April Backlist Burndown review! Thanks to Lisa @ The Tenacious Reader, on the last Friday of each month we get to link up with other bloggers who are participating. The goal is to read a book from an author’s backlist that you’ve been meaning to read, but just haven’t been able to get to. I could honestly spend all my time reading backlist books, since I’m so behind, LOL! But trying for one a month is a good start.
This book is also part of my Women of Genre Fiction challenge, hosted by Worlds Without End.
This may not technically be considered a “backlist” book, but it is the first book in a series I haven’t started reading yet, not to mention it’s one I’ve had on my TBR pile for quite some time, so I decided this was a good excuse to finally read Generation V. I almost skipped it, though, because I’ve had a pretty tough April as far as blogging goes. I’ve been sick for almost two weeks, and then I lost an entire weekend due to my daughter’s choir competition out of town. So April’s been a big fail for me as far as getting review books read:-( And it took me A WEEK to read this book! Seriously. But in all fairness to myself, I have been very sick and tired and every time I try to read I start to fall asleep:-D
BUT I’m so glad I read it! What a fun start to a series I know I’ll keep up with.
Generation V (Generation V #1) by M.L. Brennan
Genre: Adult urban fantasy
Release date: May 2013
Source: Purchased paperback
The nitty-gritty: A kick-ass, hysterically funny story with a unique vampire mythos and the best dialogue I’ve read all year!
“Keep one thing in mind, Fortitude,” she hissed, low and dangerous. “I’m not some were-critter. I’m not a woman who can turn into a fox when she feels like it. I’m a fox who can become a woman. Try to remember that.”
After reading many glowing reviews of Generation V, I knew I could not miss out on this series, and now I’m wondering why I waited so long! M.L. Brennan has some of the best and funniest dialogue I’ve come across, and that’s saying something, because I’ve read several books with some pretty amazing dialogue in the past few months, and I think I even mentioned in my reviews that they were the best dialogue I’ve ever read. (I think I need to compile a top ten list of books with awesome dialogue!). So far, Brennan wins this prize, hands down. It takes a lot to get me to laugh out loud, and I spend a great deal of time doing just that while reading this book.
Aside from the snappy dialogue, however, Brennan has created a very cool world of vampires with some ideas that I’ve never run across before. Some of her world building is a bit on the complicated side, so I did have a few moments of trying to picture exactly how vampire hosts are made and how babies are conceived. Even now I’m not sure I understand exactly how that works, but who the hell cares? This story was so much fun, from the self-deprecating voice of Fort, our main character, to the flirty and vivacious Suzume the fox woman, to the scary and complex relationships between Fort and the members of his family.
Fortitude Scott is a twenty-six year old vampire who hasn’t actually become a full-fledged vampire yet. He lives with a deadbeat roommate named Larry, who refuses to pay his half of the rent, and he works in a dead-end job in a coffee-house. His “girlfriend” Beth is cheating on him with Larry, and to make things even worse, his family is highly disappointed in him because he hasn’t yet evolved into a true vampire. Life is pretty bad for Fort, but things are about to get even worse, when the body of a young girl turns up nearby, and Fort connects her to a visiting vampire friend of his mother’s. When another girl goes missing, Fort decides it’s up to him to try to find her, before any of his vampire acquaintances can get their hands on her. With the help of his new bodyguard Suzume, a shape-shifter that can turn into a fox, Fort sets out to do some sleuthing of his own.
What I loved about this book is that the vampire mythos that Brennan has created is so different from everything else I’ve read—and believe me, I’ve read lots of vampire stories—and I appreciated how she brought something new to the table. These vampires are not immortal, and they are not “made” by being bitten by another vampire, but rather they are incubated inside a “host” and born in the usual way, except that they’re fed blood in the womb. Also, it takes some time before a vampire transitions into a full-fledged vamp. Even at twenty-six, Fort still hasn’t done that, so it was interesting to see this “half” vampire who really struggled with his life. It’s a far cry from the supremely powerful beings that we’re familiar with in other stories in the genre.
I would have liked more world-building, however, because as I mentioned before, some of the details were hard to get a firm grasp on. But I’m sure with at least three more books in the series, Brennan will have plenty of time to fill in the details.
I did love Fort, our main vamp character, even when he seemed like a loser who could barely hold a job or a girlfriend. Once he meets Suzume, though, I liked him even more, because some of that loser personality disappeared. Suzume is now one of my top favorite female characters in genre fiction. She’s a fox that can turn into a woman, and I loved the way she tormented Fort by flirting with him. Some of their most wonderful scenes together—aside from the funny banter—were the times when Suzume slipped back into her fox persona and curled up in Fort’s arms, just like a cat. It was confusing in a way, because you can see the sparks flying between the two when she’s in her human form, but I loved those sweet moments. Brennan definitely taunts us with a possible future romance between the two, but luckily she doesn’t cross over that line in this book.
The action scenes were well written and had plenty of blood and guts to appease the horror lovers out there, but despite some very graphic moments, I still came away from reading Generation V with a smile on my face. I honestly can’t wait to start the next book, Iron Night. If you haven’t started this series yet, and you’re a fan of humorous urban fantasy, then what are you waiting for? Get a copy and get cracking!