Friday, February 20, 2009

Review of Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister
I have found, in my vast wisdom as romance reader extraordinaire, that Katie MacAlister is somewhat inconsistent with her books.  Some of her stories are brilliant (Noble Intentions), some are not (Men in Kilts). Her light paranormals (the Aisling Grey Guardian series, Silver Dragon series, etc) are usually fun reads.  However, she is one of those authors who adores (1) first person narrative,  (2) irritating heroines, and (3) paranormal scenarios where the heroine has not a clue about what's going on and has a steep on the job learning curve.  I have a bit of a problem with irritating first person heroines who are clueless.  That being said, I have often enjoyed her stories, particularly the Silver Dragon series.  I grabbed a copy of Zen and the Art of Vampires at the airport recently, and proceeded to read the entire book on my flight (have I mentioned I'm a fast reader?).  I really enjoyed A Girl's Guide to Vampires and thought I would find this book entertaining.  I was disappointed for a variety of reasons.  In addition to being a clueless heroine, Pia Thomason sleeps with one vampire at the beginning of the story, and then sleeps with another (her true mate, and the coolest guy in the book) later on.  I don't mind "off-stage" prior relationships but dealing with 2 in one book made me somewhat uncomfortable in addition to making the heroine look wishy washy.  Also, the cool vampire (Kristoff) and Pia do not resolve their troubled relationship at the end of this book, clearing the way for a sequel, but potentially leaving the reader feeling a bit irked. (Yes, I felt irked, although I am totally digging Kristoff).  The cutest part of this book is the hodge podge group of ghosts that Pia must take care of, which gives MacAlister's quirky sense of humor a chance to shine.  Kristoff is a very intriguing character, and for this reason alone I will probably read the next book in the series.  Zen and the Art of Vampires is not MacAlister's best effort, but I'm hoping that Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang (which comes out in May 2009) will be worth the wait. Grade: B-
Pondering the future, Penelope