Tuesday 25 September 2012

[Book Review] Crooked Fang

I've featured a lot of Crooked Fang on my blog over the past few months, including a guest post from the very delicious Carrie Clevenger about turning blog serials into novels. It's now my very good honour to feature a review of the book itself! Enjoy...

Oh yay, another vampire, I hear you cry. Stop right there. Forget for a moment that Twilight ever existed, and give Crooked Fang a go. Why? Because sometimes you can almost forget that CF's hero, Xan Marcelles, is even a vampire. I prefer to think of him as a grumpy, whisky-drinking, chain-smoking bassist who's going to live for a really, really long time.

Basically, Xan lives in a bar named Pale Rider in Pinecliffe, Colorado. He does odd jobs and plays bass in his band, Crooked Fang. It's pretty clear he'd be happy with his quiet existence, not bothering anyone as long as they don't bother him, except real life has a way of intruding into his private world. If he's not dealing with abusive boyfriends or singers prone to tantrums, he's being dragged back to his old stamping ground, New Mexico, to track down an errant vampire. Yes, Xan hunts other vampires, and he's very good at it. This is not just any vampire, but rather a Nesferata, and it's an inventive touch that almost raises the possibility of racism among the vampires themselves. It's not just "humans" vs "vampires" - oh no, it's every bloodsucker for him/herself.

I followed Crooked Fang back when it was a blog serial, and I was excited to finally have a paperback copy in my hands. The gorgeous presentation aside, it's just one of those novels that you can actually describe as 'gripping'. I've never been a big fan of vampires so it stands testament to Carrie Clevenger's storytelling skills that I am a HUGE fan of Xan Marcelles. He's an incredibly likeable and plausible hero, carrying with him that 'reluctant hero' air that makes the likes of Snake Plisskin so cool. Xan also has an incredibly strong voice, so the book often feels like you're sat at the back of Pale Rider, and he's telling it to you over a drink. Clevenger pulls off the difficult task of making it feel like Xan's simply dictated the story to her, and I couldn't NOT fall for him a tiny bit. The secondary characters are also incredibly strong as Clevenger creates plausible characters that you either love or loathe, and I particularly love the banter with his friend, Scott.

I actually can't recommend Crooked Fang enough and I can't wait for the sequel to drop!

Five blunt pencils out of five!

You can buy Crooked Fang for the Kindle from Amazon, or buy the paperback from Createspace.


Helen A. Howell said...

Nice review, with all the good reviews this book is getting, I think I should get me a copy! ^__^

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