well, the good news is - the migraine is gone - yay! the bad news is, i went to bed last night instead of doing the Wii like i should have. oh, well. tonight, Wii night.
now, back to the main reason for this post, which is the book in my header there. when i was at libertycon, Virgil Fuqua, gallent man that he is, gave me this book to read after i exhibited my curiosity. he said that he was sucked in pretty quick, and that his only condition on letting me have it was that i had to post my opinions to the bar forums when i finished it. i love barflies sometimes. :-D
so... here's the review.
first, to sum up: this story is a first person present-tense narrative told from the point of Jace Valchek, a criminal profiler in our world, who is pulled into a parallel universe. in our world, vampires and lycanthropy are myths and tales told and re-invented and enjoyed. in the parallel universe, not only are vampires and werewolves real, they make up the majority of the world's population, with humans numbering only about 1 million strong. lycanthropy and vampiry are both viruses, but they are antagonistic to each other - vamps and weres can't turn each other, only a human that hasn't already been infected.
the vampire virus gives immortality and strength, but also turns the person sun-sensitive, sterile, and into a blood-drinker. the lycanthropy virus allows the person to be turn furry whenever they want to, and again, provides great strength, still allows them to be fertile, but they can die of old age. one thing both viruses do is to effectively remove insanity, even the potential for it, from the hosts. so no van goghs, but no marylin mansons, either. of course, magic works in this universe.
now here's the catch: this universe's NSA is trying to catch a killer... in fact, it seems to be an insane serial killer. because they have no experience with this sort of thing, they need the help of someone who does. this is where Jace Valchek comes in, and the story that unfolds is pretty much a standard detective novel with vampires, werewolves, magic.
but it's not so standard. this is the first time i've ever read a present-tense novel, and i think what makes it is the first-person. i don't think i could have stood it if it was 3rd-person. but because of this POV, we get to see Jace, who is a strong, competent heroine with believable faults, have the lovely angsty struggle of getting used to her new environs. her coping mechanism is in the form of biting sarcasm, which doesn't always stand her in good stead, but is hilariously funny. and as she gets further into her case, she has to cope with what this world did to it's human beings, which understandably leaves her somewhat unsure of who or what to trust.
i totally loved this book. i was interested for the normal reasons - vampires and werewolves and magic! - but the writing is stellar, and the characterizations are great. and you really, really won't want to put it down. i know i didn't. i can highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't have macguffin issues with the whole being pulled into a parallel universe thing. and i do. it's really a rather refreshing look at this sort of thing, and the sequal - which isn't written entirely yet, darnit! - is on my to-buy list without a doubt.