New vamp tale
Author: Meg Cabot Publisher: William Morrow, 464 pages TROUBLE is brewing in the Big Apple, and Meena Harper is at the heart of it. Barely making ends meet as a writer for a soap opera called Insatiable, Meena is told that her show is going in a new direction. To satisfy pop culture demands and compete with a rival soap, she is forced to create a story-line where vampires reign in “the cult of monster misogyny”.
Meena is no stranger to the paranormal. She has the gift of precognition and can sense when and how someone will die. Although it has saved her loved ones on more than one occasion, it is an ability that has cursed her throughout her life.
When women start showing up dead and drained of blood in New York, the mysterious Romanian Prince Lucien Antonescu arrives to investigate the killings. Lucien must find the killer before the humans discover that real vampires are walking among them.
After saving Meena from a swarm of bats, Lucien is intrigued that he can’t easily read this mortal’s mind. And when their paths cross again, he decides to make Meena his minion.
In true Van Helsing style, Alaric Wulf, a sword-wielding warrior with the Vatican’s Palatine Guard, is determined to destroy all vampires, especially the dark prince. And when Alaric holds Meena captive, he becomes attracted to her.
Meg Cabot, author of the popular young adult series Princess Diaries, renders an alluring adult novel with a love triangle that will entice fans of the vampire-romance genre.
Cabot also provides a colourful array of characters, including Jonathan Harper, Meena’s mooch brother who dreams of becoming a member of the Palatine Guard; her eccentric neighbour Mary Lou – she’s a vampire, too, because it is, after all, the in thing to be in fiction nowadays thanks to real life TV series like True Blood and the Vampire Diaries – and Meena’s Pomeranian-chow mix named Jack Bauer, who can scent vampires.
Bram Stoker fans will notice few similarities from the clas-classic tale, but in this modern urban version, Cabot recasts the vampire prince as a flawed romantic hero while leaving the villainous role to another.
Although no sequel to Insatiable is currently planned, Cabot leaves some doors – and windows – open for future visits from the dark prince. – AP