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2.22.2011

Review: American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout

American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witchcraft
Book Size
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (336 pages, MIRA)
Ebook $6.99

Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all.
Jessa's the only one to even remotely trust him, and she's desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there's a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard to come by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa’s only hope for salvation.
Even if she has to die first...

Author Site: www.jenniferarmintrout.com

Love It Because It's NOT The Usual (5 stars)

En route to his sire's Independence Day bash in Washington, D.C., Graf McDonald finds himself with a broken GPS and not a lot of patience for his situation. He's a vampire and quite happy with it. If only it would have given him an inner sense of direction so he could get back on track. Deciding to stop at a closed gas station to steal a map he discovers a frightened young woman who might be crazy. Until the monster she's hiding from rears its ugly head and chases the two.

Happy to get back on his way and leave the young lady to her plight Graf discovers that he can't leave. Ending up right back where he started Graf has to rely on Jessa, who sure as heck doesn't want the responsibility of a stranger in a town that hasn't seen a newcomer in five years. She's a smart girl stuck in a town full of small minded folks and an ex-boyfriend she can't seem to shake her feelings for. Supplies are slim, a monster that could attack at any time and people disappearing make for one high tension situation to throw a hungry vampire into the midst of. If they can just figure out how Graf got in, maybe they can figure out how to get out.

Everything I loved about this book is probably stuff other readers will hate. Graf, to start off, is a jerk. Plain and simple. He turns the brooding vampire trope on its head and shakes it for the change in its pockets. He's happy as a vampire. There's no apologizing for what he is or whining about his lost humanity and I loved it! It was a refreshing change even though I like broody bad-boy types too. Jessa was also easy to like. She sticks up for herself and takes care of herself, her independent spirit earned high marks in my book. Her only real weakness was her annoying obsession with her terrible ex-boyfriend. I didn't get her thing with him based on his personality so I had to assume he wasn't always like that or she was darned naive when she first started dating him.

The monster and town trapped by it plotline was certainly an unusual choice for a paranormal romance. I really enjoyed it though. That extra bit of tension, worrying that at any moment "It", as they call the monster, was going to come raging in added an urgency to it that kept me reading when the romance wasn't. The townspeople were definitely cliched and a little bit hillbilly in their closed-mindedness but for this story it worked. The whole "grab your pitchforks and torches" mentality they had added another dimension to the already nailbiting nervousness of the story.

Overall, I do think purist paranormal romance fans should skip this one. The romance is not the core of this book and while I did enjoy it myself it could have been a little less rushed. If you're more of an urban fantasy reader or love monster-terrorizing-small-town movies you're more likely to like this one. I loved it because it was very different from most of its genre mates I've read. This was my second book by Armintrout and I hated the other so this says something for her versatility as an author.

Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Dirty Sexy Books
Rabid Reads


Notes: Received ARC via Netgalley.

3 comments:

Peep said...

Thanks for the review. I actually tried to read this one but couldn't get into it. I thought it was just me. I like how you point out that most pnr purists (hahaha) wouldn't like this. Maybe that's what happened to me? I just couldn't muster up any like for the lead guy. But it could have been the mood I was in when I started it. I think I will give it another try because I really want to see how it works out with the town.

Rhianna said...

Ya know it happens sometimes. not every hero and every romance is gonna work for every reader. Timing is a definite factor too. If I'm not in the mood for smutty romance the sex scenes will totally turn me off. Same with certain "races" (ie. vampires, werewolves). Sometimes you're ready for a book and sometimes you're just not.

American Vampire just isn't your typical vampire romance. If I'd been editing or marketing it I'd have encouraged it to be amped into more of an urban fantasy with romance just because I think it was a stronger story in that regard but I liked it as a PNR too.

thanks for the comment Peep! :)

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

Great review!!!

I did enjoy this one (posted my review yday), but the rushed romance bothered me =/

I did really enjoy the rest of the plot though!!! =D

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