I'm on a roll! Well, it's easy to be on a roll when you're on Christmas break. I went ahead and picked up The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer because Katherine (my equally vampire addicted daughter) wanted me to read it so she could get to it. As it turns out, it's a gem of a book that takes on the young adult vampire genre very well. I'm looking forward to the next two in the series. Fun, fun, fun.
Amazon review copied below to give you a fuller view of the book.
With the glut of young adult vampire novels available today, I am usually hopeful that when I pick up a new one, it's going to be well written and at the very least, fun. Hopeful, but cautious; many times authors tend to jump on the bandwagon of the moment without regard for the nuances and flavor that created the sensation in the first place. Luckily for me (and the legions of other vampire addicts out there), The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod lives up to the hype and kept me thoroughly entertained throughout.
Vlad Tod is in eighth grade, which would be bad enough for an awkward adolescent if he wasn't also a vampire. Since Vlad's parents died, he has lived with his "aunt" Nelly, who is able to keep him supplied in blood through her job as a nurse. The only other person who knows of Vlad's condition is his best friend Henry; otherwise, most of Vlad's problems are of the every day middle school variety: being picked on by the school bullies, loving a girl from afar, and getting homework done. But things quickly change when a new substitute takes over when one of Vlad's favorite teachers goes missing; this sub seems to somehow know more about Vlad than he should, and Vlad finds this very unsettling. With the discovery of his father's diary, Vlad realizes his being a vampire is going to be darker and more dangerous than he'd known.
Vlad is a typical 8th grader, and that's one of the things that makes this book so engaging. While Vlad has a special "condition", he is also just worried about the regular things an adolescent would be. Vlad's relationship with Henry is entirely believable and funny, and his wistful longing for the beautiful Meredith is familiar territory for most young adults.
Ms. Brewer hits just the right balance of humor and suspense throughout the novel, and she spends the correct amount of time building tension and creating possibilities. The chapters that focus on the victims of the "bad" vampire are darkly written and chilling. While I found the climax a bit unrealistically lucky for Vlad, I can truthfully say that I am looking forward to reading more in this series. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is great fun as well as entertaining, and a welcome addition to the young adult vampiric genre.