J.F. Lewis

Pocket Books
Trade Paperback/370 pages
ISBN: 1-4165-4780-0
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"…living forever is not so great."

Staked is J.F. Lewis’ first novel. He takes more than his share of literary license with vampire and werewolf lore. Anyone raised on Dracula and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer will be amazed with the bizarre things that Lewis writes about that have no basis in the traditional vampire mythology.

The main vampire character, Eric, has only been a vampire forty years. Because he was embalmed before he turned, he has memory and blackout problems. He doesn’t know how he became a vampire and generally hates being a vampire and the entire vampire nation.

He owns a strip club with his best friend, Roger, in a town that is run by a vampire cartel. They’ve enchanted the human population so that they don’t remember when they see weird things, thus allowing both vampires and werewolves a steady diet. If a human wants to prolong his life, he becomes aligned with a vampire in various vassal-like categories.

Lately however, Roger is acting hostile and there are repeated attempts on Eric’s life. After being implicated in the murder of an alpha-werewolf’s son — an event which Eric can’t remember — packs of werewolves ambush him almost every time he goes outside. Add to these problems his constant female difficulties, and Eric is beginning to feel that living forever is not so great.

There is little description even of the battle or killing sprees. Alternating viewpoint chapters between Eric and Tabitha, his girlfriend that he recently turned, slows the story’s pace. The advancing story is stopped by inserting a chapter to tell how Tabitha is adjusting to being undead.

The humor is very dark. While there is some introspection, most of the story is moved by dialogue, and the action-oriented claim falls short in execution.

Reviewer: Denis Lowe