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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bite Me, Try Me, Fang Me by Parker Blue

Bite Me, Try Me, Fang Me by Parker Blue
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (300 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3 books
Reviewed by Water Lily

The vampires want it. The demons want it too. And someone is willing to kill Val for it.

Val and Fang have to find the powerful Encyclopedia Magicka before either of San Antonio's warring underworld factions locate it, or the consequences will be deadly for the entire city.

As usual, Val's vampire enemies (they still call her The Slayer,) want her dead, and even some of her fellow demons may be less than trustworthy, since they'd like to grab the legendary book of spells before she does. Val has a personal claim to the Encyclopedia--her demon father left it to her when he died--but someone stole it recently. Where did the thief hide it?

Battling vamps and dodging demons, Val struggles to unravel the mystery. At the same time, she's fighting her attraction to sweet, sexy Shade, her favorite incubus. Rumor has it that Val will lose her half-demon, vampire-fighting powers if she gives herself to him.

With a crowd of vamps and demons out to trick her or kill her, it's not a good time for her to risk her job as the city's best vampire hunter by falling in love. The stakes are high--and aimed right at her heart. But Lola, Val's hungry little lust demon, doesn't like being denied. Will Lola finally get her way?

Bite Me, Try Me, and Fang Me are not your average demon vs vampire vs vampire slayer books. They’re more chick-lit than edgy paranormal. The emphasis is on the main character’s feelings and thoughts rather than a disturbing alternate reality.

In these books, the bad guys aren’t really bad. The demons want to be normal and try to blend in with humans. The vampires run a blood bank that solicits donations, they decorate for Christmas, and want to go public. And the normal people aren’t all that normal. A Jewish man and his Catholic wife run a New Age book store, invoke “the goddess” at Thanksgiving, and invite demons home. The police have a special unit to control/eliminate the vampire population, but since the vampires aren’t evil and tend to be of the newly-made, pimply variety that announces themselves before they attack, I’m not certain why the special unit exists.

Bite Me, Try Me, and Fang Me are three of four chick-lit, paranormal-light books by Parker Blue featuring eighteen-year-old ¼ succubus / ¾ human Valentine Shapiro and her ¼ Hellhound / ¾ terrier sidekick Fang. I really enjoyed Fang’s snarky attitude. Despite his diminutive size, he’s certain he favors his Hellhound side.

Ms. Blue knows eighteen-year-olds and does a fabulous job portraying Val. Like a typical eighteen-year-old, Val is worried about fitting in, boys and sex, with a special emphasis on fitting in. Her friends think she should concern herself with fashion and decorating, so she concentrates on that for a while. Val is finding herself, discovering who she is and what she likes, which is very appropriate given her age. It is also confusing given the fact that everyone else (vampires, Demon Underground, special police unit) wants to put her in positions of power and influence.

The more I think about the three books, the more it becomes clear that these books are best taken at face value. They’re fun and light. Deep reflection into character motivation does not add to the enjoyment. They’re like cotton candy. You eat it because it tastes good. You don’t contemplate the nutritional facts.

That said, each of these books start slowly with too much back story, but they speed up nicely later.

Of the three books, I liked Bite Me the best because of the storyline. I liked Try Me second as Val comes to grips, sort of, with her own nature. I enjoyed the part-demon world and the variety of characters in each, especially Shade.

Fang Me could have benefited by a bit more editing so that the “keeper” didn’t tell Val he’d been raised by the Los Angeles Demon Underground on one page and then deny actually ever knowing them on another without Val (or anyone) calling him on it. The whole virginity/power thing didn’t work for me. It need far greated character motivation. Those things forced me to pause while eating the proverbial cotton candy and consider the nutritional facts (which isn't always a good thing).

Still, if you are in the mood for some non-traditional, light paranormal books, Parker Blue’s trilogy, Bite Me, Try Me, Fang Me, is a great way to spend a weekend.