Jul 12, 2009
ReVamped - Vampire Book Review
ReVamped (Void City, Book 2)
by J. F. Lewis
Pocket (March 10, 2009)
[Reviewed by Sandy Rainey]
ReVamped roars out of the starting gate like an undead Mustang and never slows for a pit stop. That simile is not as daft as it sounds: At the end of Staked, the first book in this series, Eric, Lewis' headstrong vampire hero, was blown to smithereens—along with his strip club and his lifelong love, the mortal and now-elderly Marilyn—by his erstwhile best friend and now sworn enemy, Roger.
That would be more than enough to do in many a vampire, but readers of Staked know that Eric is no ordinary vampire. ReVamped picks up in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, with the incorporeal Eric and Marilyn having a discussion that clears up for Eric the inexplicable relationship between her and Roger, as well as a lot of what the jealous and treacherous Roger had been up to in Staked. Their conversation is cut short when a demon comes for Marilyn's soul. Bereft, Eric vows to win Marilyn's soul back, but he is unsure how to reclaim his vampiric form. Fortunately, he has friends back in Void City who have not given up on him.
Magbidion the mage, Eric's vampire daughter Greta, and his thrall, the stunning temptress Rachel, team up to reincorporate Eric. Magbidion's spell is successful, but goes a bit awry and ends up vampirizing Eric's car in the process. "Fang the 'Stang" eats roadkill and whatever else gets in his way. He is a dark and mute version of Knight Rider's KITT, and Eric has reason to be grateful for his assistance on more than one occasion.
No one has felt Eric's absence more keenly than Tabitha, the Living Doll who has characteristics both human and vampiric. Rudderless when he is gone, she joins the High Society Vampires Eric so despises at the Highland Towers complex. Tabitha is overjoyed when she learns that Eric has returned, but circumstances conspire to keep them apart. Eric has his hands full tracking down the fiend who has taken Marilyn's soul. Besides, the irresistible Rachel - who happens to be Tabitha's once-dead, now unaccountably alive little sister - has an odd hold over him that muddles his thoughts and dilutes his resolve. For his part, Eric is none too happy to see Tabitha keeping company with the snooty dilettante vampires he detests.
ReVamped charges along at a breakneck pace. Revelations come fast, resolving mysteries held over from Staked and leading to encounters with several very old and powerful vampires and a particularly nasty demon, none of whom know quite what to make of his considerable powers and flagrant disregard of the rules. Eric is impetuous and does not suffer fools, but he is a loyal friend with a strong moral compass and a definite soft spot for the defenseless. Aided by an ancestor's cowboy ghost, Talbot the catlike mouser, Magbidion, and an ever-growing collection of thralls under his protection (remember that soft spot?), Eric enters into a dangerous pact that could return his humanity if he's lucky. It's far from obvious who is trustworthy and who is plotting Eric's destruction, but what could be more tantalizing than the promise of information on his mysterious vampiric origins? By the time ReVamped careens to a halt, it's clear that Eric's story is far from over.
Reviewed by Sandy Rainey for Patricia's Vampire Notes