Cannonball Read III: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
I like a good genre novel. Horror, mystery, fantasy, some science fiction...pretty much anything except westerns and romance novels. I don't mind a western setting (like the Dark Tower series) or romance mixed in with the horror or fantasy, but strict romance novels are not my cup of tea.
One of my favorite genres is the horror/mystery/fantasy novel. Authors like Jim Butcher or Charlaine Harris, who write about vampires and werewolves and fairies and witches and also have some mystery to solve. One of the fun things is learning the rules of that world. Can vampires see themselves in mirrors? How are new vampires created or killed? How does the werewolf curse work?
But more importantly, how are the characters? For me, characters are very important in a mystery novel. When I read A is for Alphabet by Sue Grafton, I figured out who the killer was within a hundred pages. But I liked Kinsey Millhone, so that didn't bother me. I've read other mysteries though, where I figure it out and I skip to the end and verify it, then put it down and never read another book by that author. I've always cared more about characters than plot. I can forgive a lot of stoopid plotlines if I like the characters.
The main character in The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is a vampire named Felix Gomez. He was turned in the Iraq War. Before he was turned, he accidentally killed a little girl and now can't stomach drinking human blood. In the mythology of the book, vampires need human blood or their powers start to wane. But Felix just can't do it and he drinks animal blood instead. And unlike most vampires who drink blood in a cup or out of a blood bag, these vampires just put it all over their food. So they put it on noodles in place of marinara. They put it in their tacos.
Plus, these guys can go out in the sun. And no, they don't fucking sparkle. Ugh. But they have to wear sunscreen and put makeup on so they don't look quite so weird. Except every human mentions the makeup and he has to make up some sort of weird "Iraq War skin condition" and I started thinking, why don't they just hit a tanning booth? Or spray tan? Maybe the tanning booth would make them burst into flames? I dunno.
So, to the plot. Felix Gomez is a private detective and a friend of his from the military asks him to investigate a strange phenomenon occurring at Rocky Flats. All the women suddenly turned into nymphomaniacs and attacked all the men in sight. While investigating the randy women, he also meets Bob, a vampire who tries to help him learn more about being a vampire, since Felix didn't have a tutor. There's also something about some vampire slayers.
Okay, full confession time: I stopped reading about halfway through and skimmed the rest. I just didn't care for Felix and I dunno, there was a low-level misogynist vibe, not in discussing the nymphos, but in discussing a girl (actually a dryad) who Felix meets and gets the hots for. I just didn't really care, although I was curious about how it would all turn out. And it turned out quite silly.
All in all, it made me want to re-read the Harry Dresden novels (by Jim Butcher) again. But I won't be reading any more Felix Gomez.
For more of Sandisan's reviews, check out her blog, Planet Sandisan.
This review is part of Cannonball Read III. For more information, click here.