Sunday, 27 March 2011

Stake That!

Parajunkee's View Vampire Reading Challenge Review #5 - Stake That! by Mari Mancusi

Warning: contains spoilers

Stake That! is the second book in the Blood Coven series; but it was actually the first one I bought. I came across it on Amazon during my overeager babybat phase and bought it because of the slightly cheesy, Gothtastic front cover.

Goth girl Rayne has every reason to get her mopey on. She's been on the waiting list to become a vampire and member of the prestigious Blood Coven for years - best of all, her DNA-compatible blood mate would have been none other than the Blood Coven leader, drop-dead gorgeous vamp Magnus. But on the night she was due to be bitten and changed, Magnus bit her twin sister Sunshine (hippie parents...) instead.

Now goody-two-shoes golden girl Sunny, whilst thankfully not a vampire, is dating Magnus and enjoying the spookiest perks of the vampire lifestyle (and finances) whilst Rayne is back at the bottom of the waiting list, without a blood mate. Suck much?

To make things worse, Rayne has just been informed by a representative of Slayer Inc, the organisation keeping the bad-guy vamps in line, that she's next on the list to fulfil her duties as slayer. The next Buffy. And really, killing vampires is not going to do much to bump her back up the waiting list. Or so Rayne thinks.

However, her target is a particularly badly-dressed but evil vamp named Maverick, who has created a bloodborne virus to take down the leaders of the Blood Coven. And Rayne finds herself working undercover with Jareth, Magnus's sexy second-in-command, who just happens to be gorgeous, Gothed-up, and one hundred per cent blood-mate-free.

Told first in blog and then in diary format, and occasionally IM transcripts, the story is littered with 'OMG's and 'FYI's, which could become a little wearing for older readers. Sixteen-year-old Rayne often comes across as a little immature (referring to herself as 'Raynie', for starters), but on the other hand her behaviour is a little too stereotypical-teenage-Goth-bad-girl for my tastes - she drinks, smokes, ditches class and sleeps around, which I don't feel is necessarily an accurate representation of how all teen Goths behave...

A lot of the problem-solving is done by Jareth, which in another book would irk me (the heroine is supposed to be able to figure things out for herself), but here it works, mainly because the slightly-airheaded Rayne is not really an intellectual match for a very old vampire.

However, I found Rayne quite a likeable character - she's feisty, mouthy, and not afraid of trouble. Not to mention she has excellent dress sense and taste in music.

Vamp antagonist Maverick, is a convincingly ruthless bad guy - Blood Coven human donors are dying from his virus - but a bit of a plonker. After injecting a captured Rayne with the virus, leaving her with three days to live, he immediately frees her from her bindings. Raynie the vampire slayer, not being an idiot, promptly stakes him with a chair leg.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that this Goth froth comes with a happy ending; and an obvious set-up for a sequel. Good fun for younger readers, but there are no real surprises and the OTT teen-speak can become annoying. Personally, I do like the Blood Coven books, and I find they make perfect summer reading - cheerful vampire fluff with little thought required.


Stefanie said...

I was just wondering do you have any advice on creating a well-rounded Goth character for a book. Both good and bad.

Thanks in advance :)

Emily Lynn G. said...

I Second that motion. Doesn't your description say you have written a few books? I have a feeling they are spook-tabular and want to hear about it :)
Meh, sounds very stereotypical :/ never cared for teenage fiction trying to portray me,; I'm always to sexed up,cutting-myself-angsty or so empathetic to life I might as well be dead in according to teen fiction.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you Emily on that one.
Stefanie! I think a great representation of an 'average' Goth, and Goth character is open-minded, passionate, perhaps even overly so when it comes to opinions. But that's just my two cents. Good luck!:)

And Amy, Just wondering, have you been having trouble posting pictures in blog posts? I'm getting a lot of weird problems...well basically just the same one. Thanks!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Boots - yeah, I had a bit of trouble with this post actually! Got there in the end though, as you can see ^^

@ Emily - I said I have written, but not necessarily well... There's a link to my bookstore in the sidebar, you can read previews. Bear in mind some of them were written when I was younger and please don't judge too harshly!

@ Stefanie - great post idea, thanks! I will have a think about it and bash something out, hopefully quite soon ^^

siouxsiel said...

Great review. Right now, I'm reading The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. I really like the goth girl character so far.

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