Amber Fang, by Arthur Slade (40:00)

IOD-Amber_Fang.jpgToday brings us another winner! This time it’s a spunky vampire librarian assassin.

What I gleaned about the story: Amber Fang is a vampire librarian with a strict moral code about who she’ll eat. Only murderers who feel no remorse. And that makes her the perfect recruit for a newly formed secret agency bent on ridding the world of dastardly villains.

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WTF #1: Galloping “I” disease

Analysis: It’s a first POV story that opens on an action scene, with our vampire protagonist closing in for her first kill of the book. The pairing of first person narration and physical action combines to generate a lot of “I”-headed sentences. I verbed. I also verbed. I verbed some more. But I’m intrigued by the situation, in which her prey turns out to be not quite as prey-like as she had expected. So there was a flurry of steadily stuttering I, I, I sentences for a while, but I kept my shoulder to the wind and pressed on.

Kudos #1: A very funny bit of character work

Details: Amber regains consciousness after a harrowing escape and we get this bit of internal narration: I wondered if I’d developed cataracts. A sight-impaired vampire having to beg food to come just a little bit closer is the saddest thing under the sun.

And that was the only disruption I found. After that, the rest of the 40 minutes just sailed by, with a series of twists and turns that kept my nose in the book and the pages flying. I think what sucked me in the hardest is the premise itself: a vampire librarian with a moral code about who she’ll eat gets recruited by the government to kill foreign bad guys. And she tops it off with a black sense of humor. What’s not to love? This one is definitely going onto my “read to completion” pile. In fact, I’m just going to go do that now.

Anyone want to read along with me?

Take the Pepsi Challenge: Want to know if my own writing measures up? Try the free sample on one of my books or short stories and decide for yourself.

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About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.