M. Christian's excellent new gay vampire novel, "The Very Bloody Marys" has winged its way to you courtesy of Lethe Press. A tale of an undead San Francisco deputy called Valentino who's about as useful as George Bush with a rubiks cube, and how, once his boss goes missing, his life is about to get a whole lot worse as the weight of tracking down his hateful, demeaning and downright self-confidence shattering employer falls firmly on Valentino's shoulders.
Deftly, M. Christian has created a novel that is, in fact, a coming of age story in a sugary horror coating. Valentino goes through trials, such as confronting three Marys on Vespors, getting attacked by a pissed off Irish Faery called Liam - I kid you not - and having to contend with a chauffer called Mariah - please, God, let Mariah Carey play him in the movie, a zombie in drag, and she could warble all she'd like off camera just as long as, for those few seconds, she shuts the hell up (like her songs though!) - who is less than forthcoming when it comes to information or help of any kind. And so, time after time, Valentino must battle forces he has... well... to say he has no comprehension of wouldn't be quite fair. It's rather like giving an infant a blow torch and not expecting him to roast his little apple cheeks off (I'm suddenly quite hungy. Mutilation, even joking, shouldn't do that to a man).
Needless to say, there's a fair amount of swearing, some getting spanked with chains and a dollop of hard ass domineering, but you'll have to wait and see if Valintino, our underdog (who, incase anybody does want to make a film of this, I think I look quite like; hollywood, call me) makes it through this ... well, not alive... but... as dead as he was before... I guess.
M. Christian's writing really sparkles here, and his wit is obvious, and never labored. There's a lot to love, amongst characters like a talking cat addicted to cat nip, and a statue of Lincoln that is a wizard's personal butler. There were a few moments of perplexity on my part as I was reading through, but M. Christian does well in keeping you turning the page, and, whilst everything is tied up in the end rather niceley, this isn't forced and feels much better for it. In fact, I felt this one book would make an excellent start to a series, and I know I for one would be reading cover to cover.
There was one issue I had. Oh God, what an issue. I mean, really, Valantino fancying Nicholas Cage... well, I suppose, if you're a walking corpse your taste would change somewhat... but I'll let M. Christian off on that score, because Very Bloody Marys is one of the most entertaining little novels I've read in a good long while, and it does, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin.
4 Muses Out of 5! ***This Weeks Recommended Read.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Steve Williams Loves Very Bloody Marys