Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist
I've entirely missed out on all of the recent vampire novels, so when this one came up as the $1 USD Book-of-the-Day selection for the Kindle e-reader, I bought it.
The premise is that Dr. Kismet Knight - a beautiful, nerdy, socially-awkward, occasionally psychic psychologist - is intrigued by Midnight, a new client who is a vampire wannabe. Seeing a book deal in her future, Dr. Knight decides to specialize as the "vampire shrink." Little does she know...
And, unfortunately, little can I tell you, as this novel reveals its secrets little by little, and it would spoil it for you if I told you too much. In a nutshell, Kismet finds her life is in danger just as she begins to wonder if vampires might actually be real...
This book is an unusual blend of horror, action, humor, and romance, with Kismet viewing everything through her therapist viewpoint. I found it entirely charming, and am eagerly awaiting the promised sequel.
My previous adventures in vampiric reading have been from the perspective of a male protagonist, so it was a little odd at first to view things from the female perspective (for a change). Also, when I had picked this up, I had not realized it fell into the "romance" category - yes, there's a glamorous Fabio-like character who claims to be an 800-year-old vampire, which normally would be enough to make me gag, but this book lampoons itself with such sly humor that I couldn't resist. And "romance" in this case means a sex-deprived protagonist whose vampiric adventures have heightened her libido, caught between three attractive men (the "vampire," an FBI agent, and a former boyfriend), so that there is a sexual build-up throughout the novel, with some scenes that are definitely not for younger readers. (There's also blood and gore, violence, a bit of homosexuality, and some gross moments of a horrific nature...)
But can you wargame it? Alas, this plotline I don't think would be suitable for an RPG (much of the suspense is of the "mere mortals in the grip of immense powers" sort), and the action scenes work for a novel but would be difficult to stage on a tabletop (a few very powerful characters, and the rest are kleenex in comparison). The background would work for a campaign setting, but the details are a bit sketchy even by the end of the novel.
Bottom line: It's not my normal read, but I have to admit I loved it - though with the strong caution that it's for "mature" audiences comfortable with the subject matter. (If I had kids, I wouldn't let them anywhere near this one...)
Note: The Kindle version is the British edition of the novel, with a different (lousy, in my opinion) cover and interior spelling than the U.S. edition.
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .