When Val Shapiro turns eighteen her parents kick her out of the house and fire her from her job at the family bookstore.
Not exactly you hallmark moment . . . .
Val is part succubus and since she won’t give into her other half and feed on lust, she hunts vampires to take the edge off. Being part-demon gives Val special powers - she's fast, strong, heals quickly, and is immune to vampire mind control - all of this makes for great vampire slaying. When Jen, Val’s human half-sister, follows her out on a vampire hunt their Mom blames Val and decides that she is too dangerous to be around.
A chance encounter with a police officer who watches her take down a vampire all by herself leads Val to a new life and job with the Special Crimes Unit. The Special Crimes Unit is investigating a new Vampire Movement in town. The usually unorganized and solo vampires are uniting and claim they seek peace between humans and vampires. However there has also been an increase in vampire-related deaths, now her own sister is mixed up in whatever is going on and that just makes Val more determined to find out the truth.
What I thought:
*I received Bite Me, part of the Demon Underground series, via NetGalley along with the second and third books in the series which I will review later*
I had actually read this one before but I liked it enough to want to read the other ones in the series so I got the bundled eBook edition from NetGalley. I re-read this first one as it had been a while and I wanted to give a good review about the book.I liked the book from the start as it opens with an action scene. You feel like you really get to know Val right away and action is always a good way to start in my opinion. Bite Me is a Young Adult novel that easily spans the generational gap. Val is eighteen years old and not at school so it really reads a bit older than a lot of Young Adult stories where the protagonist is usually fifteen or sixteen and still in high school.
The story is a little bit dark and a lot sassy; it’s a great girl kick ass book. One of the best parts of the novel is the humor; the mystery part of the story is slightly predictable but it is still an enjoyable read. With any book about a teenage girl slaying vampires you are automatically going to think of Buffy, the writer deals with this by making references to this cult icon and essentially paying tribute wherever possible.
Val is the main character and we immediately feel sympathetic towards her when she is treated so poorly by her family. She is a tough, kick ass vampire slayer on the outside but we know how vulnerable she really is on the inside and how much inner turmoil is going on as she tries to reconcile her human and demon sides. One of the main themes of the book is self-discovery and Val goes though a lot, you really get the feeling that she grows as a character which is nice. I think that Val is one of my favourite YA heroines, she is strong and tough and has a kick ass attitude. She also has her soft side and literally her ‘inner demons’.
My favourite character in Bite Me was Val’s tiny, part hellhound, sidekick Fang. He provides the comedy and is a great counterpoint to the teen drama, making sure that the story does not get too melodramatic. Fang and Val’s relationship and conversations are definitely a highlight; I especially liked the scene where he helps her pick out what to wear to a club.
The rest of supporting characters are a bit thin, I did not like the love interest character - Dan, it felt like he was potentially a good character but just did not quite get there, he was also very judgemental which annoyed me. Val’s family are all a bit stereotypical and don’t really get enough coverage to be developed any more. I think that it would have been more enjoyable if the other characters had been fleshed out a bit more.
The main issues that I had with this book surround the plot, first off it was a bit simplistic which made it predictable but this can be forgiven because overall it was a good story. Another issue that was a bit harder to get over was how the police worked in the story. Val’s entry to the Special Crimes Unit is much too easy; she phones them up and starts work that same day - because Police Units always hire eighteen year old girls of the street? It was just such a gloss over; surely there was a way to have her working for the police as an outside consultant or something to make it a bit more believable. Lastly, the other noticeable thing was that there seemed to be a lot of travelling for no reason, they are always getting into a car to go somewhere. Surely that time could have been better spent.
Final Comments and Overall Rating:This book was fun and easy to read if a little predictable, it had its issues but overall it is an entertaining and action packed novel and I enjoyed reading it.
I would recommend Bite Me for those who love a kickass female heroine, some good humor and a light read.
Demond Undergound Series: Bite Me,Try Me,Fang Me,Make Me