Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: "Bite Me: A Love Story" (SPOILERS)

Just got done reading Bite Me: A Love Story, the last of Christopher Moore's vampire trilogy (Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story and You Suck: A Love Story are the first two).  Here's my review.

I think it's the weakest of the three.  The second novel was already suffering from overload, with the blue-skinned prostitute and all of Tommy Flood's friends getting vampirized as well, but the third novel features an army of vampire cats, vampire rats, and Goth girl Abby Normal vampirizing herself using blood from a vampire rat and consequently growing a tail.

Plus I really did not like the ending.  Basically, Jody (who was vampirized in the beginning of the first novel) leaves Tommy (her boyfriend and "minion" whom she vampirized at the end of the first novel) and sets off with Okata, an old Japanese man who saved her when she was caught in the sunlight.  She has Elijah (the vampire who "turned" her) captive in order to use his blood to transform Okata, with the ultimate objective of herself and Okata being together forever.

(Moore decides to introduce into the mythology at this late date that the lifespan of creatures vampirized by second-generation vampires is short and that of those vampirized by third-generation vampires shorter still, so Abby Normal nearly dies after being vampirized using the blood of rats vampirized by either Tommy or Jody and Tommy has to be returned to normal quickly.  Elijah's progeny, however, will live forever.)

Meanwhile, Abby Normal's master's-student boyfriend breaks up with her for some reason that I didn't get and she and Tommy look to be a couple now.  Granted, they are closer in age (Tommy is 19 and Abby is 16 vs. Jody being 26), but it was so rushed and lacking in any feeling for Abby on his part.

The second book set up that Tommy did not like being a vampire (due to the inability to function during daylight hours) and Jody did (because she no longer had to fear violent, dangerous men), but their relationship seemed fine* when he was human and she was a vampire.  If Tommy wants to be mortal, fine, and if Jody wants to stay a vampire, fine.  They could just go back to status quo ante.

*Okay, the ending of the first book in which Tommy bronzed Elijah and Jody while they slept, only for Jody to escape and "turn" him showed there were some issues there.  However, Tommy is not a control-freak/incipient abuser--the situation had more to do with keeping Jody from preventing him from disposing of Elijah, whom she wanted to learn more about her condition from.  However, Elijah is also a very dangerous man/creature who had threatened to kill Tommy and liked to "turn" people just to see how long they would survive.  And despite this hiccup, Tommy and Jody remained fine for most of the second book, even though Jody could be justifiably upset at this breach of trust on Tommy's part.

I was hoping they'd get over their issues and remain together rather than breaking up.  Relationships in real life run into problems (most of which are more mundane than vampirism) and it's generally a good idea to work on these problems and try to fix them rather than break up.

The fact that Jody rewarded Okata with sex, then had sex with Tommy one last time, then eloped with Okata seemed out of character as well--although Jody doesn't have any problems with sex outside of marriage (she was living with a boyfriend when Elijah turned her and reflects on waking up in strange people's beds in the past), I never got any indication that she was prone to cheating or being involved with multiple partners.

I will give credit where it is due.  Abby Normal's teen-girl dialogue is often hilarious and the book had a lot of funny moments and characters, including a profanity-spewing Chinese grandmother.  However, I think the first two were much better.

No comments:

Post a Comment