American Vampire Review
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Vampire Graf McDonald is on his way to a party hosted by his sire—except he’s lost. He dropped his GPS navigator in a Denny’s parking lot, and now it doesn’t work. So when he passes a gas station, he decides to stop and perhaps steal a map. Instead, what he gets is a frightened woman who claims that she’s being chased by a monster.

When Graf tries to leave the town of Penance, he keeps ending up right back at the deserted gas station. Apparently, he’s stuck in a town where no one gets in and no one gets out. Eventually, though, he’s going to need fresh blood.

Jessa Gallagher has been stuck in the small town of Penance along with everyone else for the past five years. Some type of monster is keeping everyone trapped, and she’s determined to figure out how so she can get out. What she doesn’t need is a smartass vampire who might need to eat her to survive. But when the town turns against her, she might need him to survive.

With American Vampire, author Jennifer Armintrout brings readers a fresh take on the vampire genre. The plot is definitely an intriguing one. Stick a vampire in a small town where he can’t risk feeding without being noticed, and things are bound to get extremely freaky. And, fortunately, the plot kept me entertained enough that I didn’t get too annoyed with the hero.

Graf McDonald is not your normal hero. The first thing he does is leave Jessa on the side of the road with a monster prowling around—not very noble of him. He’s self-centered, and, for the most part, he’s just a major jerk. I quickly tired of his constant hillbilly, redneck, and trailer trash put-downs. It’s not only annoying, but it’s also a great big cliché. Still, I’ll admit that I did find myself snickering at the more original put-downs, even though I am a small town girl.

Jessa Gallagher isn’t the most likeable character, either—but how could she be when confronted with someone like Graf? I found myself cheering her on because she seems to be the only person in town with the guts to face the monster keeping them prisoner. Though she has her faults—her obsession with a married man for one—I still liked her; she’s full of fire and spirit.

American Vampire is a new and fresh addition to an overdone genre—and that’s always a good thing. The mystery and suspense surrounding the monster kept my rapt attention, and Ms. Armintrout managed to end the novel in a plausible and clever way. So, despite its less-than-stellar hero, American Vampire is still a fun and intense read that that’s tough to put down.

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