The best part of reading is when you become so absorbed in a story, that you lose track of your surroundings. That is what happened to me while reading The Accidental Vampire. I was flying home and the stewardess had to ask me twice if I wanted something to drink. I had not even noticed that she was passing out refreshments. This might not seem too impressive, but the plane only had about 30 passengers, there was only one stewardess, and only one aisle for her to walk down. Usually, I am waiting for the cart to roll by, but this time I was too busy reading to notice.
For those unfamiliar with Lyndsay Sands’s Argeneau Vampires series, her vampires are not those found in traditional folklore. They are Immortals, descendents of the Atlantis, who are blessed/cursed with having nanotechnology controlling their bodies. The nanos require more blood in the body, thus the bodies developed vampire tendencies, which in turn developed the vampire mythology. In order to survive, the Immortals have set up rules to live by and have their own enforcers for those rules. Victor Argeneau is one of those enforcers and he is about to meet a newcomer who is breaking all the rules.
Elvi Black went to Mexico as a 60-something widow. After surviving a bus accident, she awoke looking 40 years younger, all because she had somehow turned into a vampire. Not knowing about the Immortals, she dealt with her situation by following traditional folklore. She ditched her bed for a coffin, drinks only blood, and ventures out only at night. Her best friend Mabel even asks her to get rid of a bat because Elvi seems to have some newfound communication skills with the species. Elvi misses her bed, her food and sunlight and really does not want to deal with bats.
Mabel and other friends are worried about Elvi. Realizing that they are slowly dieing off, and Elvi will be alone, they decide to find her a companion. They place an ad in the personals, seeking single male vampires. Six men show up, four of whom are real “vampires”, i.e., Immortals. Victor is among them.
Victor has been around forever, or maybe it just seems that way. He is fairly bored with his life. Elvi provides some mystery, intrigue and even some fun for him. He is surprised at how open she is about her condition. Every one in town knows about it. They even have blood drives on her behalf. Victor has trouble understanding this for his wife was burned to death by villagers back in the 1300s when she was thought to be a vampire. And he has the uneasy feeling that someone in Elvi’s village wants to put an end to her existence.
Elvi has more faith in her neighbors. After living in Port Henry her whole life, she couldn't hide her new condition and is grateful that her neighbors stood by her and didn't ostracize her. They have known what she is for five years...why would anyone want to harm her now?
Lyndsay Sands puts more humor in The Accidental Vampire than I remember from earlier books in this series. When Elvi learns that she can eat real food, for instance, she makes a midnight dash to the grocery store for cheesecake, surrounded by her suitors. When she learns she can ditch the coffin, she rushes off to buy a mattress, again trailed by the men. And the revelation of the would-be killer is one of the funniest I have read in some time.
I have always enjoyed the lighter side of vampires. I giggle at vampires trying to create 100-proof sunscreen, chuckle at vampires who lisp when the fangs come out, and my favorite Dracula movie is Love At First Bite. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed this book so much. While most of Lyndsay Sands' series featured humorous elements, this is the first time she really played with the vampire lore rather her own mythology. I think she had fun doing so. I know I had fun reading it.
-- Carolyn Esau
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