Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild
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About The Book
Dorian and Cecily had been alive for several centuries, and married for well over one-hundred years. When they decided they wanted a family, they did what any sensible vampires would and adopted three human children. They waited until each was old enough to understand before revealing what they were, and then gave them the choice to be turned once they were twenty-one.
Of course, being sensible children, they each agreed they wanted to become vampires as well. Griff, the oldest, is unrepentantly gay. Margie, the middle child, is straight and involved with Wayne, a human. Brad is the youngest and definitely bi.
All three joined the family business, art thievery, which is how Griff met Nolan, his parents’ human partner, and quickly fell in lust with him.
Soon after his turning, Brad meets another Fledgling vampire, Ewan, and Ewan’s very possessive Sire, Alexia. This causes problems on more than one front. Problems it will take the entire Martell family to solve … or so they hope.
Dorian and Cecily Martell are a modern suburban couple, living in New Orleans with their three adopted children, Griffin, Margie, and Brad.
It all feels perfectly normal until you realize that what Brad is whining about at the age of thirteen isn’t remotely about a cell phone.
It struck me at some point that this book is, by design, a sort of “Father Knows Best” of our times, in which Robert Young and Jane Wyatt are both vampires, as are the three children. It’s a weird, slightly wry, normalization of the vampire into the world we mere mortals all know. It’s also a kind of grandchild of Anne Rice’s New Orleans-based novels. And there’s a wee bit of the Munsters thrown in.
The plot is surprisingly low key, in spite of some trouble that Dorian and Margie face when out on a job for their “employer.” I won’t go into that detail because it’s fun and odd, like much of the book.
There are some darker moments – dealing with a young vampire who’s slipped his ties with his creator; and as part of that, dealing with a difficult older vampire whose moral compass seems to have gotten broken. If you know what I mean.
But, all in all, the Martells are dealing with their youngest son (who is bisexual) having his first serious crush; and their perky college-aged daughter falling for a mortal human. It’s a sometimes-odd mixture of mundane life and the machinations of vampire culture going on just below the surface.
I wish the author had written more and gone deeper into everything in the book. There’s a lot unsaid and many stories untold here. Maybe it’s a set-up for a series! I hope so.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
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