Adrienne Barbeau & Michael Scott,
Vampyres of Hollywood
(St. Martins Press, 2008)

Have you ever wondered what makes a Hollywood star shine on the screen? What gift do they possess that ensnares the public's attention and adoration? What makes us worship and wonder about them even after they have died? According to this book there is one very simple explanation: the most popular A-list stars have been, and are, vampires.

Vampyres of Hollywood is by far one of the most clever and imaginative ideas to hit the vampire fiction scene. With so many wonderful novels these days centering on our fanged friends, originality gets harder and harder to come by. The idea that the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles were and still are vampires is amusing and very ingenious to me.

Ovsanna Moore is the Chatelaine of Hollywood, in charge of all the vampires who roam there. She is a Hollywood star, movie producer and majority owner of a production company. But when a few of her vamp offspring and some co-workers turn up brutally murdered, her position is threatened. Enter in a sexy cop from Beverly Hills, along with some shady characters, and the mystery begins.

While this story was clever, the ideas and characters interesting, I really didn't get to love it like I thought I would. The first three quarters of the book are bogged down with Ovsanna's name dropping. Apparently she has slept with, been confidant to or best buds with every fascinating historical figure in the past 600 years. From Catherine the Great to Freud, Van Gogh, Warhol and Robespierre to Lord Byron, Jack the Ripper and Bram Stoker, the list never ends. Just when I would get wrapped back up in the plot, they'd throw another name at me, derailing my interest. Some of the celebrity stories add to the entertainment value and plot, but I would say most of them are unnecessary filler. I feel like this book is going to be a series, and some of the stories could have been saved for other future tales instead of packing so many of them into this one.

That being said, the book isn't a total loss and I did enjoy parts. The detective is great and the mystery intriguing. I liked the dueling narrative; each chapter is either from Ovsanna's or the detective's point of view. The idea behind it still has me interested and I hope if there is a next book they will stay away from so many celebrity detours and concentrate more on the plot and current characters.

review by
Cherise Everhard

23 August 2008

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