Title: Vampyre Lawyer
Author: George Parker
Edition: NetGalley > Ebook
Length: ~242 Pages
Genre/s: Fiction, Contemporary, Humor, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Golden Eggs
Disclaimer: An eBook copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. This did not affect my review, and all opinions are mine.
When Count Dracula joins a goth band, you know it’s just another day in New Orleans.
After centuries of persecution, Count Dracula promises Igor to give up his old ways, get to America, and find himself a lawyer. To succeed he will have to use his blood, and with that thought in mind, he steps into the future. Waking up in a Transylvanian-forest, one-hundred-and-fifty years later, fate introduces him to the drummer of the Techno Zombies, the biggest Goth band in the world about to tour America, and strictly due to his look the Count becomes the newest member of the band.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, a newly married, handsome young lawyer is the victim of a hit and run. Dying on the way to hospital, he is ultimately transfused with vampyre blood, bringing him back to life and giving him superpowers with which he later single-handedly stops a bank robbery and draws the ire of the local mafia.
Populated with loveable rogues, scheming lawyers, thieving gypsies, and their knitting needle murdering mother, this comic, tragic, and twisted tale ends in a showdown at a giant pizza pie factory, where a time-traveling wizard has hopes for an ending that will fulfil everyone’s expectations until long past the conclusion of the final act.
When one sad vampire is ready to right his wrongs, what ensues is the biggest dumpster fire you can imagine as you wonder, “How the hell did we get to this point?!?” Watching from the sidelines, it must be one mildly entertaining but worrying, disturbing chain of events. Where’s the popcorn?
I almost didn’t finish this, several times. I thought that the writing was off, the plot felt weird, the dialogue was unnatural, and all in all, the entire book felt like one wild and bizarre dream. I was ready to dump it, but kept chugging on. It wasn’t until the end, when I literally let out the longest sigh-laugh, one big “HHHHAaaaaaa!”, did I realize that I tackled this book the wrong way. I’d been too serious for this insane little trip. By the end, I was quite happy with sticking through it and felt weirdly nostalgic about the type of humor this book offered.
Count Dracula is sick of his life. Sick of the persecution and being hunted down by pitchfork and torch wielding peasants, sick of being evil, sick of hiding all the time…He’s ready to change, to be a better man. He’s ready for a new life. Taking advice from his beloved servant, and long-time friend, Igor, he seeks the help a wizard who then guides him to look for the magical land of “America”, where he must find a lawyer to aid him on his journey from evil to the light. Everything will roll on its own from there.
Waking up from a long slumber, forever and ever later, he finds himself in modern times. The start is hilarious as he encounters a band member, named Waldo, and inquires about whatever the hell those giant moving boxy metal beasts are (cars). After explaining to the young man that he is Count Dracula, who is ready to change his ways, Waldo (who, by the way, thinks that the man is just a crazy lunatic) decides that Drac, with his pale skin and wild looks, is EXACTLY what they need for their goth rock band, Techno Zombies. Drac sure looks the part and if all Waldo has to put up with is this strange man’s delusion of, “I am Count Dracula” so be it. Drac is apprehensive at first, but as soon as the young man utters, “We’re going to America,” he’s all in.
Then, there’s the other POVs in this book. Brad, the lawyer who’s practically just out of school, his damsel-in distress wife, his boss (another and more well known lawyer who is in charge of prosecuting a mobster), Brad’s envious (and later quite insane) rival lawyer, the actual mobster in question, some pair of twins and their witchy looking mother, and a few others. You would figure that Count Dracula would hold the most screen time, but funny enough the actual story revolves more around this set of lawyers than around Drac himself. Though, fear not! The others (including Count Drac) hold a fair share of their own chaotic moments.
This was a wild and bizarre trip from the beginning to end. We start with Drac wanting to right his wrongs and undo some curse and end with a pasta mill stand-off between nearly ever party mentioned in the characters section above. What felt like an all over the place and disjointed plot finally ties itself together in the end, and the best part of this journey was probably the biggest “AH-HA!” moment I’ve had in reading. Every piece that made no sense before finally came together, and I let out a cheer and round of applause. Kudos George Parker. What a ride!
Like I said before, while I knew this was listed as humor, I still took it too seriously. That was my main problem and if I were to take the chance and reread the entire book a second time around, things that annoyed me before would probably tickle me. There were several points where I though, “God, are we in an episode of Tom & Jerry? Or a Disney channel sitcom or something?” It sure felt like it the whole way through! By the end, I found myself having a good laugh, chuckling as I rubbed the fever dream out of my head.
There were sections that reminded me and gave me the same warm fuzzy feelings that Saturday cartoons gave me. The (main) antagonist [amongst others because there are several different parties at play here and everyone wants everyone dead] was written to be so insane, so twisted with his need for vengence that it felt like he was one man with a toe dipped in each vat of the seven sins. In my head, his mind was long-gone, a man who spits saliva every time he talks, his eyes going wildly in different directions, jumping around the same way Denzel Crocker does in Fairy Odd Parents. He wasn’t always that way, but his POV chapters let you piggyback off his train of thoughts as he takes a nosedive into the deepest pits of insanity, never to the good world again.
By the time the last page was finished, I felt like most of what I disliked through the book was either justified or explained, especially the plot, characters, and the dialogue writing. However, there were still minor things that hampered me several times. The prose is wonderful. It’s poetic and deep in places, but there are sections where it’s so descriptive or so philosophical that sometimes the passage starts with a man cooking in the kitchen and I’ve already forgotten what he was doing before. The plot may have felt nuts, but it didn’t deter me from continuing the same way the writing did.
Still, all in all, while I didn’t have a blast, it was well entertaining the whole way through…in an unbelievable and unique kind of way (and there was at least one character in the book who felt the same way as I did). All Drac wanted to do was to make up for his sins, and suddenly nearly every character in the book finds themselves in one giant blazing train wreck. It’s like someone pressed the wrong button and watches as the dominoes of consequences tumble. Things just keeps getting worse and worse as they peek through their fingers and oh boy, how’d we end up here?
It’s a lighthearted and funny book in its own special way, making itself a cozy little spot in my most memorable books of the year.