by Jennifer Armintrout

March 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2878-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

What would you do if you were stuck in a small town where no one has been able to enter or leave for the past five years? Add a vampire and a monster to the mix and you have the premise for Jennifer Armintrout’s newest release; American Vampire.

Graf is on his way to a party that his Maker is throwing in D.C. He’s looking sexy in his fine leather and expensive car and he knows it. Graf is more than ready for a party where there will be plenty of blood and sex to go around. Everything is going well until his GPS malfunctions and he is forced to stop in a rural Ohio town for a map. He sees a flashlight through the window of a gas station and goes in to investigate and maybe steal a snack while he is there. Crouched inside is a terrified woman hiding from something she calls It. Graf is a vampire and very little in the world actually scares him, but when It arrives Graf knows he’d better run. The problem is that there is nowhere to run. When he tries to leave the town he ends up back where he started.

Jessa is stunned that a stranger is in Penance, Ohio. He is the first visitor in five years. How did he manage to get in? Graf may be an egotistical jerk and Jessa may hate him but she sees the potential in having him around. His possessions will make excellent barter items. Not to mention he may be of help to her regarding the townspeople. They believe Jessa is somehow to blame for what has happened to the town. A bitter alliance is made between Jessa and Graf. They will help each other while they try to destroy It and find a way out of this hell on earth.

American Vampire is not a romance; it is Stephen King meets Charlaine Harris. Author Jennifer Armintrout has managed to take stereotypes and clichés and turn them into an enjoyable, if not creepy, reading experience. I’d never read anything by this author but when I read the premise for this story, I knew I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did. Armintrout, while using some stereotypes, did steer away from the usual vampire hero and created an anti-vampire hero in Graf. He is rude, self-serving and only a little stronger than humans, albeit he is gorgeous. Graf could give Eric Northman a run for his money.

Jessa is haunted by her past. She is stuck in a town where no one will forget or forgive her for her mistakes. The reader may also have a difficult time of feeling sorry for Jessa until the end. The author isn’t afraid to show the dark side of mankind.

If you like paranormal/horror with attitude then give American Vampire a try.

Reviewed in April 2011 by Rho.

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