X-Rated Bloodsuckers Paperback – Feb 8 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Hard-boiled action mixes with soft-core titillation in Acevedo's second novel featuring soldier– turned–vampire PI Felix Gomez (after 2006's The Nymphos of Rocky Flats), who's approached by porn actress Katz Meow to investigate the murder of her colleague Roxy Bronze. Before you can say XXX, Felix is off to California's San Fernando Valley and up to his fangs in intrigue implicating a vampire producer of adult films, a sham evangelist, a power-hungry local politician and the Araneum, the secret vampire hierarchy tasked with stamping out unorthodox human-vampire interactions. Felix endures the usual silver bullets and garlic, as well as several very human double crosses and miscalculations, before the story speeds to an unlikely conclusion that exposes a somewhat unconvincing villain. The novel's true appeal lies in its zippy banter and witty repartee on vampire lifestyle, particularly in Felix's ongoing partnership with Coyote, a low-rent vamp from the barrio. Acevedo has a natural flare for the hard-boiled idiom, and readers who enjoyed Felix's first adventure will find this follow-up equally entertaining. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Raymond Chandler could never have imagined an L.A. like this, where hard-boiled, private-eye vampires fight crime, as well as commit a few during lunch breaks. When renegade vampires threaten to wreck the fragile balance between humanity and the netherworld, PI Felix Gomez is hired to repair the growing schism, or give up his immortal and somewhat immoral life trying. The mean streets have never been meaner--or stranger--and the result is a high-speed, well-crafted romp through the forests of the night. Fans of Acevedo's The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (2006) will find this a worthy sequel. Elliott Swanson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Still a private investigator, Felix's services have been sought out by porn actress Katz Meow. Katz needs Felix to find the murderer of her friend and fellow porn star, Roxy Bronze, and she's willing to pay a hefty fee if he'll take the case. When he realizes he has personal ties to Roxy, his interest in the case is piqued. When the governing body of vampires, the Araneum, lets him know--in no uncertain terms--that he will take the case because they suspect vampire-human collusion, he hops on a plane for Los Angeles.
When Felix arrives, he discovers that Katz Meow has disappeared. According to her employer, porn producer Cragnow Vissoom, she never showed up for work, which is out of character for Katz. Vissoom is also the leader of the Los Angeles vampire nidus and is the main suspect the Araneum sent Felix to investigate. Felix knows there is more to the story than Vissoom is revealing.
As Felix begins interviewing suspects, it becomes evident that Roxy had plenty of enemies with motives for murder. The suspect list keeps getting longer and the bodies are piling up. Crime lords, politicians, doctors, porn kings, evangelists, chalices--everyone he encounters seems to be linked to one another and have ties to Roxy. It's baffling, even for the most experienced of supernatural detectives.
The story of X-Rated Blood Suckers is possibly more intricate than The Nymphos of Rocky Flats. Acevedo manages to introduce a host of characters without convoluting the plot and distracting the reader. A love interest provides some inner turmoil for Felix as he wrestles back his human emotions because of his damnation into the world of blood suckers.
Possibly the most delightful aspect is the addition of Felix's partner-in-crime, Coyote. Coyote is an elusive ancient vampire with a penchant for rat meat. With his mysterious talents, he darts in and out of Felix's life with privileged information that helps the investigation. Despite his irritation, Felix becomes quite attached to his friend. Coyote could be characterized as the comic relief, but the whole of the novel is hilarious on its own. Together, the two friends face the most dangerous adversary of all: humans.
Once Ann Rice re-defined vampires, everyone followed suit. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and all her copycat novels and movies used Rice's pattern as a new definition of the vampire world.
Now along comes Mario Acevedo and his vampire detective, Felix Gomez, and he has changed the genre anew. Unlike the cold, languid vampires of the Ann Rice world, Felix Gomez is as hot and spicy as the blood drenched nachos that he orders at a vampire bar. Vampires in this new world are day-dwelling (with enough SPF sunscreen), hungry for coffee and food (although it's not very tasty unless spiced up with blood), and though their hearts don't beat, they still have them and they can still fall in love.
This novel and the first, Nymphos of Rocky Flats, are fresh and original. Acevedo's writing is lean and elegant and fast-paced, with touches of laugh-out-loud humor.
In the next few years don't be surprised to find vampire authors writing about "chalices" or using crows to carry messages, or writing about vampires who walk in daylight. If you read Acevedo's novels, you'll have read it there first.
I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to see what Felix Gomez is up to next.
In Los Angeles, Gomez makes contact with the head of the local Vampires and soon discovers that things are worse than he imagined. The LA vampires are actively working toward some kind of power-sharing with humans. Gomez knows too well what that will mean--individual vampires may be powerful, but their only real safety comes from human certainty that they don't exist. Still, the murder proves harder to solve--there are plenty of people with motives to have killed Roxy Bronze, but Gomez's nearly infailable ability to hypnotize mortals and get them to tell the truth doesn't unveil the killer the way he thought it would. And when he won't cut a deal with the local vampire leader, Gomez finds he's on the run from vampires, silver-bullet-armed cops, and a woman who almost convinces him that vampires can seek real love.
Author Mario Acevedo creates a charming mix of the hard-boiled detective story with modern urban fantasy. Gomez is an interesting and conflicted character, still damaged from his actions in Iraq, cynical about both mortal humans and his undead counterparts, and uncertain whether a vampire has a chance at love. The Chinatown world of Los Angeles and the porn industry add texture to the story, as does Gomez's hispanic background and Acevedo's use of Spanish in his story. Sidekick Coyote is an especially interesting character--with his weakness for rat chorizo and cheap booze.
X-RATED BLOOD SUCKERS has plenty of funny moments, but it it's a lot darker than the title indicates. Gomez's world is dark, and there really aren't good answers--with murder being the bad answer found most often. I did think that Gomez was just a little too capable. Good against humans is easy for a vampire, but Gomez seemed a bit too good against other vampires as well.
Whether you're looking for an innovative urban fantasy, or a mystery reader interested in expanding your horizons, X-RATED BLOOD SUCKERS has a lot going for it. I'm happy to recommend this story.
Felix Gomez is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the early 1990s. He's a hardened private investigator based in Denver. He's a vampire. And he's about to take on the case of his undead life.
Felix travels to Los Angeles to unravel a porn star's murder. Elements of the case seem to point to vampire-human collaboration, which could endanger the entire underworld's existence. Politics, religion, sin, and money are just a few spokes in a dangerous wheel of intrigue. Blood and silver bullets will fly before the mystery is solved. If Felix is lucky, he might survive to piece it together.
A new twist on the vampire and mystery genres, this novel offers a fresh, if gruesomely violent, story. Fans of the undead are likely to enjoy the adventures--and misadventures--of PI Felix Gomez. Author Mario Acevedo succeeds at bringing readers into a unique take on the paranormal world.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a read with plenty blood, guts, fangs, and action.
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
1. Do you like humor? More importantly, so you like some subtle humor in books that you read? Would you like to chuckle or be amused during a story?
2. Do you like "flawed" characters? Characters that have something wrong with them? Well the main character in this story is a blood sucking kinda guy who is allergic to sunlight and has a strong aversion to human blood.
3. Do you like a good adventurous story where "things happen" and they don't take a long time to get going?
4. Do you like sex? or at least, do you recognize that there are certain desires that just about everyone has? Well this novel is full of innuendos. It is not a porno novel. The title might suggest that they are doing it on every other page. Not true. That isn't to say that something did not happen, but I'll leave that up to you to read.
I found this to be a fun entertaining adventure. More importantly I really enjoyed the "twist" that it gave to the standard vampire tale. It suggests a few new ways of looking at things. The second novel is just about as fun as his first one, so it's worth considering the series.