Kate Reads

Vamparazzi - Laura Resnick The Esther Diamond series is one which I got into after discovering the second and third books in the devastated fantasy bookshelves when Borders went out of business. I have very much enjoyed it as a urban fantasy series which really doesn't focus on the love life of the heroine, has a main character who has really no special qualities at all, and the quirky side characters are always good for a few laughs. While this installment continues to have all of those characteristics, I am a little disappointed with other aspects. Basically, my biggest issue (and this especially in the forefront of my mind after reading and reviewing [b:Tricked|12700306|Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)|Kevin Hearne|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1324455119s/12700306.jpg|16669362]) was the info dumps. Pages and pages of discussion and set-up of the types of vampires, background on where they come from, their governing council, etc. Some of this was shown through flashbacks, but the majority of it was given to us in the form of monologues by one or two characters. I'm for setting up a scene as much as the next person, but if the series follows its pattern so far, the likelihood that these details will come up again is small. Each book so far has dealt with mostly different magic than the books preceding it. So, I worry that I read through all those paragraphs and it won't even be necessary for me to know in the future. However, I will take this back as soon as I read the next book, [b:Polterheist|12612356|Polterheist (Esther Diamond, #5)|Laura Resnick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347928386s/12612356.jpg|17627857] if there is the continued presence of the vampire characters. (Also come on these titles! Love it!)That being said, I loved the alternate mythology surrounding vampires that Resnick created. It was creative and explains Max's issue with Lithuanians. I hope that we see the vampire hunters in the future, as well as some of the other secondary characters. Having a character who is basically terrified of everything and worried about his sick cat be a vampire is genius! That was one reveal I quite enjoyed. It did seem rather convenient that there were quite a few characters in on the "secret" already. I do keep reading these books because Esther is definitely one of my favorite urban fantasy characters. She reacts in similar ways that I feel I would react if put in similar situations, mainly, she freaks out. This is reasonable! She is a normal person thrown into this universe that is in no way normal. Obviously this requires a bit of suspension of disbelief, but it is far more believable than some series, in my opinion, since it takes place in our time, with most of the rules of physics being followed (not to say that I am not able to suspend a lot more disbelief if the situation calls for it). And also, for the most part, I don't think she does anything to terribly stupid. Sometimes heroines are really good at the "Oh what, I had no idea this really obvious situation when I am alone is a set up for me being caught by this bad guy who I have been dealing with this WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK." She sticks with her friends, argues for a police escort when necessary, and basically does what she can to be safe. Also, she's from Wisconsin. I may be a bit biased. I'd like to make a note about the cover. When I first saw it I was a little frustrated because it was Esther in a skimpy dress, but it turns out for a large portion of the book she is wearing a dress like that one. I forget she's an actress. ;) The cover, surprisingly, accurately represents many portions of the book, and I like that a lot, much more so than covers that exist solely to have the heroine in a not physically possible pose. So, while it is a bit goofy, it is pretty true to elements of the story, and I do appreciate that. I would recommend Vamparazzi if you like a little bit more silliness with your urban fantasy or if you have read the previous installments in the series and enjoyed them. If you pick this one up looking for a Kat, Sookie or Jaz, you will definitely be disappointed. For the lighthearted laughs though, I would totally go with this one.