Reclaiming the Dead Book Review
It is not the sort of vampire book I would normally read. In fact after reading the back cover I thought this is more my brother’s style and I do plan to pass it on to him just as soon as I see him next. You see, I tend to like the frou frou vampire stories that have a love element or the stories that feature a kick ass female vampire or vampire hunter protagonist. Yeah, I guess I tend to like the stuff written for chicks, I can admit that. That said, I did read Reclaiming the Dead and enjoyed it quite a bit even though it is not my usual fare.
This particular book is about two male “losers” who end up becoming unlikely vampire hunters and change their lives in the process. They are characters that we are familiar with…aimless, kinda lazy, with no ambition beyond a good sandwich and a beer. The main character, Merton Daniels, is recruited as a vampire hunter by some faceless organization at a very low point in his life. He is jobless, dumped my his long time girlfriend for a sugar daddy, and donating plasma to get by. He is living on the couch of his pal Coaler, who is perhaps only slightly more ambitious. He has a job at least.
Merton passes out drunk one day to find a mysterious calling card has been left for him. From there he meets a mysterious man who tells him that he has been profiled as prime material for a career in vampire slaying and that job notifications will be forthcoming. There is no pay but he can feel free to pillage from his vampire victims. At first Merton thinks it is some sort of joke but he and Coaler decide to go along with it and see where it leads. Their banter as they set out on their first jobs is hilarious and are my favorite parts of the book. There are moments when I had to set the book down and wipe away the tears of laughter.
Ultimately they figure out, and not without incident, that this whole vampire slaying gig is the real deal. Merton becomes the heavy, doing the slaying work, and Coaler becomes the designated pillager. The journey from slackers to skilled vampire hunters is a fun ride and characters that seem rather unremarkable at first grow on you until you are regarding them with fondness by book’s end.
There is also a section of the book that delves into vampire mythology as it examines a shape shifting vampire predator that was been around since Biblical times. At first this part of the book was off putting since it deviated from the Merton/Coaler storyline and I very much wanted to get back to it but I ended up enjoying this part of he book as well.
While I would not call the book gory it did not shy away from gruesome mental images. All of it seemed very real and plausible though, much more so than your typical vampire stories. The writing was very well done, the story was engaging , and it was realistic in a funny and wonderful way. I would recommend it highly.