by Wm. Mark Simmons
Review by Steve Sawicki
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781416521327
Date: 05 June 2007 List Price $23.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
This is the fourth book in Simmons' Almost a Vampire series. This time, protagonist Christopher Csejthe finds himself wrangling with the elder gods in a New Orleans that has gone under water. For help he's got an elven goddess, a vampire bodyguard, some undead, a few witches and a couple of ghosts, all with their own agendas. On the other side are assorted mer-creatures, demons, vampires, a clan of werewolves, witches, and the private parts of Rasputin. Csejthe gets involved in all this rather reluctantly, since this is how he typically gets involved in all of his supernatural adventures. This time he's trying to save his werewolf lover, his son who now lives in Faerie, and New Orleans itself, if not the world. Along the way he loses his housing again, gets betrayed more times than you can imagine, and manages to piss off just about every powerful werewolf and vampire in the greater geographic region.
It should be obvious that this is a book with a fairly large dose of humor. Most of it works pretty well, and if you don't find one thing funny the next amusement is just around the page. There's also a fair amount of action in this book, which is quickly paced and full of sub-plots. Simmons opens the book with Csejthe in a padded cell being interviewed by a psychiatrist and having no idea how he got there. That he's not really in a cell but in a Faerie Mound adds to the mystery, and Simmons keeps piling things on one after the other. As you read along and solve one thing, two more mysteries are uncovered in the process so it's a race to the final conclusion. Some things you will figure out on your own and others you'll never see coming, although both are fun to get to.
I have to say I really enjoy this series. Simmons has a nice light style that perfectly matches the content, and the pacing makes this a book that's hard to put down. There's so much going on that you begin to wonder if Simmons actually has some sort of plan or is just going to let it all crash to a stop on the last page. Not to worry though, everything hangs together, and if you think you can't mix fantasy, humor, the supernatural and biotechnology, then you need to meet the creations of Wm. Mark Simmons. A definite recommendation.