Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review of Slayed by Amanda Marrone

Slayed by Amanda Marrone; Simon Pulse, 2010.

Daphne Van Helsing has been hunting and killing vampires since she was twelve years old. Her family is descended from Abraham Van Helsing, the legendary vampire hunter. Daphne would love to be able to live in one place for a long time and make friends. Instead, she has been sketching imaginary friends in a notebook while her parents drag her all over the country for “vampire gigs”. She is surprised one night to find Kiki Crusher, formerly aka Maybelle Crusher, daughter of the lead singer of “The Disco Unicorns”, in a bar in Bristol, Maine. Kiki inadvertently saves Daphne’s life and becomes a vampire-hunter apprentice. Kiki begins on-the-job training, and she and Daphne discover that the vampires in Bristol have morphed into super-human vampires, which are much more difficult to kill. The Van Helsing’s rivals, Nathan Harker and his handsome son, Tyler, descendents of Jonathan Harker, another famous vampire hunter, arrive in town, intent on taking jobs away from the Van Helsings. Will the vampire hunters be able to get along and rid the town of the killer vampires, or will they perish in the process? However, there are more sinister forces at work, and evil is filtering into Bristol!

Amanda Marrone has done a terrific job of getting into a teenage girl’s head to describe how Daphne feels about vampire hunting. The descriptions of staking and decapitating vampires are quite bloody and gory. Daphne is torn between carrying out her duties and wanting to give it all up to be a “homebody”. There were lots of vampire facts in the book, which gives readers a crash course in their background. I had no idea that a vampire actually has to drink all of a human’s blood in order for them to actually become a vampire! A little nibble just won’t do it! This book was really funny, even though there was so much violence in it! Kiki is a real hoot, and she stepped right into the vampire hunter role like she was born to it! She pulls no punches and even becomes the bff that Amanda has never had!

Slayed is a funny twist on scary subject! I recommend this book to high school and public libraries!