this is a great book and I absolutely loved it. If you don’t necessarily like your monsters to be particularly scary and enjoy a bit of camp with your reading then this is a solid piece of fiction.
The premise is Fred Frankford Fletcher is a certified CPA who finds himself transformed into one of the undead. Not knowing his sire, Fred goes about his incredibly boring life until his high school reunion when he discovers that the number of supernatural creatures in the world far exceeds just vampires. The book is full of Fred’s adventures dealing with dragonkin, high as a kite mages, necromancer gamers, wereponies, and sexy government agents who have a vampire fetish.
Fred’s adventures are effectively a series of loosely connected short stories ranging from Fred going back to his high school reunion to finally confronting his absentee sire. They tend to be on the silly side with Fred forced to joust for the fate of a friend’s soul (despite no horse or melee experience) or getting caught up in a deranged LARP where everyone is going to be sacrificed for supernatural power but him.
Fred is a fantastic protagonist and while he’s a bit overly drawn as a boring milquetoast nerd, he works well as a point of view character for the weird wild world he’s found himself in. Polite and reserved are not qualities normally associated with urban fantasy heroes. He’s a good guy despite his blood-drinking status but not so good as to be unbelievable. He’s a nice contrast to characters like the Tome of Bill’s protagonist or my own Straight Outta Fangton’s lead.
I also love Fred supporting cast, particularly Krystal Jenkins who serves as Fred’s romantic partner. A fellow nerd from high school who has grown out of her awkward phase, she’s also ended up working for the United States’ sinister Agency. It is the organization that attempts to maintain the fragile peace between all the various supernaturals while keeping the US propped up against its enemies. I found her a likable character and also someone who is out of Fred’s league but still believable in returning his affections.
The book is half-parody, half-serious adventure and that’s really where the best humor in these sorts of books resides. As Mel Brooks once said, “the key to doing a great parody is when it works as a successful example of the work as well as a send-up.” That’s certainly the case here with Fred blundering his way through a complicated world of monsters, magic, and conspiracy while just trying to live a thoroughly mundane life.
It’s difficult to say which story I liked the most because I enjoyed all of Fred’s peculiar adventures. If I had to choose, I enjoyed him visiting his high school the most. Fred is trying to show up his old classmates but because he can’t reveal he’s a vampire, he utterly fails in the process. I think we all would react like Fred if we could as the urge to show off is innate human need. It’s also nice to hear what Krystal was doing before she became a super-spy.
In conclusion, this is a great book and I absolutely loved it. If you don’t necessarily like your monsters to be particularly scary and enjoy a bit of camp with your reading then this is a solid piece of fiction. Fred is a great character and I’ll definitely be picking up the other volumes in the series. It’s not a particularly serious novel but that’s not what it was going for.