I have read over a hundred vampire books in my lifetime, but I can honestly say that Fred is unlike any other vampire I have ever read about. And this strange vampire’s unlife and POV did make for a fun, entertaining book. So here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
– The book was episodic—it was basically this man, Fred, telling some anecdotes about incidents that have happened in his life since becoming a vampire—but it worked well enough in this case. I do wonder though if these were originally published separately since, with each new “episode” (I don’t know if they were called that, I think they were journal entries, but I’m calling them that), things would be explained that were just explained or that just happened in the previous episodes. The repetition was mildly annoying but a small issue.
– Contrary to what Fred says, the title of this book is not quite true. Fred himself was rather uninteresting (more on that in a moment), but his life was not. Werewolves, necromancers, dragons—for a man who literally plans his spontaneity, he manages to get into quite a bit of trouble.
– When I said Fred was uninteresting, I didn’t mean that as an insult to the book. That was just his character. The man ironed his Halloween costume for goodness sake. He was a straight-laced accountant who rarely left his apartment, wore sweater vests, and got ulcers and stress headaches at the thought of confrontation. But then… he started changing. Slowly but surely, he started changing. Forget becoming a vampire, dating Crystal was the best thing that ever happened to him. (Ok, fine, becoming a vampire still helped, but he would’ve just gone on with his same lifestyle had she not come along.) I loved seeing his growth throughout the book, but I also loved that he was still himself at his core. He didn’t really have anyone he was close to throughout his life, but as he got a girlfriend and friends, he started to realize there were things worth risking his safety and solitude for sometimes. My favorite parts were when he actually showed some courage and did something awesome. My absolute favorite part was *SPOILER* when he won a joust by swinging his lance like a baseball bat because hey, he may have won on a technicality, but he got the job done, and it still sounded pretty badass to me. *END SPOILER*
– The book was easy to put down, and I think that was my main issue. I enjoyed it, and I happily continued the series, but it was a little slow, and I think it was the episodic nature that made it hard for me to get that “I have to know what happens next” feeling.
– I listened to the audiobook, and I’ll admit I’m not an audiobook fan, but it worked well for this book; the writing was in first person, and it was supposed to be entries in a memoir, so it actually felt like the character was just reading it out loud to me. And the narrator, Kirby Heyborne, did a good job with the dialogue/voices, making them all sound different and natural enough. In fact, I think having this read aloud to me gave the story more life than it would’ve had if I had read it myself.
Overall, this was a light, funny, sweet book that I enjoyed with a vampire who was not your typical vampire but who was all the more lovable for it!
Anyone who likes character growth and who wants to read about a vampire who isn't your typical kind of vampire.
Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.
One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess.