|4 out of 5 stars|
Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn't enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?
Many of you who read my reviews regularly know that I am a devotee of urban fantasy and that I work in a library. The result of these two facts? When I read that there was an urban fantasy series that featured an unemployed children’s librarian who becomes a vampire, I absolutely had to give it a try! And I found it quite entertaining, too.
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs owes quite a debt to the Sookie Stackhouse series, I think. Like Harris’ series, this one is set in a small town in the Southern States. As in the Sookie books, vampires have recently come out of the coffin (now that there is a source of artificial blood available) and they have a rather hazy and somewhat threatening hierarchy that they are not over-fond of sharing. Quite quickly, we also have a werewolf showing up, so other supernatural people are obviously going to feature in this series too. Also, Jane, the heroine of this series, begins as a relatively sexually inexperienced woman, similar to the virginal Ms. Stackhouse. Several bad experiences have persuaded Jane to just focus on her career and put relationships on hold.
This is where she parts from the Sookie mold, however, because Jane is a well-educated, well-read, feisty and sassy heroine. Her smart cracks remind me much more of Seanan McGuire’s writing (both Toby in the October Day series and Verity Price in the InCryptid series). Once she becomes a vampire, Jane acquires the ability to see ghosts, à la Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson. And her Aunt Jettie’s ghost has a number of wise and hilarious things to say.
I like that the author doesn’t take the whole thing too seriously, but I still completely comprehend her sense of humour. Perhaps because Jane has a tendency to quote Dr. Seuss and obsesses over organizing book shelves, I like her a great deal. It will also be interesting to see Jane continue to deal with her overbearing Southern mama. So far, Harper is following the "no female friends" pattern that most urban fantasy seems to adhere to--I'd be thrilled if Jane acquired a woman friend in the next installment.
So, yeah, I’ve found another series that I’ll be working my way through as I have time. So, yay?