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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Erin McCarthy & Kathy Love: FANGOVER

Authors:  Erin McCarthy and Kathy Love
Plot Type:  Romantic Vampire Fantasy
Ratings:  V3; S4; H4  
Publisher and Titles:  Berkley Sensation
          The Fangover (11/2012)
           Fangs for Nothing (7/2013)

     This books in this series have absurd, light-as-a feather plots, so they should make great summer beach reads. The series is set in New Orleans, where members of The Impalers, a vampire rock band, become involved in adventures that mimic the general plot of the movie, The Hangover. The band members are as follows:

    > Stella Malone, manager
    > Johnny Malone, lead singer
    > Wyatt, bass* 
    > Berto Cortex ("Cort"), unspecified instrument
    > Saxon, keyboards
    > Drake Hanover, unspecified instrument

     *Although Wyatt is supposed to be the bass player, in one scene in The Fangover his instrument shifts from a bass to a guitar and back to a bass, which is probably a case of poor continuity editing.

            BOOK 1:  The Fangover           
     The story begins when the band members awake to find themselves sprawled around an apartment—all with giant hangovers and with absolutely no memory of the night before. Drake (like Stu/Ed Helms in the movie) is dismayed to find that he is missing one of his teeth—actually, one of his fangs. Cort is shocked to find a wedding ring on his finger. Then, Katie, their hysterical human friend, rushes in and announces that someone changed her over into a vampire. Coincidentally, she also has a brand new wedding ring. As they get ready to leave the apartment, they find an unconscious priest in the bathroom (instead of the movie's tiger). Oh, don't let me forget the alcoholic parrot, who shows up out of nowhere and spouts a lot of nonsense. At this point, the group is determined to replay the previous 48 hours so that they can figure out what's going on.

     Chronologically, the action actually begins when Wyatt finds his vampire roommate's ashes on the floor of their very sunny living room. Johnny has left a silly suicide note, but the fact remains that he is definitely gone. When Johnny's sister, Stella, realizes what has happened, she goes crazy with grief. Oddly, her way of dealing with that grief is to jump Johnny's bones, which is fine with Johnny since he has always loved Stella from afar. After their moment of passion, Stella goes off on her own for awhile, and Wyatt spends much of the book in a desperate search for her.

     Meanwhile, Cort has to figure out if he's really married to Katie and, if so, does he (and does she) want to stay together or get it annulled. This involves tracking down the voodoo priestess who apparently performed the ceremony. 

     The over-the-top plot follows the band members—primarily Wyatt and Cort—as they retrace their steps, figure out the mystery, and fall completely in love with their new girlfriends. The search involves a lot of guy-to-guy trash talk and a number of sexy love scenes for the two couples. As the authors explain in the introduction to the book, McCarthy wrote Wyatt and Stella's story, and Love wrote Cort and Katie's story.

     The ending is anti-climactic and kind of lame, especially the explanation for the group's memory loss. In a final tribute to the move, a pregnant woman (rather than a baby) shows up at the end and turns out to be the key to most of the mysterious goings-on.

            BOOK 2:  Fangs for Nothing          
     The second book is as fluffy as the first as Johnny and Drake celebrate Saxon's wedding and wind up in a dominatrix's dungeon along with two cute chicks. There's an action plot that involves the villainous Vampire Alliance, but it doesn't interfere too much with the romances.

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