Late Bite by John Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just when you think you've just been reading a truly fascinating and creative courtroom drama including a vampire with some rather unique abilities to wipe away all the bad things that happen to his victims for the price of a little blood, as the ultimate psychologist, we then get a fun and funny look at his life as a celebrity. Doesn't that sound fun? Like a better, more streamlined and interesting version of Lestat?
But wait! All those victims from the courtroom from years ago are being murdered, and this courtroom drama cum satire of the entertainment industry has just become a dark and complex murder mystery with our likable hero being set up for everything.
Or is there something else going on?
Well, shoot! Roast me alive and call me damn bloodsucker, because things aren't nearly what they seem, again, and all these genres executed flawlessly for the bulk of the novel just happens to be mere lead-up to a much more interesting life-story as the past fills in and comes back to haunt our hero, gladiator style, with just as much blood and guts and pathos and family drama as you could ever want in a horror or a thriller or a satire OR a courtroom drama. Although, lets be honest, most courtroom dramas don't usually go for the whole blood and guts thing, BUT THIS ONE DOES. YAY!
Am I surprised as hell?
Well, no. Not really, because I just got done reading the author's second book before reading this, his first book, and I already knew to expect a ton of fantastically-done and effortless genre-mashing and great characters in the middle of great plot twists.
Does it lessen my enjoyment even a whiff? Hell no!
I choose to call this a SF horror with UF leanings enmeshed fully in the whole mystery drama only because, technically, the vampire himself says that he's just an offshoot of the species from something like 30k years ago, and there really isn't anything truly supernatural or anything. As opposed to just throwing him, willy-nilly, in fantasy. I feel justified after all the time spent in court establishing just what Homo Sanguinis IS. :)
Again, I repeat, This Author Is Someone To Watch Out For. :) Anyone who can consistently bend the shit out of any form of tale, like this or Gravity Games, has got to be something of a god. Suffice to say, he has expert control over all these multiple genres and makes it look like child's play.
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