I have recently finished reading “Vampire State of Mind” by Jane Lovering.
The blurb reads:
“Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee.
To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York. When a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together.
But then Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world, which puts a very different slant on their relationship.
The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them – even on the vampire she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with …”
You might think, oh no, not another vampire novel, another Twilight. Well, you are wrong! This is an awesome book, with the whole new idea of vampires being fully integrated into normal human society and accepted by humans (for the most part). There are also zombies, werewolves, ghouls and other supernatural creatures, all of whom have equal status in the human world. The laws and rights regarding all species are interesting to discover, as humans have never really liked sharing their planet with other dominant species.
The book is set in York, which is great because i used to live there and i can mentally picture all the places it mentions! It brings across a whole new side of the city, besides the tourism side, describing what it is like living there with all these Otherworld creatures. York has plenty of ties with different times in history, from Romans to Vikings and beyond, so why not bring it up to date with these supernatural creatures living there too!?
Humans have created a synthetic blood in order to keep the vampires satisfied and to protect the humans. New laws are enforced in order to keep the peace, as obviously there is always someone who will turn against the others. No-one wants a repeat of the early violence described when the Otherworld creatures were trying to be recognised as equal and so on.
Jessica is a fascinating character, tasked with enforcing the laws and tracking down the creatures to make sure they toeing the line. Her uncanny knack for identifying creatures, which puts her in the 5% of humans who have this ability, hints at a deeper part of her own identity, which comes under conflict after a few home truths come to light, changing her life forever. Her relationship with the vampire Sil is interesting, and she tries to ignore the fact she is falling in love with him, but as the novel progresses it becomes clear that there is something between them, shown in their behaviour towards each other. Jessica is feisty and fiercely independent, and constantly uses “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as her bible for keeping tabs on the Otherworlders, which is amusing!
I give this book 8/10 because it breathes new life into the sub-genre which has been taken over by sappy vampires brought about by Twilight and brings the Otherworld creatures firmly onto the world stage as equals to humans. The book is witty and clever, with a great paranormal romance story but with enough sci-fi elements and real issues to make it a really great read. The setting of the book and the characters themselves make up a great plot, and the climax is really good. Totally worth a read if you want real vampires!
Note: I read this on Kindle.