Mining the Depths

I'll read almost anything and love what captures my imagination. Best of all is responding to books in the larger cultural sense, loving or loathsome. Literature should have a place in the wider world.

 

And I'm another GoodReads refugee. 

Already Dead  - Charlie Huston I almost gave this book three stars, for being so exactly what it is.So exactly what it is, in fact, that at first I thought I stumbled on a parody of the genre (which is the hard-boiled private eye type).Joe Pitt is a Vampyre in New York. Because he has the Vyrus. Except there really is a supernatural reality, despite the psuedo-science explanations for the vampires (whyyyy the y?) and the zombies/shamblers (or VOZs for "victims of zombification"). Now, actually, the science-y background isn't bad. It's a bit goofy, but really so are vampires.It had an exceedingly gory beginning, which I didn't expect. But really I didn't expect much since I found this available on Overdrive and didn't actually look to see what it was about: it was just the first of a series and available. Pickings are just so slim. Anyway, there's a lot of gore, probably too much for some readers—not that I'm particularly desensitized or anything, I just can turn off my imagination. There's also......well, I was going to say swearing, but really it's just the 'f' word You may well guess I'm not particularly comfortable with swearing, and I frankly don't like it when I swear far too often (which I do). But I do the same way the book does—with no creativity whatsoever. I've not taught myself to swear or known many people with huge cursing vocabularies, but I'm still vaguely aware that there are more out there than the only infix in American English.Joe Pitt, the vampire quasi-PI, was an interesting character for me as a reader. He is a vampire, so while I didn't like how distanced he was from human suffering, it made since for how long he's been a vampire, and his backstory. I was never fully convinced by his girlfriend though, who is, of course, attractive. But she's also twenty two, and that made me rather uncomfortable, for many reasons. One being that it felt a little self-indulgent.As you may have noticed from the "VOZs", Huston does have politically conscious vampires who satirize a number of current political/cultural concerns, and while it can be kind of fun, it, again, made me a little uncomfortable. Some of the satire was too little unexamined.The novel dropped from three to two stars mostly for the second half. The beginning is clever and there's interesting world-building, and the pacing isn't bad. The story does keep up the pace, but since I did read the whole thing in one day, the end got a bit exhausting, since it just kept piling onto the narrator, and then took a while to finish wrapping things up.Oh, and often I shelf books according to it's approximate origination point, if location is important enough. This book is so New York, I would be surprised if there is, in fact, any other existing place. Maybe it's a dystopia where the entire rest of the world is destroyed? Or maybe everyone in New York sincerely thinks about it as it's own separate city-state. I wouldn't know. I've never been further east than Chicago, and am a California girl to the bone.

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