Review: American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout

Title: American Vampire

Author: Jennifer Armintrout

Published: Mira Feb 2011 {ARC courtesy Netgalley)

Sypnosis: HE’S THE GOOD KIND OF VAMPIRE. SORT OF. Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all. Jessa’s the only one to even remotely trust him, and she’s desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there’s a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard to come by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa’s only hope for salvation. Even if she has to die first…

Status: Read from JFebruary 12 to February 13, 2011

My Thoughts:

American Vampire is the first book I have read by Jennifer Armintrout who is known for two successful series (Blood Ties and Lightworld/Darkworld).
This stand alone novel fits snugly into the horror genre and can be compared loosely to Stephen King’s* traditional plot technique of isolating a small town of small minded personalities to be terrorised by a nameless monster. Armintrout adds her own spin by drawing a vampire in to the mix as its saviour.
Graf unwittingly finds himself trapped in Penance, Ohio when he saves Jessa from a monster whose rampage has kept the small town residents trapped within its borders for five years. Despite his general disdain for humanity, when Graf finds he can’t escape, he unwillingly becomes involved in protecting Jessa from not only the demon, but her fellow townspeople.
While I like the premise, it is a familiar one from my early obsession with horror novels so I found it a touch predictable however Armintrout does add unique touches that deliver a surprise or two.
The pace is good, the author maintains an atmospheric sense of unease and the tension is built to the climax with skill. There is evidence of Armintrouts dry and dark humor that adds an element of fun and her style of writing is very accessible.
Both Graf and Jessa are unusual characters, almost anti-heroes, they have a moral vagueness that is unsettling yet a charm that encourages your support of both their escape and romantic relationship. I am impressed with Armintrouts ability to walk this very narrow line.
The conclusion is violently satisfying even though there are small questions that remain unanswered. There is the potential for these characters to surface in a future book by Armintrout, though I am not sure where she would take the story.
American Vampire is tailor made to appeal to the currently insatiable vampire loving readership who may be looking for something a little left of mainstream in paranormal romance.

*not to be confused with Stephen Kings DC Comic book American Vampire, Vol. 1 and not helped by the monster being referred to as “It

@ Goodreads

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 20:14:40

    I found this to be an odd book. It didn’t strike me as a vampire book, paranormal romance, or really even a horror book, it seemed mostly about Jessa and Graf escaping. While it was pretty entertaining, I was definitely left wanting more. I don’t know if it was more monster, more horror, more from other characters, I was just left wanting.

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

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  2. snazal
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 09:35:30

    I found this to be a good read.

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  3. Trackback: Wakela's World » Blog Archive » Review–An American Vampire
  4. Belinda
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 11:37:58

    I really enjoyed this book and I agree with the critic it was actually a very good book and reminded me of Stephen King’s book but with it’s own little twists and uniqueness.

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