Set in an alternate world where vampires are in charge and humans nearly extinct, Sosnowski's (Rapture) mildly diverting novel will appeal more to mainstream readers than horror aficionados. Undead Martin Kowalski, killing time at strip clubs and surviving, like all vampires, off blood derived from stem cells, is considering suicide when he encounters a six-year-old human girl, Isuzu Trooper Cassidy. She and her recently killed mother were escapees from a hunting preserve. Unwilling to vamp her (child vampires, aka "screamers," tend to be disturbed individuals), Martin opts instead to provide a good home for the child until she attains adulthood. The author offers both distraction and food for thought, bestowing endless tidbits, inventive explanations and intriguing tangents (why vampires love laser tag; what's involved with air travel when it comes to an all-vampire passenger list and crew) as he fleshes out an otherwise simple, straightforward narrative. Most of the work's broader concepts, unfortunately, are in the hidebound, daylight-avoiding tradition. While it's nice to find out fun facts such as when vampire lunchtime takes place (midnight), the plot is pretty unlikely even in context and the characters essentially one-dimensional. The field of vampire fiction is well-trodden ground, and Sosnowski's tracks leave little lasting impression. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Aug. 4) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Marty is your average vampire, terribly bored with eternity. The thrill of the chase has vanished: the undead sip blood made from stem cells, owing to the rarity of living, breathing human beings. Enter little Isuzu Trooper Cassidy, a human orphan girl who gives the suicidally depressed Marty a new lease on his unlife. He wins her trust, planning to keep her for a later meal. What he doesn't foresee is that this feisty child is turning him from a predator into a protector. Eventually, Marty comes to think of himself as a single parent shielding his daughter from the clutches of his undead brethren. For her part, Isuzu calls him Dad and brings him all the joy and angst that defines parenthood. Full of wit and charm, Sosnowski's fast-paced second novel (after Rapture, about the secret life of angels) offers delightfully quirky characters and plenty of hilarious scenes. Narrator Marty's sardonic eye misses nothing. Recommended for popular fiction collections.-Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Columbia, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Vampires rule the world, but they've been domesticated along the way in Sosnowski's unnervingly funny second novel (after Rapture, 1996). Years ago, blue-collar narrator Martin Kowalski founded the Benevolent Vampire Society, which specialized in rooting out murderers, rapists, and other undeserving humans. But the society's good intentions were eventually swamped by those old vampiric primal urges. A swift campaign by Martin and others to "turn" the world-he got a job at a blood bank and put a little drop of himself into each bag-has by the time of the book (the future, that is) resulted in an almost-all-vampire population. Since the only remaining humans are a few bred on illegal-but-tolerated farms for wealthy vamps, the thrill of the hunt is pretty much gone; everyone lives on store-bought blood, which Martin heats up in his Mr. Plasma, buying no-longer-needed items like Count Chocula cereal on eBay. Martin, who is having an existential/mid-eternity crisis, reaches a spiritual crossroads when he comes across Isuzu, an orphaned little girl who's escaped from a breeding farm. Intending at first to just toss her into the trunk and have a nice snack later, Martin ends up bringing Isuzu home and putting off killing her for so long that he ends up as a surrogate father. Sosnowski has a good time with his premise, loading the text with so many bad puns you can almost hear the drummer's rim shot, but also figuring out the practicalities of an all-vampire world: "One of the fringe benefits of being a vampire was you always got the cheapest fares because you always flew the red eye. Now, the red eye's all there is." The author for the most part adroitly avoids the sentimental landmines inherentin his vampire-as-dad premise, and the narrative starts to lose focus only toward the end. Sardonic and wistful at the same time. Agency: Jane Dystel/Dystel & Goderich
The Washington Post
"This darkly comic tale...provides intriguingly offbeat insights."
"One of the more inventive novels of the year...hilarous."
Dallas Morning News
"Smart and funny."
"Unexpected and delightful."
U.S. News & World Report
Detroit Free Press
"Gleefully wicked...a giddy page-turner."
Time Out New York
The New York Times Book Review
"Quirky vampire details."