Title: Fang Me
Author: Parker Blue
Synopsis (Courtesy of IndieBound):
“The vampires want it. The demons want it, too. And someone is willing to kill Val for it.
Val and Fang have to find the powerful Encyclopedia Magicka before either of San Antonio’s warring underworld factions locate it or the consequences will be deadly for the entire city. As usual, Val’s vampire enemies (they still call her The Slayer) want her dead. Even some of her fellow demons may be less than trustworthy, since they’d like to grab the legendary book of spells before she does. Val has a personal claim to the Encyclopedia–her demon father left it to her when he died–but someone stole it recently. And that can’t be good.
Battling vamps and dodging demons, Val struggles to unravel the mystery and find the thief. At the same time, she’s fighting her attraction to sweet, sexy Shade–her favorite shadow demon. Rumor has it that Val will lose her part-demon, vampire-fighting powers if she gives herself to him.
With a crowd of vamps and demons out to trick her or kill her, it’s not a good time for her to risk her job as the city’s best vampire hunter by falling in love. The stakes are high and aimed right at her heart. But Lola, Val’s hungry little lust demon, doesn’t like being denied. Will Lola finally get her way?
What’s a part-lust-demon-teen supposed to do? Whatever it takes.”
Thoughts: Whereas Bite Me and Try Me were fun and wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, Fang Me takes a turn for the serious as Val now has to determine on which path her future lies. Is her whole identity wrapped up in the idea of her as a slayer, with supernatural strength, speed and healing abilities or is it as a part-lust demon? For Val, she has to make the choice, and this crossroads takes some of the fun out of the story.
To me, the fun is the story. When Fang and Val are bantering back and forth, these are some of the best moments of the novels. I wasn’t looking for a “loss of virginity comes with serious, life-altering consequences” storyline, as I can get that in almost any other paranormal romance story, both on and off television. To me, Fang Me commits the action about which I warned readers in my review of Try Me; it takes itself too seriously. The consequence of this is that spark that made the first two so enjoyable and light-hearted is now gone.
This underlying seriousness is felt in all aspects of the novel, from Fang’s interactions with Val, to her interactions with Dan and Shade, and even her relationships with the vampire and demon factions. The entire novel suffers as a result. Rather than rapidly reading because I want to devour the novel, as I did with the first two, I ended up rapidly skimming just so I could get to the end of the story. I was even disheartened to discover that Ms. Blue is working on a fourth Demon Underground novel. This is not the end result one wants to experience when reading, and it is doubly unfortunate because the first two novels were so fun.
Unfortunately, I do feel that Val’s story has run its course. No amount of snark can help overcome a story that takes itself too seriously when it is not meant to be so. Once it started dealing with the issue of fate and destiny, Fang Me became too earnest and did not continue its inherent playfulness which made the first two stories so enjoyable.
Thank you to NetGalley for my review copy!