Title: I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
Author: Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Audiobook Length: 3 hours, 43 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction; Romance
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 5 December 2013
Bottom Line: Cute, as always, with a little cliffhanger to further pique a fan’s interest
“It’s Christmas in Half-Moon Hollow and newly turned vampire Iris Scanlon-Calix wants to make Gigi’s first visit home from college as normal and special as possible. It’s taken months for Iris to work up the nerve to spend time around her baby sister after her vampire transition, so she enlists help from Jane Jameson and Company to keep her blood-thirst under control and assure Gigi’s safety. Gigi, on the other hand, has problems of her own, including the demise of her relationship with high school sweetheart, Ben, and a looming job interview with Ophelia Lambert, the scariest potential employer in the Hollow. And then there’s the small matter of the handsome, frustrating vampire who keeps appearing in Gigi’s peripheral vision, then disappearing before she can talk to him. Can the Scanlon sisters negotiate romantic problems, vampire politics, and Christmas cookie disasters and enjoy a relatively normal holiday?”
Thoughts: Meant as a teaser between books two and three of the Half-Moon Hollow series, I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas is cute, frivolous fun. There is a hint of a mystery with Gigi’s mysterious disappearing vampire, but the story really revolves around Gigi’s and Iris’ adjustments to the holidays now that one is undead.
Iris’ need to make Gigi’s Christmas holiday Martha Stewart perfect is hilarious, even as it results in the typical Half-Moon Hollow shenanigans when Jane’s vampire clan gets together in any capacity. There are food mishaps, quirky displays of affection, some drama about Gigi’s potential job and her potential new boss, boyfriend drama, and everything else Ms. Harper fans come to expect.
Amanda Ronconi still remains one of my favorite narrators ever, but she rang slightly false in this one. Her voices for Jane, Gabriel, and some of the other “older” Half-Moon Hollow gang did not sound correct. Their voices were off; Jane was missing that southern twang, and Cal’s accent was a bit too thick. These, among others, are subtle differences, but to someone who has listened to Ms. Ronconi narrate every book that takes place in this wacky small Kentucky town, they are large enough to make the entire audiobook experience somewhat dissonant.
Still, one can never go wrong with anything Ms. Harper writes, especially when it comes to her Half-Moon Hollow gang. They are one big goofy, fiercely loyal family, of which the reader is a member. The enticing tidbits about Gigi’s mystery vamp are enough to capture any fan’s interest. More importantly, it is fun to see some of the old-school characters after they settled into their lives as well as get the opportunity to move forward with the next generation. I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas is a thoroughly enjoyable novella that will help whet fans’ appetites until Ms. Harper can finish the next book in the series.