Another author has been seduced by creatures of the night. Insatiable is the first book of a new vampire series by Meg Cabot. While the premise of the story is rather familiar, and it’s getting a bit old to see more and more authors jump on the bandwagon, the book is well-written and I’m still interested in continuing the series.
As a writer for the popular and long-running soap opera, Insatiable, Meena Harper has a life that many would envy. But she has a telepathic gift that is more of a curse: She is able to see how someone will die. This has greatly affected her life, driving away boyfriends and causing her to be something of a recluse. It’s also heartbreaking when she tries to help people avoid their deaths but they won’t listen to her. So, when she comes across a dashing man who rescues her from a bat attack one night and she can’t foresee his inevitable death, she figures she’s hit the jackpot. After she learns that he’s a real-life prince, she’s completely smitten. Meena has no idea that the reason she can’t see how Lucien Antonescu will die is because he’s already dead or that her prince is actually the prince of darkness.
There have been a rash of murders in New York. Young girls are being discovered in parks, drained of their blood. The prince of darkness has come from Romania to investigate who among his kind is committing these crimes and deal with the perpetrator. Lucien’s father, Vlad Tepes, was a cruel leader and brought great harm to the species with his indiscretion. Since his death, Lucien has imposed new rules, which include keeping their existence a secret. His mission is interrupted, however, when he meets a remarkable woman who starts to warm his non-beating heart.
The two share a wonderful night together and Meena is on cloud nine until a very large, very intimidating German man breaks into her home, wielding a sword and asking her to divulge the location of the prince of darkness. She, of course, has no idea what he’s talking about and believes she’s finally about to meet her own death at the hands of a crazy man who’s ranting about vampires. She begins to question her beliefs, however, when certain facts start adding up and when the slayer named Alaric shows her some very obvious bite marks on her person, she is forced to accept that vampires are real and she’s dating one.
This book pokes fun at itself several times. An example: “Shoshona was taking vampire fever – which, yes, gripped the country, there was no denying that; it was obvious enough that even Consumer Dynamics Inc. was aware of it, and they were so oblivious to trends that they still thought having a MySpace page was cutting-edge – too far.” Meena thinks the vampire craze is absurd. She is told, however, that she simply can’t escape the phenomenon. These jokes are found throughout. I was a bit turned off by the fact that this book contains Jonathan and Meena Harper, while Dracula has Jonathan and Mina Harker, until the author points out the similarity. By basically saying, “Yes, I know what I’m doing,” I could overlook these things and see the book for itself.
As a whole, I enjoyed the book and want to read the next installment, but there were a couple things that sort of bugged me. At the beginning of the book, there were very long sentences broken up by huge phrases. By the end, it was difficult to remember where the sentence began and I would have to re-read it. The quote I used in the previous paragraph is a good example of this. This was annoying, but lessened as the book went on and, by the end, it wasn’t there at all. Meena was also stupid at times. Not necessarily Too Stupid To Live, but she would do things that were supposed to represent woman power and only ended up making her look dumb. And is a bat attack really deadly? So much emphasis was put on Meena almost dying from a colony of bats and Lucien being willing to die to save her (supposedly the only reason he didn’t is because he’s already dead) and I just didn’t see that level of danger. I don’t know if that’s because of my lack of knowledge or because the scene never reflected a severe encounter, but I didn’t feel it. Smaller issues like these brought my level of enjoyment down a bit.
Insatiable is easy to read, fast-paced, and very self-aware. It’s my first introduction to Meg Cabot and I like her style. This is a good beginning to yet another vampire series with a love triangle. Who will Meena choose? Will it be the dashing, bloodsucking prince of darkness or the beefy, heroic vampire slayer? If you’ve had too much from this genre, don’t bother, but if you still crave some love bites, check this one out.