The Last of the Red Hot Vampires
Katie MacAlister is not for everyone. She has her own, distinct style that I have enjoyed over the years. So, reader, beware! If you have already tried and disliked a previous MacAlister novel, The Last of the Red Hot Vampires is not going to be the one to turn that opinion on its ear. Yes, I liked it, but it’s still signature Katie MacAlister.
Portia Harding is on vacation in England, helping her best friend do a little research for her next book. Portia is a die-hard skeptic when it comes to anything paranormal, while her friend Sarah is on a mission to prove to her that there are some things in life that cannot be explained through science. Being a physicist, Portia fights this belief tooth and nail, even as she encounters a fairy ring, a mysterious woman who grants her the “gift” to control the weather, and an adorable man who claims he’s a fallen angel.
Portia is convinced that Theo North is a stalker/kidnapper who just might be off his rocker. In fact Theo is a nephillim – son of an angel and a mortal, also an outcast to the larger paranormal society – who is out to help her get through the various trials she is forced into due to receiving her unwanted “gift.” Of course, there’s something in it for him. Theo wants to be reinstated into the society that shuns him – the Court of the Divine Blood. The Court is a pseudo-heaven with the sovereign as its head honcho. MacAlister does a nice job of using heavenly characters and characteristics without offending everything Christians believe.
Portia and Theo run into many bumps on their journey through 340 pages. Theo is turned into a Dark One (vampire), Portia is in danger to fail her trials, the hierarchy of the Court is at stake, and Portia must find out what happened to the mysterious woman from the fairy circle or she will be charged with her murder. There’s also a little falling in love and sex in there somewhere. But, wow, does Katie MacAlister know how to pack a book full of plot until it is overflowing. This one was in slight danger of being too much, but never quite crosses the line.
At first Portia annoyed me with her hysterical ravings since she doesn’t believe what her eyes are seeing. Every other word out of her mouth is harassment or kidnapper. But once she finally comes to terms with the other world, she mellows and ends up very endearing.
With any book written in the first person, there is always the problem of not getting to know the hero as much as you’d like. I got a clear picture of who and what Theo was – very, very nice, by the way – yet still missed that inner dialogue I would have liked from him.
The Last of the Red Hot Vampires is a campy farce that is easy and quick to read. If you are not familiar with the Dark Ones series, you should go back to A Girl’s Guide to Vampires and start there. The ever-evolving world-building is enough to make one’s head spin – even someone who has been here from the beginning of the series. I couldn’t begin to guess the mass confusion it would cause a newbie. Still, this is a good addition to the series.