Val Shapiro is on vampire stake-out. Killing vampires is not only a public service, but the violence gives her temporary respite from her internal sex-demon, Lola. Which is weird, because I call mine ‘Lola’ too, only my Lola is a sugar-demon. Lola is is the reason Val is strong and super-fast and able to kill vampires. I realized this is what my English teacher termed an ALLEGORY, and now I’m sucked into reading a book about a young woman discovering her sexuality, and I can see we are already off to a banner start.
Despite precautions to remain hidden, a cop witnesses Val saving some chump and killing a vampire. But it’s okay that he saw, because he’s a member of the area Special Crimes Unit and does the same thing, only without the sex demon. The vampire disposal is also witnessed by Little Sister Stow-away, who is hoping to be just like big (half) sister, only she doesn’t have a sex-demon. Unfortunately, Val and Sister’s mom is seriously upset when they return home, so mom asks Val to move out, along with firing her from the family bookstore, all under the guise of protecting younger sister.
Because that always works out. [eyeroll]
Val walks around the city, despondent, and meets a special dog THAT TALKS IN HER HEAD. I’m absolutely predisposed to like most dogs, except that not only is this one a terrier mix, but he TALKS ALL CAPS AND IT ISN’T DISTRACTING AT ALL. The cute cop Dan, calls later and encourages Val to meet with the head of Special Crimes Unit. Her interview consists of hand-to-hand combat with various team members, which is completely normal. She kicks their asses with her special sex-related powers (this is a METAPHOR). Voilá! Tough eighteen year-old woman AND HER HALF-DEMON DOG gets a job on police squad with no official training, and they even get paired with Dan.
Special Crimes has been investigating an uptick in vamp crimes. While asking human gangs about local competition, they notice a poster for the New Blood Movement for vampire rights. They sneak into the rally (that’s how secret the vampires are–they rent a hall to hold a rally) where the panel is speaking and are surprised when the head vamp has to intervene to protect them from all the other vamps, just because Val is also called The Slayer on the streets. This is news to her, but apparently her sister has been trying to cash in on Val’s reputation. Head vampire is super-sincere, charismatic and really sexy, so Val automatically suspects him of being behind all the killings.
In the course of business, they discover an supernatural stripper bar–because that’s never been done before–run by a man who seems very familiar to Val. Wait–it’s not a love interest–it’s a ‘cousin.’ Maybe. He’s an incubus and tells Val she needs to figure out how to feed her succubus Lola, and soon, because he can tell Val and Dan have serious chemistry.
Somewhere in there, she also discovers her kid sister is now working at the vampire blood banks, so of course it becomes her mission to change the kid’s mind, or failing that, get her fired. They go to a couple of blood donation centers and Val discovers that some people really like donating blood to vamps because it is super-sexually satisfying. This will not encourage Val to accept Lola (the METAPHOR).
At some point, Val and Dan kiss and Dan gets seriously freaked out by Val being half-succubus. I, on the other hand, was seriously freaked out that Mr. Professional Police Officer somehow thought it was okay to make out with his recently homeless, eighteen year-old partner whose only work experience is in her family’s bookstore. Somehow, this allows Dan to be mad at Val and Val to become despondent over Lola.
Val and Dan stalk Head Vampire at the vampire compound, and are helped by a new guy Shade. Shade will be important in the future, because he is a super-sexy half-demon as well. Val does the traditionally stupid thing by ditching her team to go combat evil all by herself, at which point she learns that her team cares for her and that by embracing her sex powers, she can win.
I always feel like I have to explain when I read a book and give it less than four stars. Which is ridiculous, really, as I generally go into books expecting to enjoy them, not to write rage reviews. But here we are again, a mismatch between book and reader. I had picked it up as an e-book bargain, noting one of my friends had really liked it. And, while I’ve gotten a bit bored with parts of the urban fantasy world, I thought a story about a woman who was half-demon sounded intriguing. There I go again–hope for the genre that often disappoints. A half-demon has interesting potential; warring with the urge to do bad, or perhaps to encourage chaos, or even coping with a bit of self-satisfied sadistic glee. As I said, potential about women embracing the bad within. Then I open the book as see the character is actually half-succubus, which usually means an excuse to write sex scenes.
Bite Me isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. The promising beginning of a young woman finding her place in the world becomes seriously trope-ridden as the story progresses, and Blue’s world-building leaves a lot to be desired. Fans of paranormal urban fantasy will likely enjoy the book, although the mental barriers Val currently has about sex mean it’ll be awhile before readers–and Val–enjoy some satisfying action.