Review: The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey

January 17, 2010 Review 10

Review: The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray RhameyThe Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey
Series: The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles #1
Sexual Content: None.

When I was a kid I remember reading Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe (about a vampire bunny who sucks the juice out of vegetables) and thinking it was the coolest book ever. So I got all nostalgic when I heard about The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles.  I was hoping to find a snarky, fun read about vampires with a uniquely feline point of view.  Well, the cat part proved true, but as for the snarky fun?  Not so much.

Newly turned vampires, Patch the cat and Meg his 'associate' (cat language for owner), decide to run for city council on a platform of vampire rights, but run into opposition from, among others, the AVA (American Vampire Association) who aren't thrilled with the idea of being outed, and a cult-like 'Christian' leader who wants to destroy all vampire abominations.

I was thoroughly enjoying the beginning of the book and half wishing more books were written from a cat's perspective when the author hit one of my Pet Peeves. Hard. If you're a Christian, or you're friends with a Christian, or you just happen to know one, prepare to be aggressively and repeatedly insulted by this book. This gross vilification of Christianity was so pervasive that it destroyed any possible enjoyment that I might otherwise have derived from this book (and I’m not even going to mention the lone conservative in the book, Daddy Greenbanks and his evil toxic waste dump).

To be clear, I’m not complaining about a few digs or comments, but a complete and dominating depiction of Christians as mindless, aggressive, hatemonger's that totally derailed any story that may have taken place in the background. Heavy-handed doesn't begin to do justice to cartoonish and judgmental stereotypical Reverend Bobson, leader of The Righteous Christian Church. He and "The Christians" throw out twisted Bible verses as they relentlessly hunt down the 'abominations' with frothing gleeful delight, spewing out hatred and ignorance at every opportunity.

There is a lot of slapstick in this book, and some of it works, the rest just comes across as juvenile. And while Patch was initially a fun voice to read, and his cat perspective at times humorous, the story was overall unnecessarily convoluted and tedious.  Most of the characters shifted from good to bad, and bad to good so many times it made me dizzy.  But my big problem was that the religious bashing got way out of hand.  By the halfway mark, I just wanted it to end.  I did finish the book, but only because I won’t review a book that I haven’t read cover to cover.  Next time I feel like reading about vampire animals, however, I’m sticking with bunnies.

 

10 Responses to “Review: The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey”

  1. Hagelrat

    My favourite book written from the animals perspective is Felidae it's basically Sherlock Holmes with Cats. 🙂

  2. wrrriter

    I regret that you took the satiric subplot regarding a rogue minister the way you did. I did not intend, in any way, an attack on Christianity. Instead, I was skewering those who abuse the sincere faith of others for their own venal reasons, and who distort the precepts of Christianity. At the risk of offending you further, a case in point is Pat Robertson's current declaration that the terrible tragedy in Haiti is the result of a "deal with Satan" struck centuries ago. In fact, the preacher in this story is modeled on Pat Robertson and things he has said and done.

    That there are people who turn Christianity into a cult cannot be denied, in my view, and it was that kind of egocentric personality that I aimed to satirize–personalities, actually, because such men attract similar men who take part in the abuse of the power that fervent belief can bring. Even in this story, there was an example of a Christian woman objecting to what was going on in the park scene with the mob.

  3. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    I don't know much about Pat Roberston so can't comment on anything he may have said, though I would vehemently disagree with anyone who made such a stupid statement about 'deals with the devil.' As for my review, I simply wrote about my impression of your book. I appreciate that your intentions may not have been to offend, but nonetheless they did. What I objected to was the sweeping generalization of Christians as a whole. Reverend Bobson and his followers were depicted as cult-like extremists yet they were referred to as typical Christians without distinction (one nameless objector notwithstanding). Perhaps some mention of the religious aspect of this book on the back cover would give a heads up to future readers who may/may not enjoy reading portrayals of this type.

    I appreciate your thoughtful response to my review.

  4. wrrriter

    To be fair, you should also castigate the novel for demeaning, through exaggeration, other individuals who take advantage of people–it satirizes sleazy lawyers, pompous TV reporters, greedy businessmen, and crooked politicians. I took on a false prophet in the book and you've defended him and his approach to religion, why not the others?

  5. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    Ray,

    My review policy clearly states exactly which sites I post my (positive or negative) review on for every book I review. That being said, I am not trying to damage you or your book by my review. Clearly you are not seeking a Christian audience with this book, and my review may in fact help the right audience find your book. Please don't misconstrue any action on my part as malicious.

    I also never defended the actions of anyone in your book. I only pointed out the inaccurate portrayal as I saw it. I would never defend the actions of someone like the character in your book regardless of how they (erroneously, in my opinion) labeled themselves.

    As for not addressing other aspects of your book in my review, a review can never fully cover every character/element of a book. I try to focus on the aspects of a book that stood out to me, good or bad.

    Sincerely,
    Abigail

  6. misskallie2000

    You said, "But my big problem was that the religious bashing got way out of hand." If this was been done in the book I do not want to read it. Religious bashing is not something I condone.
    I think you made a good point when replying back to the author, this may bring in the readers who want to read this type book. Thanks.

    Thanks for your honest review.

  7. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    Thanks misskallie, I really appreciate your support. I hate having to post negative reviews (I always feel like such a jerk), but I have to be honest in my reviews. It helps to know you guys appreciate that 🙂

  8. Christina

    I too appreciate your review of this book and your responses to the author. Thank you for your honesty and for not backing down.