Review: Generation V (American Vampire #1) by M. L. Brennan

May 10, 2013 Review 3 ★★★★

Generation V

Generation V

(American Vampire #1) by
Genre: Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No Reviewed by: Kate | Source:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: on May 7, 2013
  • Pages: 320

Rating

4 Stars

Sexual Content

References to sex and rape

Description

Reality Bites

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…

Review

As a member of the “now what do I do with this liberal arts major” generation, like Fortitude in GENERATION V, I was curious how this sort of post-college existential crisis would play out in a book about vampires. Vampires are generally known as rather confident, sexy and definitely wealthy, and Fort was about as far from those qualities as one could be. He has a cheating girlfriend, a job in a grimy coffee shop, and about $7 to his name for 90% of the book. The result is a very relatable main character that gave me a reason to invest in GENERATION V.

Fort wasn't the only thing keeping me reading GENERATION V, but he was a large part of it. I liked him as a character- he grew from a bit wimpy to a lot stronger, both in personality and physically. And while he had a bit of a tendency to let people take advantage of him, his singular focus in the book is saving somebody else. Most of the other characters were also well written and multi-faceted. For example, Fort’s mother Madeline seems like a conniving mastermind, but you also get the impression she really cares for Fort. That depth made her interesting and sympathetic (even though I wanted to hate her a little).

Other than Fort, Brennan’s vampires are callous and uncaring about human life. They creeped me out in that kind of psychopath serial killer way. On top of that, the vampire world building is different than any other vampires I've come across. For example, the vampires have to create hosts to bear children for them, and they aren't immortal, they can die of old age. The unique mythology plus the inclusion of Fort’s kitsune bodyguard Suzume gave the book a different vibe than most urban fantasy I've read lately. It is easy to fall back on typical vampire traits and I felt Brennan’s new, creative take on vampires was a breath of fresh air. Creepy fresh air, but fresh nonetheless.

As the first book in the American Vampire series, GENERATION V offers a nice complete story line but leaves plenty of questions open for future books. A little of this is due to the fact that it sometimes tended to jump around a bit, but in the end, I’m left very curious where the series is going. After such a solid debut, I’m sure the second book, IRON NIGHT, will be every bit as enjoyable as the first.

Series

1. Generation V

2. Iron Night


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3 Responses to “Review: Generation V (American Vampire #1) by M. L. Brennan”

  1. Bibliotropic

    While I think I would probably like the character of Fortitude, what throws me off about the description of the novel itself is the whole “sexy shape-shifter” concept. Now, not having read the book I can’t say for sure how it’s all handled, but when you take a very relatable character concept and then pair it up with the impossibly sexy opposite-gendered character, I start to roll my eyes and have a negative knee-jerk reaction. I think I’d be more interested in a shape-shifter with average looks rather than a really attractive one, because when it comes to urban fantasy, just about every supernatural protagonist is drop-dead gorgeous and it gets a little tiring.

    But again, like I said, I haven’t read this one yet, and I may be clinging to my knee-jerk reaction when there’s really no need to. But based on the synopsis, I’d be likely to pass this one by just on that basis alone, because it’s already been done to death.

    • Kate

      Suzume’s sexiness really only comes up when she is messing with Fort’s head- it isn’t really a thing that is focused on. But I can understand the wariness.

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I highly enjoyed this one! Loved the dimensions to some of the characters (the mother, in particular, as you pointed out).