Series: Generation V #2
Published by Roc on January 7, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Kate
Sexual Content: Kissing
Underemployed by day. Undead by night.
Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He's learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.
Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.
The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril.
Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.
After GENERATION V, I was extremely curious to see where M. L. Brennan was going to take her characters in IRON NIGHT, the second book in the American Vampire series. My cautious optimism (one can never be too sure about a second book) was rewarded tenfold - IRON NIGHT is a spectacular follow up to GENERATION V, and I can’t imagine how it could have been better.
One of the biggest reasons that this series is so awesome is Fortitude, our hero. He isn't special, he doesn't have powers that just automatically manifest because he’s a vampire, no, he spends time in the gym and he works as a waiter, not to mention being dragged around by his brother to "learn the family business." Fort is the hero you cheer for because, if you were starring in an urban fantasy novel, you could imagine yourself in his shoes. Sure, sometimes he comes off as a bit too selfless, but he’s also awkward, he tries too hard and he has to work for every advantage he gets. Fort has dimension that a lot of UF heroes and heroines just don’t - he’s not just the cardboard cutout of sexy, badass fighter with insert special power here.
The vampire mythology that Brennan has created, that was so deliciously creepy in GENERATION V, continued to surprise and intrigue me. We learn more about why Fort is different from Prudence or Chivalry, and since the reader sees more of those two, we also get a more nuanced impression of them. While Prudence still scares the hell out of me, and I’m not particularly fond of her, it’s clear there is more to her than just being a crazy killing machine (though she is pretty good at that, too). With the introduction of more supernatural creatures in IRON NIGHT, Brennan takes the opportunity to beef up her world, building on GENERATION V, not just rehashing. Plus, Brennan’s humor really shines in this book. From Chivalry warning Fort not to name the goats, to Fort’s assertion that he deserved a fist bump from Patrick Stewart for killing Luca, there were multiple times when I laughed out loud while reading.
Overall, the American Vampire series is shaping up to be one of those that holds an eye-level spot on my shelves, and one I certainly pull out when I’m proving to skeptical friends that urban fantasy isn't all sparkling vampires and sexy werewolves. IRON NIGHT was a wonderful trip through a continuously creative universe that I plan on visiting again, and though the series only has three planned books right now, I’m hoping that it goes on much longer than that.Series Titles:
- Generation V - 4/5
- Iron Night
- Tainted Blood