Series: Vampirarchy #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by World Weaver Press on May 27, 2014
Reviewed by: Kate
References to rape
A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.
Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.
But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire sucking the blood from her fiancé, Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs—not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.
As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning to face them, Elle realizes Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.
The description for LEGALLY UNDEAD was what originally drew me in (it certainly wasn’t the cover). I was intrigued by the idea of a plain-jane girl all of a sudden discovering the world of vampires, and not in a romantic way. LEGALLY DEAD is most definitely urban fantasy, and follows a similar track as many other UF novels, but it manages to still be somewhat unique and distinguish itself from the pack.
One of the ways that LEGALLY UNDEAD is different than most UF, and what I liked most, is that even though the vampire underworld suddenly appears in Elle’s life, the rest of the story is very real. It’s clear she’s got a life that doesn’t magically disappear the minute she starts to hunt some vampires. She has school, and friends who get concerned for her once she stops going outside at night. And beyond that, she tries to avoid the vampires at first. There’s no rushing toward danger for Elle. She’s got a smart head on her shoulders and until she figures out that it is pretty much inevitable, going after her ex-fiance, she tries to stay out of it.
Another thing is the vampires in LEGALLY UNDEAD are super creepy. These are not your standard sex-appeal exuding, bad-boy vibe emitting vampires that every guy wants to be and every girl wants to be with. The vampires were one of the most interesting parts of the story, but they also were the part that was least developed - partially because since Elle didn’t know much, or couldn’t find out much, neither could the reader. It was a tad disappointing, since I would have loved to learn more.
There are still aspects of your typical urban fantasy novel, though. We've got a heroine who can, with no training, suddenly kill vampires just because she gets angry. There's the vampire hunting team that already knows about the secret vampire underworld. But through all of it, there's a great sense of humor and the writing is good, and like I said, LEGALLY UNDEAD manages to take some typical features of urban fantasy and make them its own.
While the book doesn’t end in a SHADOW HUNTER level of cliffhanger, it ends in a cliffhanger nonetheless, and left me desperate for the next chapter in Elle’s story. I’ll be curious to see where Collins takes the Vampirarchy series next!
- Legally Undead