Review of Bite Me by

Book cover for Bite Me

Previously, on Kara’s reviews…

… the characterization of the two protagonists is much improved. The other characters? Not so much….

Fridging women is not OK. Joking about fridging dead whores is also not OK.

Yes, this entire book is a sitcom about moving to the apartment down the block.

And now, the conclusion…

Well, I did it. I read Bite Me, because I am a sucker (gaaaaaah, vampire puns again) for punishment. And also I like my trilogies like I like my modifiers: undangling.

So, we pick up with Thomas and Jody bronzed and Abby as our viewpoint protagonist for much of the book. Eventually Thomas and Jody escape, or get released accidentally, and the book follows them for a bit too. So it alternates between Abby’s annoying first-person narration (I love Abby, hate her narrative voice) and a third-person narrator.

This book is actually the best of the trilogy.

Better yet, I can tell you why.

With the convergent plots of Chet the Vampire Cat and Elijah’s child vampires cleaning up this mess in San Francisco, Christopher Moore doesn’t have as much time to make stupid, unfunny jokes at the expense of women and minorities. They are still present, but their quantity is greatly reduced, and they tend to be sandwiched in between more important bits. This is a sharp contrast to the previous two books, which seemed mostly to comprise such jokes strung together with the remnants of what once was a plot.

Bite Me’s story is actually good and, in some parts, fairly intense. Elijah’s children want to eliminate anyone who knows about vampires. That’s basically the entire cast from the previous two books. Meanwhile, Steve discovers that people turned by anyone other than Elijah (the “prime” vampire) don’t last long. This is bad news for Abby, who turns herself into a vampire by injecting blood from a rat (you don’t want to know how the rat became a vampire).

So it’s pretty much chaos in San Francisco, and there is a lot going on, and it gets very confusing at times. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a good deal of it. The characters always have something to do—and because they have something to do, Moore can’t spend pages reflecting on how Jody’s vampiric state will impact her continual disappointment of her mother or her need to lose five pounds. It’s win–win.

I only wish Moore had introduced Elijah’s children in the first book. We get hints that there are other vampires in the world, and then of course they show up at the very end of You Suck. But there is a rich backstory to this world that Moore doesn’t reveal; I can’t help but wonder if it is more interesting than what we get in these three books.

This has been a long journey, and it’s not one I would want to take again or recommend someone retrace. Bite Me might tickle vampire fans. In general, though, these are not the Moore books that I want people reading. Their humour does not work for me. Moore relies on stereotypes, clichés, and generally very lazy types of humour. The result is occasionally, almost accidentally, funny, in the style of the brain-dead sitcoms of network television. But it lacks the literary comedy that I so value in some of Moore’s other work.

Engagement

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