Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Review: Insatiable

Meena Harper is pretty sick of hearing about America's obsession with vampires. Needless to say, this almost 30-year-old Manhattanite is peeved when she finds out the soap opera she writes for, called Insatiable, is taking on a vampire plotline. She's even more angry when she finds out her rival, the woman who has proposed the storyline, has gotten the new head writer position.

Besides dealing with a sucky (pun intended!) work environment, Meena has her unemployed brother living with her, and she's tired of her neighbor trying to set her up each time she gets on her elevator. Oh, yeah, and one more thing: she's extremely frustrated with her longtime gift of being able to see how people die.

But Meena's life starts to look up when a handsome stranger saves her from a bizarre bat attack late one night while she's walking her dog, Jack Bauer. Her rescuer, Lucien, sweeps her off her feet, and Meena's world starts to look brighter. He even happens to be a prince, and related to her nosy neighbor, Mary Lou.

Unfortunately, after a handsome man named Alaric Wulf storms into her apartment, she finds out some interesting information: her Prince Charming is actually the Prince of Darkness, prince of all the vampires, and Dracula's son. Ironic, no?

Meena's conflicted feelings about Lucien drive the second half of the novel, and gets her, her brother Jon, her friends and vampire hunter Alaric into some major trouble as they realize Lucien, a vamp who does not believe in killing humans, is in the middle of a vampire war with his dastardly bother Dimitri, who may be behind the recent murders of a bunch of NYC women.

Cabot obviously put out Insatiable at just the right time, when the country is in a vampire frenzy. Readers who are also Twihards will see some similarities between Cabot's novel and the Twilight series, especially the suggested love trial between Meena, Lucien and Alaric.

Maybe it's the spell of being with a vampire, but the fact that sensible, down-to-earth Meena pretty much starts planning her life with Lucien after one night with him (and before learning some valuable info about him) bothered me a little -- it seemed to go against her character. I could just see her doodling his name in a heart on a notebook, and that bothered me.

Then again, Meena herself more than makes up for it as a fun, witty character. Actually, all of the characters are pretty enjoyable, especially Meena's brother Jon and the gruff Alaric.

It's rare these days to finish a book surprised by the ending -- especially a chick lit novel. But I was very taken aback by Insatiable's ending. It seems Cabot set her audience up for a sequel about Meena and her pals.

This light, funny fare is a great beach read for vampire fans who are thirsty for more vamp lit. And here's to Cabot satiating her fans' desire for an Insatiable sequel!

Insatiable is available from HarperCollins Publishers.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary advanced review copy of this book from the publisher.

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