‘Ah, Christmas – the one time of year it’s actually acceptable for vampires to sparkle.’ So begins A Vampire Christmas, a short story in the Dark Dates / Cassandra Bick Chronicles series. I haven’t read any others in this series, but felt like reading something Christmassy. Cassandra Bick is a human woman in London who runs the Dark Dates dating agency which sets vampires up with humans. In this story, Cassandra is helping out at a homeless shelter and goes in search of a rogue vampire.
The writing is generally good, but I have two gripes.
First, there are blank lines here and there like section breaks, but they’re not. Or maybe some of them are, because otherwise there’s no indication of a section break in places where there should be one.
Second, the story is written in first person, but the tense keeps getting screwed up. (See this post: First Person, Present Tense and POV.) It’s written mostly (but not entirely) in the past tense, but the narrator’s sense of now seems to keep time with the events and much of what should be written as present tense is written as past tense, for example:
My business is basically a dating agency. I match vampires who want human partners … The benefits of this to all participants were obvious. … (vampires these days took a very cautious view … ). Most of my clients were 50-100 years old, …
Finally, I liked this line:
I tried not to stare, to focus my attention on the ridiculous, instead of the sublime, …
which echoes the similarly bathetic subtitle of my blog.
In conclusion, it’s an entertaining story with nice humour, and it would get an extra star if the technical issues were addressed.