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The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

01/02/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy The Reformed Vampire Support Group in the USA - or Buy The Reformed Vampire Support Group in the UK

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pub: Quercus Publishing Plc. 535 page enlarged paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84724-778-0.

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Just when you thought there was an overkill of vampires, something comes along that puts the wit back into the genre. 'The Reformed Vampire Support Group' is aimed at teens again and this is the story of Nina. A vampire since 1973, she is condemned to an existence of bad fashion and due to the vow of abstinence, a poor diet of guinea pig entrée everyday or rather night. Nina is part of a group who abstain from the taking of human blood. They meet every week to discuss, in the manner of alcoholics, their continued struggle.

Not taking blood from humans keeps the vampires weak and they live a twilight existence - completely dead to the world during the day. Supported by her human mum, Nina dreams of an alternate life whilst writing novels about thrilling vampire, Zadia Bloodstone, who lives the life she can't.

Then it all changes when one of her support group transgresses and the vampires find their whole existence is threatened. It might not be much of a life but now they must fight to preserve it. Nina and Dave, the only vampire in the group with a driving license, must go across country. Father Ramon, their non-vampire group leader, has to drive during the day and with a supply of guinea pigs as their live packed suppers, they set out and set off a chain of events which could lead to their destruction.

It all sounds grim but as told by a permanently disgruntled teen it becomes a delight and the story holds up well with a lots of excitement and adventure suitable for the age group its intended for. It's sweet and funny and does not flinch from the grim side of getting food when you can't just go for a mac and cheese. Those of you who are fond of guinea pigs please look away now.

Sue Davies

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