Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: The Vampire Stalker

Allison van Diepen
Paranormal Young Adult
272 pages
Scholastic Point
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

Amy is in love with Alexander Banks. Who isn't? He's the dark and damaged young man chasing after the vampire who slaughtered his entire family in her favorite book series, and she and her friends have just picked up their pre-ordered copies of the latest installment.

One night while walking home, Amy is violently attacked, and a guy bearing a striking resemblance to the Alexander Banks on the cover of her book rescues her. Much to Amy's shock, it turns out the young man who saved her life doesn't just look like Alexander, he is Alexander. And the man who attacked her is the vampire he's been chasing for years.

While dealing with the surprise of having her favorite literary character dramatically enter her life and trying to figure out how his sudden appearance is possible, she's also concerned for the safety of her city since there's now a real vampire on the loose. Amy knows Alexander would gladly give his life in order to stop Vigo, and as much as she feared the death of a favorite character, she fears the death of the man even more. She decides to throw herself into the mix, helping to hunt Vigo any way she can in order to protect Alexander, but it may no longer be just Alexander Vigo is interested in.

The Vampire Stalker draws us into a story wherein every book lover's fantasy becomes a reality. Beloved fictional characters become flesh and blood, the flat black ink giving way to vibrancy and life as Alexander walks out of Amy's fondest imaginings and into her life and heart. Any avid reader will instantly connect to Amy and her relationship with her favorite book series, and we can't help but see ourselves in her as she waits in long book lines, devours her newest purchase in one sitting, and then jumps online to discuss every minute detail of the story. Our personal connection to the premise makes the reading of this tale fun and enjoyable–though the character interactions and sequence of events are fairly straightforward and predictable–and we finish quickly pleased with, yet not necessarily wowed by, the experience.

Alexander and Amy are both entertaining characters, their personalities distinct but not developed to a level where they set themselves apart from the fictional masses as uniquely memorable. Alexander has some cute moments in adjusting to our world's technological advancements and modern customs, and it's easy to see why he would inspire worldwide fan interest as well as earn Amy's affections. Though Amy does decide she's in love with him rather swiftly, it's a bit more believable given all she knows about him through the books–he's everything she's pined for while voraciously consuming page after page of his story–so the leap from acquaintances to declarations of love isn't quite as great as it might be otherwise. Their relationship is charming, the romantically tense moments balanced well with the expected bickering as they get to know one another, but again it's a connection that while interesting to read about, doesn't leave a lasting impression to cause us to want to savor it again and again.

The Vampire Stalker is a short, satisfying read, appealing to our secret hopes and wishes that our literary crushes are out there just waiting for us to stumble across them so our epic love affair can truly begin. While we continue dreaming, we can at least take temporary comfort in Amy and Alexander's happiness–smiling at the sweetness and jumping at the action as fiction and reality collide, though a few more resulting sparks from the collision to really shock us into fully engaging in characters and story would have been nice.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Thanks for the great review. This is one of those novels I've got to get. Love the concept and I'm so glad the characters are good.

  2. What a cute concept! Who doesn't have literary crushes that we'd like to become real life? Too bad the execution was a bit lacking though. Great review!

  3. Well that is an awesome idea for a plot!! And you are right, this is every girls fantasy coming to life! How I wish I could meet some of my beloved fictional characters!

    Is it a series or a standalone?

    Anyway I will put it on my list! Woot!

  4. While I can certainly think of quite a few characters I would love to have jump off the page and into my life, I think I would prefer it not to be a vampire hunter, still I love the premise of this book too bad the execution of the story and characters was all it could have been.

  5. Fabulous review, Jenny! The premise of this one is sure to help a lot of people connect to the story right away. I'm not sure if this is a standalone or not, but if it is a series, hopefully we will see more character development out of Alex and Amy.

    This Week’s Teaser Tuesday: Storm Front

  6. Great review Jenny ! This book sounds cute .. I look forward to read it. How many times have I dreamt that our world wad full of gorgeous vampire ? lol !! Thanks for the amazing review !

  7. Lol, well yes I have wanted Mr Darcy to stumble out of his world once or twice ;)
    Sounds like fun


  8. This sounds like a good-enough book. I love the concept. It's too bad it's not fully developed. I can relate to the character...it's funny how I love the dark, damaged characters the best.

  9. Fictional characters coming to life?!I have to read this book! When I saw this book the first time, I thought that it was yet another similar vampire novel. I guess I was wrong.

  10. I've never heard of this book, but the concept sounds incredible. I love the idea that our favorite literary heroes could come to life. This seems like an enjoyable summer/mind candy read....thanks for sharing this one! Great review, Jenny!

  11. This sounds cute.Can you imagine if you just happended to run into...oh I dunno BARRONS. Hehe.

  12. LOL- this sounds kinda good...however after reading about real life stalker in that last book (Bitter End) I think Ill avoid this for now..:)

  13. Amber - I loved the concept too, it was fun to see so much of myself in Amy:)

    Aylee - Exactly! There are quite a few characters I wouldn't mind finding their way into my world. It was a fun read, just a bit predictable:)

    Danny - I believe it's a stand alone (what? I didn't even know those existed anymore ;-)

    Jan - I just like to be really involved with the story you know? Especially when I identify so strongly with one of the characters. It's worth a read though!

    Carissa - I almost never read stand alone books anymore, there practically all series, but I believe this one is stopping here:)

    Elodie - Right? I keep staring at all my vampire books wondering when someone is going to walk out of them and into my room:)

    Blodeuedd - YES! That would be amazing:)

    Alison - I always like the dark, damaged characters best too. I get sucked right in with them which is why I wanted a touch more from Alexander. He's real now in her world, so I wanted him to be more dimensional than he was written down in her book:)

    Misha - I had fun reading it, and even though it didn't blow me away, sometimes just having fun is enough:)

    Mollie - Don't even talk about it! I would DIE! I'm going to keep an eye out in Dublin for him:)

    Tina - Oh. Yes, maybe wait until Bitter End isn't so fresh in your mind before dealing with this one:) At least this book will be much lighter though!

  14. Yes! I'm waiting for my literally crushes to come out of the pages so we can have our EPIC love affair.

    Please don't tell me it will never happen. LOL

    Fun review, Jenny.

  15. I just love your vivid descriptions in your reviews, Jenny! I can tell that I would identify with the heroine for her love of books. =P I do hate it when the love for each other is realized rather quickly, but seeing as she knows him from her readings, I guess it makes more sense than in other books. Thank you for the review!

  16. I was hoping it get a better rating. I still want to read it though. I can use a charming relationship. You know I am a sucker for romance!! Nice review Jenny!

  17. Missie - I'm holding out hope Missie, I refuse to believe it won't happen to me;)

    Bailey - Thanks! I'm tired of the insta-love in YA, but it made a little more sense with this one. I know how attached I get to my fictional crushes, so I can see how if one of them were real and showed interest in me, I would fall pretty fast.

    Savy - It's a good story, just nothing special for me so that's why it got a 3. Well written and fun, just not overly memorable once you're done reading!

  18. I love the concept behind The Vampire Stalker! It's a bummer that the characters didn't stand out as much as they could. Still, the book sounds like a ton of fun, considering I'd love to experience that collision between reality and fiction! :)

  19. I just finished this as well and agree with you that it is a short, satisfying read. It made me smile as a read it.

  20. I haven't very FAB things about this one... blah.

  21. You mean it is possible??? Right??? RIGHT???? *looks hopeful*

    Oh well, too bad the characters weren't a total hit, but the plot does sound interesting. Maybe I'm just looking for that incantation for it to really happen. Oh, who would I start with? Hm....

  22. Lauren - It is fun, and perfect as a quick, read-in-one-sitting type of book:)

    LinWash - Me too:)

    Ashley - I wouldn't rush to read it again, but it was fun while reading:)

    Melissa - RIGHT! I think I would start with Bones, Barrons, or John Matthew. Just sayin.

  23. I want in on that incantation.....I can think of a few book boyfriends I need to use it on :)

    This does actually seem like a really interesting concept.....

  24. I love the premise of The Vampire Stalker and reading the book summary makes me smile everytime.

  25. Well I want to bring a character to life! This sounds really fun and yes I can see how a reader would connect to the main character. Another beautifully written review.

  26. Like many others, I also really like the concept of this book. I like my characters with a little more meat to them, but this one does seem just like a fun beach read. I'll put it in my tbr but it's not very high. Thanks for the review, Jenny!

  27. This sounds like a great book for when I am in the mood for a quick fun paranormal romance escape. Great review again Jenny :)

  28. Despite the obvious being the fact that vampires are so not my thing, I feel like the lack of character development would frustrate me as much as HBoD. That said, I loved your honest take on it! Great review, as usual, Jenny :)

  29. Felicia - Maybe if we all chant together we can make it happen:)

    Jenny - I loved the premise too, reading it made me happy despite the predictability.

    Midnyte - Me too! I have such a long list to start with...

    Rummanah - I like my characters with a little more meat too:)

    Nic - Thanks! Definitely a fun little escape book.

    Melissa - Probably not the best book for you, vampire-hater;)

  30. The more I read about this book the more intriguing it becomes - thanks for sharing today.

  31. I love the idea for this book. You're totally right, I already feel like I have an instant connection with the MC based on our shared love of books. I wasn't expecting much beyond a cute story, so it seems like my expectations are in line with what we get.

  32. Jenny-
    Perfect review! It was okay. It didn't have that spark and I don't know why. It was a great premise, but just lacked the something special. Oh, well.


  33. I need really memorable characters since I read sooooo much! That's really important to me! I can easily forget some books once I put them down, I don't want that! Great review!

  34. This was a book I really wanted to read, but now I don't know. There are so many books I wish I could be in, it's not even funny. Poor Hubby prolly is about to jump ship at the amount of book stacking up in my closet. *sigh* Oh well, never going to happen. Guess I have to be happy with this world ;-)

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  35. This sounds like an interesting idea, but not quite enough. Your review makes he book sound interesting, I might pick it up at the library, but right now it seems to cutesy, or am I interpreting your review incorrectly?

  36. This does sound like a fun concept! Count me in :)

  37. What an interesting concept! While I wouldn't normally be jumping to add a book to my TBR that only got a 3 (only because my list is out of control), this sounds like it could be worth the read. Thanks!!