A guest review by Jenre
Adam’s an undercover vice cop dealing with a dark past. He’s no stranger to bad nights; in fact, he’s lived a lot of them. But he won’t survive this one. First, a drug deal he’s working goes south. Then his partner and sometimes sex partner Peter has to watch him bleed to death. But the kicker: he’s not sure what’s worse. Watching Peter cry over him or waking up undead.
Peter’s a good cop in love with a bad man. Or a bad vampire, now. Watching Adam die was the worst thing he could imagine. Until he woke up. Now their relationship’s in crisis. Adam’s in the middle of a vampire enclave at the center of Los Angeles motorcycle clubs and Peter just can’t hack it.
Adam thinks he’s fine with that. He’s a commitment-phobe. But he’s about to discover, immortality is seriously the suck.
No prizes for guessing what attracted me to this book. The title and cover just leaped off the page and, after reading the extract, I knew I had to read it.
The book begins with the death of our first person narrator Adam. He goes down “in the proverbial hail of bullets” and dies on the concrete floor of a warehouse, the victim of a police sting gone wrong. Except, as we learn later, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. After dying so dramatically and in the arms of his on/off lover, Peter, Adam wakes up in the morgue. I don’t think I’m giving too much away to say that Adam is now a vampire. The story follows Adam and he comes to terms with his undead state, tries to find out who ‘turned’ him and attempts to stop a new gang of vampires who want to rule the gang turf of LA. As well as this, Adam has to do some serious thinking about his relationship with Peter.
I have to be honest here and say that whether you like this book will entirely depend on your feelings towards Adam. He is not a nice man. In fact there is very little that is heroic about him at all. He lies, cheats, involves himself with criminal activities despite being a police officer, he treats Peter very badly, he’s selfish, unfaithful and so self-centred he is unable to see things from anyone’s point of view except his own. To make matters worse he revels in this and is completely unabashed in telling the reader what a dickhead he really is. What will probably really turn some of you off Adam though is that he sleeps around. He has Peter who he describes as his “f**k buddy”, but then he also has sex with at least 3 other men in the book (one of these times is when he’s on the way to Peter’s house) and he tells us in a very matter of fact way that he’s a complete whore when it comes to other men. There’s even a rather amusing aside to the reader about this:
Hey, you romantics are protesting. What about Peter?
What, are you kidding? Have we met? I’m not a nice man. Excuse me if you thought otherwise.
Despite Adam’s rather unlovely character, I really liked him. He was such a refreshing change from many of the m/m heroes out there that I was drawn to him. Most of the time, a book like this would be from Peter’s point of view – the long-suffering beta male who puts up with the alpha’s arsehole ways. It was really great to read a book with an alpha where we get to see his thoughts and feelings. Adam is very self-aware in that he knows that he’s lacking in the social graces and apt to get himself into trouble. It was this self-awareness and the way he gradually started to change, to perhaps learn how his behaviour has affected others, especially Peter, that redeemed Adam in the end. Adam’s past behaviour also comes back and bites him in the arse and it was amusing and ironic that after lying and cheating his way through life, when he actually tells the truth no-one will believe him.
Another reason I liked Adam is that he has such a distinctive, sardonic voice. It’s difficult not to like people who make you laugh, as I did on a number of occasions, it’s also difficult not to like a character who is so upfront about his failings. The self-depreciating wit that colours Adam’s voice throughout the book went a long way towards my appreciation of his character. I didn’t like his actions or the way he behaved, especially towards poor Peter, but I did like him in general.
I feel I ought to point out at this point that this book isn’t really a romance. There’s a romantic sub-plot involving Adam and Peter, but for most of the book the two men are apart. The story is really a sort of mystery/action piece, with the romance as a sub-plot. Most of the book involves Adam’s cackhanded attempts to work out why he was turned into a vampire, what actually happened at the warehouse where he was ‘killed’ and also to discover who is behind the new gang of vampires. Most of this is done by Adam blundering his way around LA, avoiding the police and getting unintentionally caught up in the whole sorry business. Did I mention that Adam really isn’t a very intelligent man as well as all his other flaws? He never once uses his brain to work out what is going on (well, apart from one scene at the end) and relies instead on his off-kilter instinct. He has a number of gang member ‘friends’ who pop up in the book to ‘help’ him, most of who have their own agendas as well. I have to admit, I found this a little confusing at times and if I have one criticism of the book it is that I found the whole ‘gang culture’ and who was working for who and which gang they were in, rather confusing at times.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a fast paced read with an unusual main character. The plot is complex but also a bit different to quite a number of books about at the moment. I ran through quite a lot of emotions whilst reading it: laughter, pathos, exasperation, disgust and yet it wasn’t a heavy read. I liked the book so much I almost read it in one sitting (and it’s not a short book either), eager to find out what interesting situation Adam was going to get himself into next. I highly recommend that you read Immortality is the Suck, especially if you like alpha anti-heroes.
Just for information, there is a companion piece to this novel called What to Buy for the Vampire who has Everything starring Peter and Adam and set at Christmas time, which was reviewed by Wave here.