The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles turns vampire mythology on its head when Patch, a calico tomcat, is turned into breakfast--and a vampire kitty-cat--by a starving vampire. Narrated by Patch in a deliciously snarky cat take on the world, Patch struggles to find a new life, as it were. In the process, he's almost skewered with a stake by a mob with blazing torches, tried for murder, nearly crunched by a seven-foot undead guy, just about shotgunned into undead pieces, comes inches from having his tail cut off and seconds from being fried by the sun, and kidnapped twice. Oh, yeah, and turned into a (shudder) politician. On the other paw, he does hook up with that sweet Siamese, and it looks like he's on the way to winning that election . . .
I don't usually read books told from the perspective of an animal but this book was an adventure from the very start. When I passed this along to a friend she said she could absolutely see this being an animated movie or graphic novel. I'm not sure that I got the same vibe as she did, but I found the writing style to be casual and fun.
The idea that vampires would have their own organization, complete with a political candidate running for city council is a unique twist on the usual vampire storyline. Using the theme that vampires are fighting for equality, similar to minorities and those with disabilities adds another layer of creativity. The American Vampire Association is a force to be reckoned with, as is the troublesome Lester, but Meg and Patch rise to the challenge.
Patch is a newly turned vampire cat that struggles with his newfound status as the undead, much like any human would. His associate, Meg, also newly undead, has decided to part ways with the AVA and run for a position on the city council. She teams up with a few other vampires and tackles the opposition head on, including the outdated ideals of the current political system.
Creating a world in which vampires are trying to mainstream can be difficult but Ray Rhamey has a well thought mythology that remains consistent throughout the story. His comparison between vampirism and rabies was easy to understand and the idea that millions of vampires existed without public knowledge was entirely believable. After all, we see what we want to see. The POV did take some getting used to, but once the adjustment was over I found the story to be quite charming.
My only real criticism would be any scene containing the Bobson's church- they all seemed rather zealot-like to me, in a grab your pitchfork and join the angry mob kind of way. And it wasn't that the writing of Bobson's church was a bad thing, more that I just can't stand that mentality about anything and having it come from a church is just really sad. I also would have liked to see stronger characters throughout and at times it seemed like Patch was the only level head in a room. Overall, an interesting approach to the vampire genre.
Ray Rhamey has a website called Flogging the Quill that helps aspiring authors and his next book The Hollywood Unmurders will be out next year.