Generation V by ML Brennan (Roc, May 2013)-Fortitude Scott is 26 years old and not yet quite a vampire. According to his mother, Madeline, and siblings, brother Chivalry and sister Prudence, he should be, but if Fort has his way, he’ll never be full vampire, never mind the cravings that he has to satisfy from time to time. He refuses to live at home and his job at a local coffee shop is nothing short of miserable, but he’ll do whatever he needs to not to have to rely on his mom. He’s even gone so far as to go vegetarian, which seems to help hold the cravings back a bit. When his mother summons him to dinner to let him know that a new vamp will be in town, and he must join the family for the night for a show of power, Fort’s not thrilled, but there’s not much he can say but yes. This new Italian vamp, Luca, wants to know how Madeline has been so successful in her breeding, and Madeline grants him hospitality, which usually wouldn’t be a problem, but after meeting Luca, young girls begin disappearing and Fort is sure Luca is responsible.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh no, not more vampires. Sooo done to,er, death.” Well, normally, I might agree with you, but if you let your vamp fatigue keep you away from Generation V, it would be a mistake, trust me! Told in Fort’s voice, Generation V is quite a unique, and sometimes very scary, take on the vampire mythos. Fort hasn’t quite come into his own as a vampire, so his “abilities” are dubious at best, but where his heart is at is never in question. He can’t stand by and watch young girls be victimized, and without any help from his family, he vows to stop Luca (who oozes an oily creepiness that will get right under your skin.) He does have some help with a vivacious kitsune named Suzume Hollis, who’s been tasked with keeping Fort safe by his mother. Speaking of “mothers” here. In Fort’s world, vampire babies are made in very interesting and creepy ways. Seriously creepy. This was one of the most interesting parts of her mythos and I’ll leave it to you to discover. It’s a doozy.
I really, really like Fort, with my only squabble being is the abuse he takes from a deadbeat roommate and a “girlfriend” that redefines sleazy, but these things only manage to highlight his humanity, which he is very much determined to hold onto. Fort is a wonderful, and wonderfully vulnerable, hero to root for and his willingness to fight the good fight, even when his death seems near certain, makes him especially endearing indeed. Suzume is a delight, as are the rest of the supernatural denizens in ML Brennan’s wonderful debut. I didn’t want to put this one down and I didn’t want it to end. I’m more than ready for more of Fort, his beyond weird family (although I grew rather fond of his brother, Chivalry, but Prudence takes the creepy cake), and the author has definitely given us some reasons to expect some big changes in his life in the next book. I say, bring it on!