laughingimp, cursed be his name, provided the Alpha Bitch Club with a copy of "Night Travels of the Elven Vampire" by LaVerne Ross. Keep in mind that this is the same man who sent us a copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special which nearly caused me to spork my eyes out and open my jugular with dull grapefruit spoon.
He spent over $16 on this book, which in and of itself is a crime of epic proportions, and then he sent it to us with the requirement that I must read this book and write a review of it on LJ. Rat Bastard.
After reading 98 3/4 pages of complete and utter badness, I must report that I feel like a Goddess about my writing abilities. And I feel really confident about saying that. I mean, REALLY REALLY REALLY confident.
But... onto the review. I must note that I am going to quote several passages from this book, but am doing it under the fair use part of copyright law, for review purposes. There is no profit made from my use of these words, nor do I claim to have written them (Dear sweet Jesus God above NO!) in any way, shape or form. The characters of Alaric and Elspeth and Marti'el all belong to LaVerne Ross, and she is welcome to them.
I will be typing excerpts from the book EXACTLY as they are in the book including all puncutation, grammar, spelling, and *snerk* plot points. It will be physically painful for me to type like this, so pity me.
Welcome, good gentles to the horror that is Night Travels of the Elven Vampire, written by LaVerne Ross.
This book was published by PublishAmerica, a well known vanity publisher that will publish just about anything.
We opened the package that contained this book on Thursday night and recoiled instantly at the cover. You will notice the cover is a heavily pixelated photoshop jobbie of Orlando Bloom as Legolas. With fangs. And strange neon red blod droplets on his lips and collar. Yeah. I certainly hope someone notified New Line about THAT copyright infringement.
And the cover is actually the superior part of the book, boys and girls.
Let's just jump right into this bad boy. My thoughts/reactions are bolded here...
Our main characters are Elspeth...
The evening was cool even though it was late summer. It was also a drizzly rainy night, and the perfect weather for an evenings adventure. Yeah, yeah... It was a dark and stormy night.. blah blah blah The young woman smiled as she walked down the hill and into the woods of the damned. She smiled.... as she entered the woods.... of the damned.... Huh??? These woods were famous in the small southern town of Clark. Even drunks would not enter there after dark. No one would. In the world there were many places where evil and an entrance, and this was one of them. Yep, I can agree that. This book counts as a Hellmouth, after all.
Elspeth walked through the woods, and stopped to look down at the fast running creek. She put her hands in her pocket and checked, finding the red onions, and the holy water. Red onions? WTF? Is she going to make a salad? Repel evil with her breath? Make onion straws? I hear EVAL KRETURES really like those! One hand came up and slender fingers touched the pentagram and cross that hung there. She found comfort in them being there. So many people had the misconception about the pentagram, she thought. It was not evil, it was good, for it was like the cross, protection against evil. And here we have the start of the senseless and wholesale slaughter of the gentle comma that continues through the entire book. Watch this, remember this. You may be called upon as a witness in this woman's genocide trial. With the thirty-eight on her right leg and a machete on her left, she was ready for anything from either world. Except this book
The night silence was suddenly shattered with an unearthy scream that caused her skin to crawl. She ignored it and continued to dig, when something caught her eye, looking up, she dropped her shovel. Coming across the path was a demon, not just one, but lots of them. She rose to her feet as her thoughts froze, and her breathing stopped. Glowing red eyes looked at her, and she turned her eyes away fromt he sight of the glowing orbs. Each one stood at least seven feet in height, and must have weighed around six hundred pounds. They were covered in fur, had pointed ears, a snout and large sharp teeth. They stood on legs the size of tree trunks. They looked as though they each had eaten several people already. Just as the one who had been moving toward her came closer, something changed.
I can't help it. This is my favorite half paragraph in the book. Those 6 foot tall furry glowing eyeballs do it to me every time. But I digress...
Elspeth starts out as a treasure hunter. She evolves later on in the book into a paranormal detective with a curse (which is never really shown or stated exactly what it is, just that she's cursed).
Then we have Alaric: Remember, it physically HURTS to type this stuff...
He walked over to the bookcase choosing an old book covered in reddish brown leather with beautiful etchings on it. He held it as though it were precious to him, he opened the pages that were starting to crumble and looked at the small hand-painted picture within. He glanced down at the family in the picture. His parents, brother, and there by his brother's side was himself. The way was he changed, before that fatal night. He didn't want to thing of the time that had passed since he had last seen the sun. Felt its warmth on his skin. He closed the book and replaced it, no one thought him strange, not anymore. Because he was a writer, and all knew that writers were strange. He had used that misconception to hide his true nature. For he didn't keep regular hours, and he kept to himself a lot. When he did have to go amoung a lot of strangers, he used his glimmer to hide his elven and vampire features. In the bookcases in front of him, were thousands of books most of them were those he had written. This was only one occupation he had held, how many had he in the centuries he had lived among the humans? How many more would hadd to it in the centuries to come? He grew weary of the existence he now lived.
Yes, that was one paragraph. I'm just going to let it speak for itself.
The day had come to an end, as the sunset blazed in the sky. Alaric stood watching it on the balcony feeling the night closing in. HUH! He's WATCHING THE SUN?? HELLO! Vampire! Didn't it just say a where I just quoted 2 pages earlier that couldn't remember how much time had passed since he'd seen the sun?? He stood in his elegance, the fine cut of his clothes and the way he stood told of his breeding. The Alphas concluded that "elegance" is another word for "Elf Shit". Yep. He's standing in his elegance, alright, trying to scrape it off his shoes. We are all in the splatter zone.
Yes, Alaric is a vampire. And he shapeshifts into a wolf. Alaric is also an Elf. It also turns out that Elves are aliens from the planet Telvron, where there are also sentient trees and unicorns. And he's telepathic too, because he talks to his brother Marti'el that way. So that makes Alaric an alien vampire werewolf psychic writer. Got that? Good. That way you won't get confuzzled when he becomes a pirate.
Alaric owns a pure white horse named "Snowshadow" and a wonderous dog named "King". He also likes to ride motorcycles.
Marti'el stood and walked towards the center of the house, his steps silent. Suddenly a dark shape passed him running, sounding like a horse. Alaric came into view just as the dog jumped up and put his paws on his master's chest. The larrge black Belgium sheep dog, looked at Alaric though the thick hair that covered his expressive eyes. Tail wagging, as Alaric stopped singing and rubbed the dogs To quote peacockharpy"APOSTROPHES, BITCH!" *bitchslaps book again and again*head. "Missed me King?" King answered the only way he could as his changed color, from brown to red to white and back to brown.
Boof? FUCKING BOOF???
King, it turns out, had been a medicine man in a previous life, and it's never mentioned why he was reincarnated as a technicolor impared sheepdog. But that's okay. I don't think I want to know. Really.
Then you have Alaric's brother Marti'el (who obviously got all the apostrophes that the author neglected to put everyplace else and is trying to find a cure for his brother's vampirism) and a whole bunch of psychic detective people that are used for one scene and then never show up again.
Now... the plot... *snickers*... Okay, this is a hard one.
Elspeth goes out one night to visit the cemetary where her family is buried. I assume it's somewhere near the woods of the damned.
While she's there, she encounters a wolf who turns into Alaric.
A low growl reached her ears just as she caught the scent of strawberries. She turned, and glowing red eyes met hers. She stopped and watched the wolf move into the light its steps slow and certain. Its' back raised, and lips drawn back sharp teeth revealed, it stopped and looked at her.
"Easy boy, you don't want to hurt me." Something was different about this wolf she could feel it. She watched the wolf change into a man, as Elspeth found further words caught in her throat. She looked at his face, if a man could be described as beautiful he could. Perfect features, slender yet muscular and he oozed power. There was something else; he was a preternatural. A werewolf perhaps? He watched her, his eyes searching her soul. "Who are you?"
"I am a dark angel." His eyes changed colors as they bore into hers. The hair on the back of her neck began to rise, chills going down her back.
STRAWBERRY? A strawberry scented wolf? WTF? Is he wearing one of those car freshener things around his neck? And "I am a dark angel." *SPORFLE* Yeah, RIGHT! That's the perfect pick-up line! I've had that thrown at me a few times by shape shifting Elven vampires who I encounter in graveyards after midnight and I *ALWAYS* end up on my back with my legs in the air!
And they never call the next day! Alien Vampiric elven writer Bastards!
So Alaric tries to bite Elspeth, but realizes there is something "Unique" about her. I think this is a good example of "elegance" as described earlier in this review, strawberry scented "elegance", truth be told.
So he leaves her there, and then starts thinking about her. She starts thinking about him. The next night they get together, and they go out riding in the woods, him on 'Snowshadow' *snicker* and her on a mare. Somehow, the fact that they're in the woods and in the DARK and riding horses does not result in a broken leg for the horses or branches sweeping at least the human off of her saddle, but I digress.... (expect me to digress a lot here...)
So then they're in LURVE. And then Elspeth goes into a haunted house and sucked into an alternate universe where she's captured by... wait for it... brace for it... you know you want to know this... PIRATES!!! Yes! Pirates! "Francios Blaize Martien, Captain of the pirate ship SeaBlaize. You can call me Blaize."
And Blaize looks JUST like Alaric, who looks JUST like Legolas with dark hair, who looks just like Orlando Bloom who played a pira.... HEY!
And Blaize is set on defiling Elspeth as revenge for something, who really cares waht, but he wants to defile her, which is how I felt after reading this book, honestly. Defiled.
"I see you have a fascination for pirates, especially dark-haired captains." Laughter still obvious in his voice. Her face reddened, as she glared at him.
"I do not!" She stood up quickly and faced him "I found this book here, it is yours I think." She grabbed up the book and threw it at him. He raised his arm and knocked it away from him. He grabbed her arm and pulled her close. Wrapping his other arm around her waist. "You have a problem, if you think I could like a pirate!"
"Perhaps I could make you change your mind, my dear. I am sure I could change your mind about a lot of things." His eyes danced with devilment as he latched his gaze upon her lips. latched... his gaze... upon her lips.... EW! She struggled against him, but couldn't get loose.
"You devil! You are too ugly for me." Her voice going high, as she had trouble breathing.
"Am I now?" his voice soft. "That's not what the women tell me." His breath as sweet as fresh crushed mint leaves, touched her cheek.
"Then they need glasses!"
Brilliant. Fucking Brilliant. As an aside, there is a sequel in the works for this that is going to be rated NC-17. I can tell you right now that if I read any kind of porn written by this woman it will make my genitals shrivel up and retreat into my spleen, and I'll have to just pollinate for the rest of my life.
So then it turns out that this was just a test for Elspeth for the alien Elven council to see if she would be faithful to Alaric, so she reappears back in the haunted house where she's then kidnapped by a gargoyle! Yes! A gargoyle! Let's leave no poor innocent demonic creature unmolested!
The gargolye takes her to some of Alaric's enemies who want to kill Alaric for being unclean and a vampire. They want to use Elspeth as bait. BUT!!!! They then find out that Elspeth is a Psi-vampire herself! She has to exist on the energy of living things!
"NO!" she shook her hread and looked at the elf on the ground. "I didn't mean to hurt you!" She got up and leaned against the wall. Tears streaming down her face. "I am not a monster!" She put her hands to her face, as her sobs echoed off the walls of the cave. "I am not a monster!"
So Alaric and Marti'el come on motorcycles to save her, even though Marti'el has just found the cure to vampirism. There's no time to give it now! They're in a sword fight with the baddies and Elspeth LOVES LOVES LOVES Alaric so much that she uses her now hated Psi-vampire ability to drain the life energy out of his enemy, and Alaric bites and turns his enemy into a vampire. Even though he hated and despised and angsted over being a vampire. Yeah. They're doing the things they hate the most about themselves, all for LOOOOVE!
And then the Elven high council materializes, tells Marti'el they were holding Alaric's cure back till the time was right--which is now, by the way--it's okay to keep him from killing people now, that the war against darkness on their homeworld is won, and everyone can come home, including Elspeth as Alaric's bride! And they know all about Elspeth and her future with them! Yay Team!
And everyone's okay with this???
And then they all rode off on motorcycles into the sunrise.
And it ended.
Sweet Jesus, it ended. 98 3/4 pages. It ended. And I hate, hate, HATE laughingimp for doing this to me. I think he's strawberry scented elegance for doing this to me.