The Vampire Stalker - Allison van Diepen

Amy is in love with the brooding fictional hero of a book series called Otherworld. Alex is a vampire hunter who accidentally finds himself in Amy’s world. Can the two figure out why their world met, and can Alex stop the vampire he’s hunting before Amy’s world is turned as dark as his own?

I really liked the plot of The Vampire Stalker because it involved what the author called ‘literary physics’, the theory that some authors don’t make up a fictional world but somehow tap into another dimension and write about that one instead. I like it because I had the same theory when I was a teenager. I was really pleased to see someone actually make a story of this theory, even if it did involve a vampire hunter with a fan following akin to Twilight or Harry Potter. I mean, vampires are so last year, amiright? But it worked in this book.
I liked how Alex was as well-rounded a character as a real person, and even took offence to ‘his’ Chicago being referred to as ‘Otherworld’. He had a purpose and didn’t really have time for a romance to distract him. The only part of the plot that I didn’t really buy was the curfew enforced on Amy’s city when the police ‘realised’ the serial killer was a ‘real vampire’. I mean, it just seemed so fake. Even this current terrifying clown epidemic hasn’t caused any curfews, and no one is actually going to believe a real vampire is murdering people.

Another thing I found unrealistic was Amy’s close and personal friendship with her school librarian. I’m a book nerd but I would never visit my librarian’s house for dinner after ‘working late’ or whatever it is she was doing, or consider her a friend. It seems pretty inappropriate for a member of staff to be interacting with pupils that way, especially out of hours. Also it seemed that Amy wasn’t that close to the librarian to begin with, then all of a sudden they have this history together and she trusts her with Alex’s secret. And this librarian is OK with this weird teenager just coming to live with her.
And of course Amy was the kind of mousy-haired, non-makeup-wearing, book-loving YA heroine every brooding bad boy goes nuts for. And her book boyfriend just happened to be the less popular of the two male leads in the book series – because the more popular one is already in a relationship with a female vampire. But the thing I missed most was any kind of chemistry between the two – here was more chemistry when Alex was yelling at her and saving her life rather than any sweet, romantic moments between the two. I still don’t see what Alex saw in Amy – she’s your paint-by-numbers typical YA heroine, bland as beige and designed to appeal to the masses.

Mind you, there was nothing particularly memorable about the writing. The best thing about this book was the literary physics theory – oh yeah, did I mention that ‘helpful, friendly high school librarian’ who is more than happy to run around two teenagers to book events also used to be a physicist who came up with the theory? That’s why she recognises Alex. I did find the reaction of the poor author who thought she imagined this world quite realistic – once she recognises her own villain is out to get her, she can only call her hero for help. But really, the whole point of this book is to bring some teen girls’ fantasy to life and see what it might actually be like if your book boyfriend stepped into your world and got to know you.

With a bland heroine and no spark between the two romantic interests, the positive is that if you don’t take it too seriously the book is a cute, fluffy, quick read and the other characters all seem well-rounded. I thought the somewhat original premise was given a great boost by the literary physics theory but unfortunately the writing itself lacked punch as well.



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