Okay the first thing I should say is that the part one in the title does not refer to me dragging out a simple review into multiple parts again but to the fact that I am actually reviewing part one. You see ‘Pulling up Stakes’ is the first part in a series much like the old serials that you picked up for a quarter at the local train stations. Of course this one you pick up for a few quid from amazon and download to your kindle or other over priced fancy etch-a-sketch.
The story is written by one Peter David most notably known for comics and Star Trek books about a captain so off the book he makes Kirk look like a librarian. Known for his witty, pop culture laden dialogue David in this instance seems to want to get that out of the way at the start what with the subject matter of Vampires. In the first few pages you get a collection of rather forced references to Buffy, True Blood and Twilight. These are probably the low point of the book which makes it a shame that they are all at the start because it gives you the impression that this is going to be all you get. In truth as I say this does seem to be some quota that David has to reach and is the first few pages only. Once this is out of the way we are left to follow Vincent Hammond Vampire hunter, twenty odd years old, one of the best in his garrison and living with his mother who has to decide whether her son is staying in bed all day because he is a lazy good for nothing who hasn’t left teenage hood behind or if he has been turned on patrol. The scene of his mother waking him with the line “it’s time to go out and kill something” along with the cross to the face and check for bite marks is a fairly good beginning. It’s just a shame it’s let down by David trying to be “savvy”.
Once this is done we can follow Vincent out on patrol and it is here that we find things aren’t so straight forward. Vampires it seems are split into two camps, the old guard and the new. The old Guard are the monsters stalking the night dressed in top hats and frilly shirts while the new guard are a bit more courteous about the whole thing and invite their prey out for a drink first. In fact their prey is often throwing themselves at the new guard and they thus only take what they need while dancing the night away in specially set aside clubs and safe houses.
This almost civilised approach means that Vincent is wavering on his dedication to the cause and is instead of opting to slay as many of the soulless monsters as possible is instead opting to minimise the loss of life on both sides. Thus when a body turns up outside a place he knows to be a vampire hot spot he is up against it running interference while he tries to figure out the source. This is made all the worse when another garrison shows up, with his fiancé in tow.
The fact that he has a fiancé takes some precedent over the odd signs linked with the corpse that mean that it might not just be the casual dumping of a body that it looks like. You see this is an arranged marriage, one his father forgot to mention.
Now over the years since David Boreanaz showed up in a dark alley wearing a leather trench coat. Vamps have been heroes and villains, soulless and misunderstood but this could the first time that they have been gay and I don’t think I’m reading too much into this book to say that. Now it uses a lot of the stuff that is already there but it does so with a rather heavy hand. The constant clash with the fringe religious organisation, the constant references to life style choices or if the whole thing is ingrained at birth. The hiding from the girl foisted upon him by his society as well as the prohibitive levels of hygiene and all the dancing.
It’s a decent start to a story that should be an interesting fluff piece, nothing that will stay with you or make you think but a decent enough ride while it lasts. Though like the Derrick Storm books be prepared to buy more than one and I don’t mean that as praise for the writing or story. Like the old penny dreadfuls you are not getting a full book here but what you do get is decent.