ECONOMIES OF BLOOD by James T.  Carpenter

ECONOMIES OF BLOOD

A Samuel the Vampire Novel
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A special agent must identify who among the vampires is purloining their steady supply of blood in this fourth installment of a supernatural series.

The purpose of Vampire Blood Supply is to provide vamps with blood that humans have voluntarily donated. Agent Samuel Johnson of Vampires Against the Evil is one of the Protectors who safeguard humanity from dangerous vamps, such as the Evil Ones, who prefer drinking blood straight from the human tap. VBS enlists Samuel’s help when blood donations wane and thefts—delivery-van hijackings—spike. The probable robbery suspect is Blood International, a delivery service looking to set up shop in central Iowa, where Samuel is stationed. BI’s real intent is to drive VBS out of business. But when Samuel trails carjackers for intelligence, he’s shocked to witness another group rob the culprits. Surmising that the second band comprises Evil Ones, he offers to help BI (which vaguely acknowledges that the sinister vampires are a “problem”) while covertly preventing the service from destroying VBS. In addition, he plans to unmask the spy inside VBS. The complex operation is quite the challenge for Samuel, as it involves infiltrating a secret BI facility and occasionally working alongside individuals he utterly despises, like the Evil Ones and stupid humans. Comedy, as in preceding series installments, is in abundance. For example, intermittent interviews (to pinpoint the VBS mole) are typically humorous, as with deliverywoman Patty Cline, who talks so incessantly that Samuel only manages a single question. But Carpenter (My Daze as a Vampire Hunter, 2017, etc.) augments the story with mystery, starting with the opening, in which people are pursuing Samuel through a maze of cornstalks. A corresponding bevy of characters, which the author deftly handles, will likely make the mole’s identity a surprise to many readers. Samuel’s casual narration, meanwhile, entails frequently addressing both the vampire and human audience. But his disdain for human readers eventually wears thin, implying, for one, that they can’t recall basic details of a VBS blood drive.

A campy but robust vampire tale teeming with wit and otherworldly mystery.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-72019-160-5
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
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