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READING THE TBR, DAY 148: The Vampire’s Photograph (2008) by Kevin Emerson

A middle grade book about a vampire world existing parallel to our own, with a vampire hero who feels different to those of his race — because he is — and the reckless human girl who endangers herself and others with her determination to prove the existence of vampires (because, sure), this book is weirdly addictive, mainly because the mystery surrounding its protagonist is so damned oblique.

Oliver Nocturne — yes, the vampire family name is Nocturne, what of it? — is 83 years old, but appears and acts 12, because that is how vampire biology works. They are not immortal but only slowly ageing, and also, New World vampires like Oliver are born, not made.

Except, what is up with Oliver? Why does he, alone, have to endure annual medical checkups, when the majority of the vampire race are so… well, vampirey? Why does he, in particular, have to fear getting caught on camera, when other vampires show up on film and are even work on TV? What is so special about him?

For all its silliness — and this book is very, very silly — I have to admit that I really, really wanted to find out. And when Book 1 ended, and this question was only partially ended, you better believe I was torn about embarking straight away on Book 2, also in my possession, because, whatever will happen next? Can Emalie ever forgive Oliver? Can Oliver ever forgive himself? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?

But then I discovered that there are six Oliver Nocturne novels, and since I only own two of them, I would have to go out of my way to find the remaining four to get to the end of the story — and I’m not sure how committed I am to this vampire kid-lit world for me to go that far. You know how it is with series. Book 2 could very well resolve some of these dangling plot threads, but it will assuredly hint at more, and then where will I be? A grown woman desperately hunting for sequels to a middle-grade vampire tale. (And I am already a grown woman desperately hunting for sequels to a kids’ book — and I found one, Penny Pollard’s Passpport, in an op shop yesterday, for a dollar, by the way! That that, eBay!)

So Book 2 will remain on the shelf for a while. But in the meantime, I really am beset with lingering questions over this utterly unbelievable, outlandish, illogical and at times even flat-out stupid novel. Again, and as always, this says way more about me than about the book itself. But I can live with that.   


TBR DAY 138: The Vampire’s Photograph (Oliver Nocturne #1) by Kevin Emerson
GENRE: YA, Vampires
TIME ON THE TBR: ~3 years.  
KEEP: Maybe? Let’s wait till I read the whole series to make that determination…

Published inTBR

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