The Vampire Stalker, by Allison van Diepen
Published: July 2011
The Blurb: What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?
Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.
Despite some of the less positive reviews I wanted to read this book for myself anyway. I certainly don’t regret reading it. It wasn’t a waste of time, because it didn’t take up that much of my time, fortunately. The 250 pages can easily be read in a few measly hours. And a few hours later you will have forgotten all about the book already.
No matter how promising the premise of this book is - a fictional character suddenly comes into our world- the execution of the story seriously lacks. Which is a shame, because the idea of ‘Literary Physics’ (writers who unknowingly tap into other dimensions while they are writing) is very original. It could have been epic, if written the right way. It deserves to be explored more, further, deeper. ‘Otherworld’ (the parallel Chicago from this book) deserves more world building. It is a very interesting place in my opinion. Imagine all sorts of technical and medical developments never happened because of a vampire-dominated society. Imagine an evening curfew because of those dangerous creatures out there. Imagine the shortened life expectancy because of the dangers and lacking means to aid people. Imagine people fleeing, immigrants never showing… I imagined those things, because besides the mere mention of these points, we never got to know the real ‘Otherworld’. A shame.
The story seems to be told simply because the writer wanted to tell it. It feels like reading the fan fiction often referred to in this book. Contemporary, simple, fluently, shallow, a bit juvenile even, but never poetic. I love it when a book grabs me with beautiful prose, which was never the case here. Another shame.
I seriously missed some elaborate world and character building. I hardly knew what the characters looked like! Besides their appearances not much detail was provided about their inner selves either. We were told Amy had it bad for Alexander, but the feelings weren’t conveyed. I couldn’t feel her crush, nor did I understand it. Alexander was a flat character, a cardboard cut-out. There was no spark of life in him, or any sparks between him and Amy for that matter. He didn’t make sense either: thinking it’s not normal Amy isn’t engaged to be married yet, at age 16, but still kissing her, thus possibly ruining her reputation. Yet, another shame.
And what about Amy’s gullible mom? If I showed up with an attractive guy she’d never seen, or even heard about, she sure as h*ll wouldn’t let him stay over at the house, for indefinite time! Without making any fuss or asking too much questions. Seriously?!
That is one example of how ‘easy’ (fluently if you will) the story was written. Everything happened neatly the way it was supposed to go, the plot ‘twists’ were predictable, the villain came from a Disney movie, the plot was rather simple and the ending? Yup, saw it coming from the start. Quadruple shame.
But still this was a pleasant story to read. Seriously. Despite its many flaws I didn’t hate it. Why? It’s a quick, fun, romantic ride. Which, in my opinion, could do with some more fan fiction. To spice things up a bit. To finally tell the untold story that deserves to be told...