Cerridwen Press c/o Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc.
9781419956836, $7.99, May 2007
Teacher turned vampire solves the mystery
3 out of 5 stars
“Underdead” is the first book by author Liz Jasper. She is a former middle school science teacher so the career of the main character is something she knows.
The novel starts off with Jo Gartner, a science teacher, out with her co-workers when they notice a handsome man looking their way. Co-worker Becky encourages her to go up to him and start a conversation. Jo doesn’t have that sort of courage but ends up chatting with him thanks to some help by Becky. They end up on the patio outside the restaurant/club talking about books. The next thing she knows is that Will is biting her neck and this causes her to panic. Jo is able to get away from him and make her way home but not before passing out in what she thinks is a cab. It turns out the cabbie is an undercover police officer and Will is a vampire that has just claimed Jo as one of his own, or at least partially.
It takes awhile for Jo to realize what has happened and she doesn’t take it well, after all who wants to become a vampire? She has to deal with different food cravings and a bad reaction to the sun. On top of that, co-workers are dying around her and she becomes the center of discussion among the parents because of rumors are circulating from leprosy to pregnancy. And then they think she is the one that is killing her co-workers.
Jo solves the mystery with the help of Gavin the undercover police officer but not without a few run-ins with Will and one of his minions, Natasha.
Overall I thought the book was ok. This was one of my first paranormal books and it didn’t seem to start off well and was just confusing. It seemed to be full of clichés about vampires (silver bullets, wooden stakes, an aversion to sunlight) and I was hoping for a bit more. Perhaps some background before the main character is bitten by the vampire would have been good to give us a better feel for Jo and who she is and what she does. The book did improve closer to the end but I don’t know if I will want to read her next book, “Underdead in Denial”.
This book would probably appeal to those that like the paranormal genre and even young adults.
Reviewed by Leslie Storey for RebeccasReads (6/08)