Review – Vamped by David Sosnowski

Posted April 27, 2020 by Carole in Book Reviews / 16 Comments

Vamped by David Sosnowski
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: July 27, 2004
Date Read: April 19, 2020
Length: 335 pages
Source: Purchased
★★★★☆

Martin Kowalski is an eighty-year-old man stuck in a twenty-year-old body. He works the graveyard shift. He has a poster of Bela Lugosi on his wall and a box of uneaten Count Chocula in his pantry. He drinks stem-cell-derived blood from cleverly packaged and marketed juice boxes. He is, in short, a vampire. But since his wildly successful scheme to turn as many mortals as possible into vampires — “vamp” them rather than kill them — resulted in a new immortal majority, Marty finds little of interest to fill his countless days.From the deeply imaginative mind of David Sosnowski — who gave us the critically acclaimed junkie-angel classic Rapture — bursts this neo-vampire novel studded with pint-size vampires known as “screamers” (children who were vamped and are none too happy about it); priest vampires who helped convert their flock into lifetime members of the Church; stripper vampires who lap-danced their way into customers’ veins; and one very small, very outspoken human girl.

When Marty decides to end his endless life of soul-crushing ennui — call it vampire affluenza — a three-foot blond obstacle is thrown in his path: Isuzu Trooper Cassidy, a refugee from a human hunting preserve. At first he thinks “midnight snack,” but before the sun comes up, Isuzu is the one snacking on his prized cereal collection as she charms him into staying undead long enough to raise her in a world rife with danger and almost entirely populated by vampires yearning for the taste of real human blood.

My Review

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I am always looking for a well-done vampire story and the cover of this book really grabbed my attention.  I have had it sitting on my shelves for quite a while and even featured the book on a Books from the Backlog post a couple of years ago.  I am so glad that I pulled it off my shelves and finally gave it a try because it was just as good as I had hoped it would be. 

I have read a number of vampire stories and this one is a little different.  Marty became a vampire during World War II and has seen the world change quite a bit.  Marty and some of his friends decided to increase the population of vampires many years ago, although he doesn’t share that information, and vampires now rule the world, and humans are kept only to be used.  Things didn’t work out quite as he had planned and with vampires running the world everyone is back at work and the world is somewhat normal, although without humans and all of their needs.  Everything changes when Marty meets 6-year-old Isuzu Trooper though.

Marty decides to keep Isuzu safe instead of having her as a snack, which was his first impulse.  If anyone ever finds out about her, she will be in terrible danger.  This book covers quite a number of years and we get to see Isuzu and Marty learn to live with and trust each other.  Since the world is full of vampires, there aren’t any kids around anymore and Marty realizes how precious she really is.  These two don’t always get along and they both have a lot to learn but I enjoyed getting to see them both build a life.

Marty is a great character.  He has done some pretty violent things and I appreciated the fact that we do learn his history during the course of this story.  He doesn’t always have the right impulses but he does try.  In a lot of ways, Marty felt like a normal person just trying to figure out what to do with a kid that suddenly becomes his responsibility.  Isuzu was also a wonderful character.  She lived with her mother before living with Marty and has seen the world very differently.  She was rather stubborn at times and didn’t make things easy for Marty.  I really thought that these two were a great match.

I would recommend this book to others.  This is not your typical vampire story which is one of the things that I really enjoyed about it.  I liked the fact that there was a thread of humor throughout the story which felt natural for the characters.  I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work in the future.

About the Author

David Sosnowski has worked as a gag writer, fireworks salesman, telephone pollster, university writing instructor, and environmental protection specialist, while living in cities as varied as Washington, DC; Detroit, Michigan; and Fairbanks, Alaska. He is the author of three previous critically acclaimed novels, Rapture, Vamped, and, most recently, Happy Doomsday.

Author Links: Website

16 responses to “Review – Vamped by David Sosnowski

  1. The added element of the WWII history makes this a pretty unique take on a vampire story. Great review and yay for chipping away at the backlog!

  2. Normally vampire stories don't appeal to me but I do like the sound of this and it definitely does sound different. I'll have to give it a try.

  3. I've been cleaning up some shelves and purging some books and I found this one. So glad I kept it now (of course getting rid of it never really crossed my mind though).

  4. I think this might be the first vampire story outside of Buffy that I could enjoy. Buffy is pretty much the standard against which I measure everything that came after (don't even get me started on Twilight. Vampires DO NOT SPARKLE). This one though, I think I might really like. Great review!

  5. I feel like that is something vampire books often gloss over – how much the world has really changed over the course of their lifetime and it sounds like it really does a good job with being a bit unique. I love good vampire stories so I think I would enjoy this one a lot too ^.^