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Vicky Van Helsing, by Solomon J. Inkwell: A Review

July 17, 2011

Arts & Literature, Reviews

By Alex Mcdermott

On July 5th, a group of us chatted about the definition of horror on DarkMediaCity’s weekly discussion. What is horror? How do you divide works into the subgenres? What are the subgenres? One important question we missed, probably due to lack of time, is the issue of comedy. How funny can something be before it’s not horror and becomes comedy? Solomon J. Inkwell proves horror and humor make great companions in his campy Dracula-inspired novel Vickie Van Helsing.

Take a hefty dose of Buffy, insert a little Poppy Z. Brite goth and you have high school outcast Vickie and her horror fanatic friend Kyle Cooper. Life rolls on toward graduation until they find they have not only a vampire, but thevampire in their midst. Vickie also discovers she is not the average teen she thought she was as she explores the original diaries of Abraham Van Helsing, vampire-slayer. Life turns upside down for the pair as they uncover ancient secrets, ancient bloodlines and ancient fears.

I’m not sure the author intended it as a YA novel, but it definitely works best for the younger set. Although I’m only a few years out of high school, the teen angst and high school setting lost my attention in places. The characters were very well-written and Inkwell captures the trauma and fun of high school brilliantly. Teens will really identify with Vickie as she maneuvers around thePopulars as she calls them. We all remember those kids! She’s a great role-model character for girls as the powerful slayer and heir to an ancient bloodline!

The campy humor was great and reminds me of the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie. The wisecracks were funny without falling into nasty sarcasm and the campy action was paced very well. The allusions to the vampire classics were a nice touch and the ancient myths and legends were handled well. While not for the literary set, this is a fantastic YA novel.

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