The Vampire Blog by Pete Johnson
|The Vampire Blog by Pete Johnson|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Humorous take on all things bitey as poor Marcus discovers his half-vampire heritage. Easy to read and filled with Johnson's throwaway one liners, the horror element is at a level perfect for late primary school readers. Pete Johnson was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: May 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
The night of his thirteenth birthday, Marcus's parents sit him down for a chat. He fears there'll be some fingernails-on-a-blackboard stuff about the facts of life, he'll fend them off with a wry remark or two, and it'll all be over. After all, how bad could it be? Very bad, is the answer. Very, very, very, very bad. Because this chat isn't about sex at all. It's about fangs and blood cravings, and shape-shifting. Because Marcus is a half-vampire.
It isn't what he was expecting, and it isn't what he wants. So, much to his parents' chagrin, Marcus sets himself to preventing his transformation into a bitey person and for a while he has a degree of success - as he happily notes in his secret blog. It doesn't matter how many vampiric doctors come around, it doesn't matter how much his parents call him Ved, his new half-vampire name, the change stubbornly refuses to complete.
But what Marcus doesn't know is that his life is in terrible danger...
You can't knock a Pete Johnson book. They're highly accessible and always au fait with current tween preoccupations, so they're perfect for readers looking for full length books that don't take too much of a toll. but best of all, they are funny. It's the dialogue that really sparkles. Johnson's tween characters are always wry, ironic and dry, cracking jokes that their parents often miss but their readers notice with glee. They're also reluctant heroes, often geeky, and witty as they are they're often naive and clumsy, so we get an amount of slapstick humour too.
This is not to say that the horror element is completely window dressing - The Vampire Blog builds some real tension with the threat to Marcus, and there are some creepy scenes in the woods and some gruesome scenes with a goodly dollop of fangly terror.
My thanks to the good people at Yearling for sending the book.
Pete Johnson was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.