Title: Better Off Dead
Author: Matthew Rowe
Kindle Edition; 518 pages
Published: January 2012
A world where sorcerers are saucy, vampires are a pain in the neck and everyone is clawing to be on top. The city of Londinium is in a period of civil unrest, but it’s not because the tube is always late, or because people are tired of zombies shedding limbs in public, nor is it because the humans are tired of trying to eke out a living only to meet a messy end in a dark alley. An unknown vampire has proclaimed himself ruler, and if there is one thing the people, both living and dead, hate more than a tyrannical ruler, it’s a secretive one.
One young vampire is charged with discovering the prince’s identity. The only problem: he doesn’t want to. Ramses, the world’s first genuine cat burglar, is far more concerned with eliminating the threat posed by the feline race rather than that of some pesky vampire lord, a dragon and civil war. Can this undead slacker learn to grow up at last, foil this mysterious plot and halt the biggest supernatural conflict in history or will he need help from his mummy?
Some words are better left unsaid. Some people are better off dead.. But this book is better on your shelf. :)
First off, let me just say that I really had fun reading this over-the edge story of vampires, mummies, werewolves, magi… and princes!
After having read a bunch of books where vampires glittered and drank animal blood instead of sucking humans (don’t crucify me for saying that, i still looooove Twilight and all paranormal tales about vamps), I feel at home again because I was reading something “factual” about vampires in Better Off Dead- carnivores, cunning and ruthless.
In this YA fantasy tale, Ramses (gosh I like his name – Egyptian!) was a cat burglar who had a severe aversion to cats. Kenempti (another Egyptian-inspired name, yay!) is a treat! She’s a mummy who had a past (who doesn’t?) and eventually fell in love and made the world turn around again on its axis.
While I certainly believe that the other characters (that’s you P-Head, the Gimp etc..) are “better off dead”, the whole story itself tickled my imagination and utterly kept me alive and awake. I praise Rowe for his aggressive style and different approach in writing.
While others may have failed to grasp his sense of humor (my sister rolled her eyes when she saw me laughing by myself while reading), I found myself enjoying the story more and more until the end, which proved my theory that there was no dull moment when Matthew wrote this book. And that is definitely not a laughing matter.
One thing I loved is Matthew’s footnotes which helped me understand the story better. Hopefully I’ll get to read more books from this talented author 🙂