Title: The Vampire Blog
My Age Recommendation: 11+
Marcus was convinced that vampires didn’t exist. He was very wrong…On his thirteenth birthday, Marcus Howlett is faced with a bombshell. His parents are half-vampire. And, although he hates the thought of it, he is about to become one too. But, as he secretly blogs about the horrors of his new fangs, bad breath and cravings for blood, Marcus is unaware that his life is in serious danger…
I guess it was because The Vampire Diaries was taken. The title I mean. Though to be fair, none of this book is particularly subtle and its name is the least of it. I’ll be honest – this was probably a little bit too young for me. It’s all very well watching a Pixar movie and feeling empathy. In fact my favourite book of all-time is Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and that is aimed squarely at younger kids.
But The Vampire Blog left me cold. It felt too much like a bloodsucking cash-in, a piece of mediocrity churned out to capitalise on a craze.
It doesn’t help that the format makes little sense. Johnson makes the blog so specific as to include timings and it’s hard to believe a thirteen-year-old boy would be checking his watch during what he endures in the novel. That may sound nitpicky, but it’s symptomatic of a book which feels rushed, unprepared, a first draft. I don’t know, maybe he owns an iPad and is updating his blog from there as he goes.
For what it’s worth, the story rattles along. Johnson gives it a twist by making Marcus a half-vampire and there are a couple of clever moments, such as when our hero suffers an allergic reaction after unknowingly eating garlic sausage on a pizza.
But overall this wasn’t very enjoyable, it certainly wasn’t funny, there was no menace even at the climax and for some reason, the author thinks it merits a sequel. Personally, I wouldn’t bother.