Eric is a vampire and Eric has problems. His business is losing money. His girlfriend want to become undead He can’t remember how he ended up killing a werewolf last night, and now the entire pack is out for vengeance.
"Somewhere in the middle of my rant it occurred to me that I'd killed whoever it was I'd been yelling at, so arguing was no longer important."
J.F. Lewis’ Staked is the first novel in the Void city series. Staked shows much promise. Eric is an interesting character because he is in no way a hero. He is the protagonist of the story and much of the novel is told from his perspective. Lewis does not waste time and effort trying to get his readers to consider Eric a good vampire, he merely is. I loathe when authors try to justify their characters bad behavior and appreciate Lewis just letting Eric be.
The novel’s perspective shifts between Eric an older vampire and Tabitha a newly turned vampire. This adds an interesting dynamic to the story as well as allowing Lewis to engage in a more natural world building. The rules for Lewis’ vampires and werewolves very slightly from the traditional myths and as Tabitha discovers the rules, so do the reader.
The narrative follows Eric’s attempts to discover how he came to kill a werewolf while blacked out. The mystery is very intricately conceived and laid out expertly. With each reveal I was satisfied and at no point felt cheated by huge jumps in logic.
The fight sequences in Staked occur regularly and Lewis has a great ability to combine movement in some incredibly creative throw downs. J.F. Lewis combines all these elements with a dark detached humor that is incredibly effective, bringing Void City to life.
In the end;
If you are in the mood for a great mystery with some great bloody supernatural throw downs this is the novel for you. Eric and Tabitha are well conceived characters deserving a wide audience.