Thursday, July 03, 2014

Night School by Mari Mancusi

Night School, Mari Mancusi. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group/ Penguin Group Inc., 2011. trade paperback, 244 pps.

     Vampires have become popular in fiction. Mari Mancusi has a series of books involving teen sanguine vampires who also may be fae or vampire slayers or both. She also has a site for those who wish to role-play vampires in her fictional "Blood Coven." 

     Night School started out with promise. The McDonald twins-- Rayne and Sunshine-- were hastily relocated to their absentee dad's condo in Las Vegas. Dad had re-married. Mom and her boyfriend came from Massachusetts the following week with dire tidings. It appears that everything about the McDonald family history was made up (with the use of actors, a bit which I found particularly unbelievable). Dad wasn't such a cheating skunk after all. He had to leave because of a bit of nasty fae business. Mom, Dad, and respective partners are buddies of a surprising sort.

     It gets worse. Fairyland wants the McDonalds to come back. Instead, the twins-- who had become vampires-- are ushered into hiding at a vampire slayer school. The school itself is not friendly about any sort of immortal or otherworldly beings. The top student vampire slayers are composed of a nasty but sexy boy and his cronies. Their ambition is to be accepted into "Night School."

     Rayne finds a library book and she releases her fae heritage along with budding feathered wings. Not necessarily a smart move, considering that she is supposed to be keeping a low profile. Things turn nasty, people get zombified or imprisoned and then released, or not. Fairyland has turned into a refuge for storybook characters. And so on.

sapphoq reviews says: I was willing to forgive the bit about actors playing a granny and an aunt for the twins. But classic fairytale creatures showing up in Fairyland was a bit much. [Shrek did that well, Mari Mancusi's attempt turned out silly and annoying]. A few curses and a brief description of fairy infidelity may cause some parents hesitation in allowing their tweens to read this book. The descent into silliness caused me to chuck it across the room. Verdict: Skip this. There are other books about fictional teen vampires which do much better.

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