Finally, a vampire story I can get into. No, it isn't some epic tale of Good v. Evil, and it's not a love story where the reader cheers for the trusty hero to get with Mr/Ms. Right. It's not even particularly focused on the vampire mythos -- certain facets are utilized, but they only get described in passing with the assumption that the reader probably knows about them already. And you know what? It works out pretty well.
"Young Blood" is the story of Vincent, a normal college kid with no friends or hobbies or employment, who is thrust into the hidden world of vampires. The creatures are sophisticated hedonists, primarily drinking blood donated to banks that they own; humanity has no idea that they even exist, much less that they have their own club and hideout within the university. So when Vincent is suddenly Turned, he has to come to terms with becoming a creature of the night and that sunlight does more than make him sparkle!
If I had to pick two words to encompass the story, they would be "sex" and "ethics". Vincent is not too keen on being a vampire, even despite the super-magical-vampirically-hot seductress who bites him with the intent that he'll spend the rest of his days sucking her brains out. Through her vagina. With his penis. I guess that would be more like thrusting her brains out? I'll compromise and claim I was referring to oral sex, because there's a lot of it in this story; perhaps it's a form of greeting for vampires?
Having no choice in the matter of his eternally damned soul, Vincent decides to start campaigning in the SVA (Student Vampire Association) against a Plot Device who says that humans are the inferior race and wants to gobble them all up: literally and sexually. She works pretty hard on both fronts, too. And on her back.
Vincent supports human rights and is against turning them all into vampires because...well, his position on that isn't important. Which is a good thing since it doesn't make any sense.
At some point, a question that I've been wondering ever since I first heard of vampires is asked: "If you turn everyone in the world into a vampire, whose blood are we going to drink?"
Get a pair of glasses, put them on, and then whip them off using one hand if you want to have the same reaction that I had upon reading this in the story.
There's a lot of sex here. It's effective in its attempt to have realistic portrayals of steamy, kinky vampire sex, though it may prove that there can be too much of a good thing. While I enjoyed the scenes, and I think this story may have the best indoor pool sex scene I've read, I found myself starting to gloss over details by the end. This may have been due to my impatience to see the story resolve, or it may have been that I felt oversaturated by the number and frequency of immortal creatures mindlessly banging each others' genitals off.
Characterization is a bit of a weak point in this story. The main character is a bit bland in his unflinching belief system which is not fully explained. The babes are very well-described physically, and they all have sufficient sizzle to do whatever it is people who have sizzle do, but I found little substance behind the gorgeous facades. They deliver lines to further the plot, suck down all bodily fluids at the drop of a belt, but fail to stir that part of my brain which craves characters who can sink their teeth into me like the mermaids in Tales of MU. Each female lead has one or two characteristics that they embody, but they are little more than that.
The writing itself is not without its issues. There's no unforgivable errors, but grammar-philiacs like me will be left fuming by the misuse and absence of commas. It's nothing an editor or some time on wikipedia couldn't fix and not enough to seriously detract from the story.
As I've said, there's some neat plot elements here. The downside is that they're mostly held together by bouncing from one sexcapade to the next, and I sometimes forgot that there were even vampires involved until the biting started up again. There's a bit of a love triangle/quadrangle going which I think is supposed to shore up the plot and keep interest, but one of the players is never effectively portrayed as a valid romantic choice (which disappointed me since she was the most interesting), another is completely symbolic, and the last one has no personality aside from a cutesy, cliched awkwardness that I dread and a pair of legs which seem to fly out from under her any time the main character looks her way.
Various disappointments aside, this is a fun read if you're looking for something to read which has vampires and steamy orgies in large quantities, with an emphasis on titties. I didn't know that I was looking for such a thing until I found it, but this seems to have hit the spot so hard that you'd have to be the king of England to pull it out. Well done for that, Sir Author.