Vampire Vacation by C. J. Ellisson


Copyright 2010

Review by Chuck Rounds

Vampire Vacation by C. J. Ellisson is the tale of a beautiful, powerful, sexy, (and yet) dangerous female vampire (Dria aka Vivian) and her human husband (Rafe) that run a hotel for vampires above the arctic circle in Alaska where there is months of darkness for the delight of their vampire guests. The story has multiple elements including love, sex, action, mystery, and murder.The variety of elements is successfully balanced to weave together a very interesting book.

In order to properly frame this review, I think that it is important to know something about (me) the reviewer and the perspective from which I come. I have to admit that I am a bit of snob when it comes to the books I read, and when I first started this book, it felt like a tawdry romance novel…because of that, it took me a while to get to the heart of the story. Once there, however, I got caught up in the characters, the story, the intrigue, and the progression of the plot. I was rather surprised…what started out as a rather formulaic romance novel with vampires turned out to be a rather sexy intelligent thriller.

The book could almost be separated into two parts…during the first part of the book; an inordinate amount of time is spent establishing the characters, setting up the premise and exploring the romance and sexuality. It is in the second half of the book that Ellisson truly hits her stride. Once the real search for the killer begins, the book absolutely captures you.

There is a tremendous shift in the use of vampires in this book. We (as a society) have been inundated with the sad, brooding, and misunderstood creature that has become fodder for adolescent fantasy. Ellisson’s vampires are only for adults—these sexual and powerful beings have certainly evolved beyond their common counterparts, and even I must admit that a couple of the graphic sex scenes perked my interest.

Vampire Vacation is the first installment in series of stories about “The V V Inn.” I am eagerly delving into book #2.