Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Loved Drink, Slay, Love

Pearl, the protagonist of Drink, Slay, Love, is not a good person.  That’s because she’s not a person at all; she’s a vampire with no soul.  Until a unicorn stabs her through the chest, and she starts developing a conscience.

Yes, that’s right, a unicorn.  But this is no simple Vampires vs. Unicorns story.  Pearl is the youngest of a family of vampires, who have just learned that the vampire king has chosen them to host the next fealty ceremony.  When the first side effect of the unicorn horn manifests as an ability to walk in the sunlight without bursting into flames, Pearl is sent to high school to procure a feast for his majesty.  But when she starts making human friends for whom she has actual feelings, Pearl starts to hate the idea of turning her new classmates into meals.

Pearl is a delightfully bad main character, who says things like “Go poop rainbows” when she first encounters the majestic unicorn. Her struggle with her emerging feelings, and her frustrated desire to go back to the way things were when she was a bloodthirsty vampire who saw humans as a lower life form, are portrayed with sensitivity and humor.

Drink, Slay, Love could have been just another vampire book with a love triangle or it could have been a novelty in the company of Megashark vs. Crocosaurus.  Instead, it is a great book with an original story, compelling characters, and a fully realized world.  Hooray to Sarah Beth Durst for writing exactly the story she wanted to write and for making it really, really good. 

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