I’ve pretty much given up on the structured reading challenges, but that doesn’t mean I won’t post occasional book reviews. Lately I’ve been reading a story about a girl who moves to Alaska – well, close – and meets a charming, handsome, fascinating man…well, not exactly…a charming, handsome, fascinating vampire. Oh, you say you already know all about that book? Um, maybe not.
A keeper? Yes indeed
This story happens during the Yukon Gold Rush of 1897 and features the clash of wills between Count Vasily Vladovitch Bledinoff (groan) and novelist Pelagia Harper (also known as Pat Harper, Valentine Lovelace, and – during her short career as a dance hall girl – Corazon, the Belle of Barcelone). Oh, and we also meet an ambitious young fellow named Jack London.
Unlike some vampires, Vasily Vladovitch isn’t content to spend eternity in high school. He has great plans to turn the Yukon into a haven for his kind of people and home base for an eternally youthful theater troupe. And it’s even possible that Pelagia would have left him in peace to carry out his schemes if he hadn’t tried to recruit her, and if she didn’t have such high moral standards, and if she hadn’t been accused of murdering a hapless Mountie who became one of Vasily Vladovitch’s meals.
The plot rockets from one unexpected complication to another – Ghosts! Swindled gold miners! Arctic winter! Rivalries among the cancan dancers! Food shortages! Disintegrating dresses! Mysteriously happy corpses! – finally wrapping up with Vasily Vladovitch’s dance hall burning to the ground. But the story ends well for everyone except a couple of genuinely villanous characters who meet the fates they deserve. Pelagia is cleared of murder and united with her true love. Her not-exactly-stepmother Sasha Devine pairs off with yet another adoring gentleman. The whole town rallies round to raise money for Vasily Vladovitch to start over elsewhere. Is it believable? Of course not. Is it fun? Oh, yes.
Besides, how can you dislike a story that features a helpful weremoose?