Bite Me is one of those books I feel kind of bad bashing on. It has a good concept, a promising world, and characters that could be awesome. You can see what the author was going for, and there's a good book in here, somewhere. Unfortunately, Bite Me also turned out to be one of those novels that is done in by bad writing.
To be fair, it's not, say, rage-inducing, how-did-this-shit-get-published, Once in a Full Moon-bad writing. It's better than that. But Parker Blue suffers badly from an inability to - all together no-oh, fuck it, you know what's coming, and we've been able to use that joke too many times. Show, not tell: writing rule number one and Blue fails miserably, especially in communicating her character's feelings, backgrounds, and defining issues.
We get a huge info dump in the first chapter, maybe two pages in, that includes a lot of important character-building information. What ever happened to letting your character's actions, words, and interactions give the reader insight into their innermost feelings? Isn't that how it's supposed to work?
But this is Bite Me's biggest problem - no single emotion, nuance, or character trait goes (loudly) unannounced, the moment it becomes relevant. I don't know if it's because Blue doesn't trust her readers to catch on, or because she doesn't realize that this is bad writing, but seriously, somebody needs to introduce her to the concept of subtlety. Oh, and emotional range - literally the only time I felt any sort of emotional anything towards Val was when someone was being cruel to her, and I can't help but wonder if Blue wasn't victimizing Val to compensate for her lack of depth.
Not only is the writing sketchy, but, well, a book about a small, wise-cracking, super-strong, super-fast, super-powerful vampire slayer whose only desire is to be normal, with a younger sister who envies her abilities and uniqueness? Where have we heard that before?
Blue realizes it, too, though, and tries to lampshade the Buffy-similarities with Buffy-based jokes. They're not really that funny, but at least she acknowledges it, right? And it's not like we haven't seen a million other Buffy-inspired heroines before, and it's not even that they can't be done well. The trouble is that while yes, Val is very obviously a Buffy knock-off, all Blue does with this similarity is make a running, unfunny joke of it...
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