Author: M.L. Brennan
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: American Vampire #1
Mass Market Paperback, 311 pages
Publication: May 7, 2013 by Roc
Source: Purchased for my own reading.
Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.
But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.
But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…
Fortitude A.K.A Fort isn’t your typical vampire. Well, he isn’t even considered a vampire yet, he’s somewhere between transitioning from a human to vampire. Fort is what you’d called an experimental baby. He was conceived from humans (hosts) that were drained to the point of death and filled back up with blood from Madeline’s blood (Fort’s mom). Fort’s life is pretty shitty. Fort graduated from college with a useless degree (Film Theory), he works in a dinky diner for minimum wage with crappy co-workers, and has a roommate that’s been leeching off of him for 4 months. When anyone thinks of Vampires, they’d think strong, beautiful, mysterious and lethal; Fort is the exact opposites of those terms. Fort pretty much doesn't know what to make of his life; he isn't successful like his two older siblings, Chivalry and Prudence. But when an Italian vampire comes to town and asks for hospitality from Madeline, girls turn up missing and dead. Fort is 99% sure that the new comer is responsible but his mom gave her word and won’t interfere nor will his siblings; who don’t understand why Fort cares so much for the missing girls….girls he doesn't even know. Fort may not know where he’s heading in life but he knows he needs to do something about the missing girls. Fort makes it his mission in rescuing the girls, even when he knows he’d likely die trying.
I've read many books with flawed characters but none like Fort. Well Fort isn't flawed per say but definitely isn't what one would think of as a male lead/hero. At the beginning of the story, Fort didn't have much going for him. He was what’d you say a sad excuse for a vampire; I mean he was getting beaten up and mugged by three humans for Christ sake! He was supposed to be the one terrorizing not the victim. But what Fork lacked in vampire abilities, he made up in heart and personality. I think his name is perfect and a great representation of his growth throughout the book. Fort is brave and stands up for what he believes in. He knew that he isn't a full vampire yet and that going after Luca was just asking for a death wish but he never once gave up hope in trying to find the missing girls. His family may see his human emotions as a handicap/liability but it was what made him stronger and better than his family. Fort’s family was just as interesting as he was. Readers meet each of the family members, albeit briefly and get a feel of their personality…and like Fort, their names were a great indication of their character.
Brennan’s take on vampire was refreshing. Her vampires were unlike other vampire novels I've read, making hers unique/original. Readers barely scratch the surface of Brennan’s world-building, but from what I've read it shows great potential. The characters were all well-written and realistic and most importantly relatable. Brennan also incorporated Japanese Kitsune folklore/mythology into her story which also made the book stand out from other UF books…I haven’t read many books that featured a kitsune shifter/lore (except one series but the author never delve into the history like Brennan did) and while I’m not really familiar with the folklore; I thought it was fascinating how she built upon the folklore/and the characters (Suzume, Asuko’s family line).
Generation V is a must read for all Urban Fantasy-Paranormal fans. While the book wasn't action packed, it was still an engaging read with much to offer. I am a sucker for an underdog story and character driven books…and Generation V is it. I loved everything about Brennan’s debut book, and highly recommend it. Don’t let the cover fool you. The whole ‘vampire novel’ may seem overdone and tiresome but Brennan proves that the genre can be reinvented. I can’t wait to read the next American Vampire novel. I’m sure it won’t be long till this series finds its place on my favorite series list.