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A Tale of Two Vampires
by Katie MacAlister
(Signet, $7.99, R)  ISBN 978-0-451-23773-6
Okay, so I'm still not a fan of Katie MacAlister and her lame Dark Ones, but even I have to admit that she's hit her Jane Austen parody-esque stride with A Tale of Two Vampires (Dickens reference aside).

On a long holiday following some ill luck that led to losing both her job and her apartment, Iolanthe Tennyson intends to spend the summer snapping photographs around her second cousin's home in Austria. Her vacation turns strange almost immediately, though. when Gretl takes Io to a GothFaire to meet a long-time friend.

Both Gretl and Io are surprised by how well Imogen looks despite the twelve years since the women have met in person. Io is even more surprised when Imogen's brother begins speaking to her about the Dark Ones and his nearly four-hundred-year-old father, specifically. When his wife shows up and begins talking about her ghosts, Io is out of there.

For the time being - literally. After wandering into a picturesque forest and wandering back out in the year 1703 right in front of the speeding carriage of said four-hundred-year-old father, Nicola Czerny. Nicola is just as cliche as his soon-to-be girlfriend - but in a funny way, just as Io is so over-the-top it makes you smile. Their romance is anything from cliche, however, and readers will get a kick out of the back and forth and the couple's constant flow of miscommunication.

I can't say that A Tale of Two Vampires has made me a big Katie MacAlister fan, because it's just not my type of reading. However, I do believe that - finally - Ms. MacAlister has written something that will induce me to quit bashing her.

--Sarrah Knight

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