Completed Fic of the Week: 12/6-12/12

December 07, 2010

An American Vampire in Chicago by Just4ALE
Review by anonymouslysufferingfromOCD
Rating: M
Genre: Romance/Drama
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: Bella is a business school student when she meets Edward, a PhD student. Is this handsome stranger too good to be true? AU/ Vampires/Humans. My vamps are slightly different from SM's. Winner of two Winter '10 Indie TwiFic Awards! Please R&R, thx.

When I began An American Vampire in Chicago, I will admit I was skeptical, I am a little picky when it comes to Vamp stories, I usually prefer AH when reading my beloved FanFic’s, feeling that I fell in love with these characters the way Stephanie wrote them. It takes a lot to outdo what she wrote. Having said that, I have to say I was really surprised and excited by what Just4Ale did with these characters.

The most important thing to understand about this story is that it is the first part of a series of 4. The initial story is only about 50k words, so it is a pretty quick read.

The story starts off with a 25 year old Bella and to me this is important. While she still has a lot of Bella’s original characteristics, she is older, more mature and more sure of herself. While she has a tendency to live inside her own head, she has friends and a life before Edward enters the picture. She has had experiences, she has traveled around the world and has graduated from college, she is starting her Master’s program and she is excited for it.

When she initially meets Edward she isn’t falling at his feet declaring her eternal love, she takes her time, and he takes his as well.

They meet as she is entering her Karate class, just one of the ways that Bella uses to try to overcome her excessive clumsiness. Edward is instantly attracted to Bella’s scent but not in the Stephanie Meyer I-almost-attack-you-in-the-middle-of-biology-class sort of way. He is able to sense things about her by the scent of her blood and this intrigues him as does his inability to read her mind.

I looked at Edward, whose hand was still out for the shaking. I looked at his hand and then shook it quickly. Immediately, I felt a jolt, almost like an electric current when I touched him. His hand was a bit cold. I looked back up into his eyes… were they green? I hadn't noticed before, although not surprising since I typically didn't stare at people's faces. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Edward."

The vampire’s in this story are unique, they don’t sparkle in the sunlight and they don’t have yellow or red eyes. The best way to describe them is a cross between Twilight, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Underworld with a little bit of (a very little bit) True Blood thrown in for good measure. While all of the vampire characters have the talents that they have in SM’s books, they also have other natural talents that all vampires have.

Much like the Bella in SM’s books this Bella is a bit of a danger magnet or more specifically a vampire magnet. Edward isn’t the innocent gentlemanly vampire that we know from Twilight. During his rebellious period, he didn’t just try out what it would be like to drink human blood from the source but he also was a bit of a ladies man.

Bella figures out that Edward is a vampire on her own, she has some experience in reading about vampire lore and is able to put 2 and 2 together pretty quickly. Understanding what he is doesn’t immediately mean that she doesn’t understand the consequences of being with a vampire and it also doesn’t mean that she doesn’t weigh all of her options.

Damn Hollywood movies. Stupid vampire writers, giving away our secrets, even when they lied about them. The Lost Boys twisted the whole invitation rule around to indicate that the humans were left powerless. The funny thing was that Bella actually interpreted it differently… and correctly. I wondered if she also knew that she had to extend this invitation each time in order to maintain the power blockage.

The story is from both POV’s and the author really does articulate both POV’s well. I am always a fan of hearing from Edward but with this one I love to hear from Bella too. We have some great quotes from the original saga but also some great new ones as well:

I realized that he was unnaturally peaceful… and that he was doing it for my benefit. He wanted me to feel at ease but I could sense the concern underlying his tranquil exterior and I was petrified. He held my shoulders and continued to speak quietly. "Bella, please stay calm. Your fear will only make you more attractive to them right now."

So we do have some drama to deal with and James is in this story so you may need to look out for him in the future, but we also have some citrus that makes it all worth while.

It was so different from all of my previous experiences. Her warmth enveloped me. Her energy escalated and sent chills through me. Her eyes were wide, full of love and trust. She was with me fully, body and soul. My body responded… and my fangs… well I managed to keep my erection up and my fangs safely tucked away. Her earlier attentiveness to my needs had allowed me to begin to learn how to make that work.

The ending sets up the next in the series and you will want to read on to follow what happens to these two, I know I did.

I turned off the phone for the rest of the night. And then I went back into the bedroom to hold my girl and watch her sleep.

Banner by JaimeArkin


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