Sunday, September 9, 2007

Blood is the New Black by Valerie Stivers

Showing that vampire novels are still in style, BLOOD IS THE NEW BLACK (Canada, UK -- not yet available) debuted last week by Valerie Stivers. Judging from the cover, this novel appears to be more comic than angsty.

When nice-girl Kate McGraw finds herself working at Tasty, a magazine with its finger on the pulse of modern style, she’s finally able to put her flair for fashion to good use. But can she keep up with the Tasty staffers? Ethereally beautiful and extremely emaciated, they stay out all night, never look the worse for wear, and are always dressed to kill.

Like everyone else around the office, Kate finds herself begrudgingly reading dispatches from a snarky industry blog that dubs her colleagues “bloodthirsty vamps.” She knows they don’t mean it literally, but . . . she’s heard whispers of “fashion murders” and she has noticed strange things around the office: Like, why doesn’t her boss get laminates to fix her sharp teeth? Why are the blinds always drawn, and why is there a no-garlic policy in the cafeteria?

As well-dressed bodies begin to pile up near all the hot places, Kate has to wonder if there’s a serial killer loose with a grudge against the stylish. Or if the truth is even more sinister: Are Kate’s coworkers actually undead? And, if so, can she design an exit strategy before she finds herself at Tasty forever?

Comparisons with Buffy abound, but I must admit that I am almost completely unfamiliar with Buffy. I never got into the vampire thing. I came a bit too early for that, as I'm actually (shocking!) over 40. When I was a kid the "prep" look was briefly in style. Does anyone remember that? It was the clean-cut look gone overboard. And then after that -- or perhaps because of that -- the "mohawk" look became trendy. By the time valley girls were "fer-shering", I was ready to get my diploma.

Well, now that I've completely discredited myself with my younger readers, I'll continue.

A New York gossip site called Gawker has taken note of this debut, with two short articles, probably because of the author's background in magazine writing and editing. But other than reviews by HK, I'm not finding much online review coverage. I dug up a review at Publishers Weekly but not much else. If you know of any other reviews for this novel, please let me know!


Ivan Isakov said...

There are a few reviews on Amazon - see

Katie said...

I like the vampire stuff... but I don't think I'll be picking this one up. I like my vampire stuff a little bit darker than this. But still it does sound fun, this is the first I've heard of it though.

Tia Nevitt said...

I did notice that you tend to review darker stuff. Have you tried Lane Robins's Maledicte? Not a vampire novel, but it seems quite dark to me.

Katie said...

I've got that on my list actually. I've been dying to read it.

Raven said...

This sounds like it might be worth a read. Btw, you should give Buffy a shot. It's deeper than you might expect. I didn't catch it while it was actually on TV either, but I've just finished watching all seven seasons on DVD and enjoyed them a lot (some are better than others, of course).