It’s rare for me to gush over a book, but…..*swoons with joy*

I’ve waited a long time for this. Been creeping the blog and falling head over heels for this tormented, complex character with a sarcastic wit faster than a speeding guitar riff. Clevenger has hit one out of the proverbial park with Crooked Fang, the story of Xan Marcelles “bassist for Crooked Fang, vampire and full time asshole.” I was hooked on the first page – Clevenger’s style of writing is so evocative, I had no problems visualizing everything from the sweeping overhead sky of the night desert to the smell of the old wood, stale cigarettes and beer that makes up the Pale Rider Tavern background.

The characters are well thought out and painstakingly constructed. In fact, it is Clevenger’s attention to the incidental details that sets this novel apart from the competition. She weaves a story that is compelling yet believable – yes, even the vampire parts. I love Xan’s attitude about being what he is, one of my favorite quotes being “I wasn’t made a vampire to lie around fancy mansions and wear ruffly shirts while bitching about the meaningless of my existence.” (take THAT, Louis de Pointe du Lac) He smokes, he drinks, he cusses…my kind of vampire. His sometimes love interest, on again/off again Tabby is a wonderful study, arcing from a vulnerable abused girl into a stronger woman.

Even the supporting cast – the fledging vampire/lead singer Serv, Charlie, the owner of Pale Rider, even the mysterious Nin and many more – are crafted with the same care given the main characters.  The story itself is sneaky. It begins with something mundane (in this case decorating the bar for Halloween) and quickly snowballs into a fast paced ride that kept me guessing from page to page.

The only complaint I have is that it ended too soon, but I’m delighted to see Crooked Fang is Vol. 1 in what I’m hoping will be a very prolific series.  I’m crossing my fingers that Xan will be keeping me up nights again real soon.

Go buy this book. RIGHT NOW.


~ by Shannon MacLeod on October 25, 2012.

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