I purchased this book from the dollar rack outside of Strand bookstore last year, so it's safe to say that I had no expectations when I brought it to the cash register.
It took a lot longer to read than any novel of its length that I have previously encountered, partly because other titles came my way, and partly because the main character (Joel) meditations on his non-life depressed me. I was very hesitant to continue reading most days or only managed half a page. Now that I've finished reading it, I don't feel that sense of accomplishment that usually follows when I complete a title.
The metaphors and meditations on social norms, or maybe calling it a "forced matriarchy" works better, were so heavy handed that I couldn't even enjoy a shift in the power (if there even was one).
I think that sums up this novel perfectly, heavy-handed.
I will give one very large token of credit to Melanie Tem: her vampires are vampires. No seductive beauty to anyone other than themselves and one mentally damaged human). In fact, if I imagined the descriptions accurately, they are even uglier than Nosferatu. This came as a welcome relief after so many titles involving beautiful star-crossed blood suckers who refuse to drink blood.