book review, horror

Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe

Vampires terrorize a beach resort town during one summer in the 1980s. Hmm, sounds familiar.

15 year old Rocky isn’t looking forward to spending summer without his best friend (he went gallivanting to Europe) but things look up when he meets mysterious, beautiful November on the boardwalk.

Unfortunately, with November comes her older brother, Gabriel. While Rocky is full of lust for November, Gabriel is full of lust for blood, and so begins the summer of death in Old Orchard Beach.

I am ashamed to say that this was to be my September buddy read and rant with Jonny @ Jaunts & Haunts. Different reasons delayed my finishing the book, but the fact that I couldn’t get into it made it even harder to read when health and family life went south.

Three things took away my enjoyment of this novel. The first and foremost were the vampires. November and her family are vampires, but they aren’t humans who have been infected or dead bodies reanimated by demonic forces. No, they’re a whole other species. A human mimicking predator, if you will, which is a pretty neat idea.

Except the author didn’t convince me that such a creature could exist. What was their power set? Where did they fit in the food chain? Why was November sexually attracted to her prey? If they are genetically designed to live on blood, why do these creatures consider it taboo? If it’s necessary for life, why does Gabriel kill so recklessly, like a cross between an ever hungry T Rex and a run of the mill TV serial killer?

This leads me to my second stumbling block for this novel. The characters. I couldn’t get invested in any of them. I found them shallow, which is odd because they’ve a lot going for them.

Finally, the pacing was off for me. I admit I had expectations of a cool novel about vampires, but 80% of the run time seemed to be taken up with Rocky’s seduction of November and the final 20% concerns the town suddenly realizing that something weird is going on and an underwhelming showdown between Rocky and Gabriel.

This book was a hit with a lot of people, so they obviously see something I missed. Rolfe writes well, but I was disappointed in his very defanged version of the vampire. I hate to say this, but I’d almost prefer if they had sparkled.

I award Until Summer Comes Around

Until Summer Comes Around is available for $8.36 ebook and $8.39 print book on Amazon.

I read Until Summer Comes Around as part of a buddy read with my good friend, Jonny. Watch out for our buddy read and rant coming soon.

Click here to check out Jonny’s review on his blog, Jaunts & Haunts.

Click here to read my review of Glenn Rolfe’s werewolf novel, Blood and Rain.

7 thoughts on “Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe”

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