Sunday, April 03, 2011

REVIEW: "Hard Day's Knight" by John G. Hartness

Jimmy Black is just your average guy. He wakes every evening, drinks a bag of blood for breakfast, and then heads to work with his partner, Greg. Oh, wait, that's not average? Oh, right- Jimmy Black is a private detective who just happens to be a vampire. Hired one night by a boy who complains of having been cursed by a classmate, Jimmy soon finds that there's a little more to the story than meets the eye. A little something-something evil, that is. In between being attacked by the Children of the Corn, visiting a fallen angel at his strip club, and engaging with a coven of witches, Jimmy still manages to hang out with his friends and fall in love. Now that takes talent.

This first novel in the "Black Knight" series by John Hartness, "Hard Day's Knight" is a humorous, tongue-in-cheek look at the underworld. Gorgeous vampires with perfect teeth and sparkly skin? Not in this book. Jimmy and Greg are dorky and, unfortunately, joining the undead didn't improve upon their looks at all. Never knew a vampire could be a little chunky? Well, now you do. Sometimes clever, sometimes just plain silly, this book never fails to entertain. Jimmy's got sarcasm oozing from his pores, and it makes for a fun ride along the way. I've read my share of vampire books. Prior to about a year ago, I think I could have counted how many of those books I'd read on one finger. Now... well, let's just say I haven't enough fingers to count them all. This book does what some of my favorite books in this genre have done- injects a good dose of comedy. A vampire who sparkles, broods, and lurks in dark alleys? Par for the course. A vampire who trips over his own feet and can't seem to get a date? Much more fun. 

Although the characters were distinctive and interesting, the character development was a bit shallow. It may be perfect for entertaining the reader in this type of book, but I'd love to have found out a little more about Phil, Lilith and, especially, Mike. The storyline gives a bit of backstory and hints as to some shared past experiences, but I wanted something more. Additionally, this book could use just one more editing pass to catch a few more errors. There weren't enough to detract, but enough to notice.

A fun and entertaining read, this book has something to offer those who enjoy vampires done in a comical way.

4 /5 stars

Available at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

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