"Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback - Book 1" Book Review
Written by Steven A. Roman
2011, 310 Pages, Fiction
Released on December 27th, 2011
Pandora Zwieback has had better days in her short life. It's bad enough that she's sixteen and stranded in the small town east of nowhere, Scriksdorp, NY. She has no friends here and she's getting into fights with the preppy kids. No one seems to understand her but her mom. Then she finds out that she has the ability to see monsters for what they really are. If you've seen NBC's Grimm, it's a lot like that. Pan manages to relocate back to Manhattan to live with her father, but there's a war brewing between rival vampire gangs. Her dad's horror museum is center stage for it all. What's a girl to do? This is the case for Blood Feud, the first novel in The Saga of Pandora Zwieback.
Author Steven A. Roman creates an interesting landscape with the different vampire houses. Each comes from a different area of the world and runs by a specific set of rules. They're like mini countries with their own governments, working together or against one another. Each personifies the culture of that section of the globe. The Japanese house is more of a gothic lolita look, whereas the English group is a bit more stylish, going for the mobster approach. It's a more modern take on the vampire mythos, which has gotten tired over the years with things like ancients and old ones running the show. It's refreshing to see this approach.
Blood Feud is young adult book. Admittedly, I'm not in that target audience. I am not, nor have I ever been a teenage girl. I just never went through that phase. Reading this as an adult, there are times where I just want to slap Pan across the face. Stop bitching about your life. You have no idea how good you have it. Sure, you live in a town that might as well be Bumblefuck, but you have all of the modern luxuries available to you and a parent that cares about you. Relax.
While I loved the idea of the rival vampire gangs and monster hunter Annie that pops up throughout the book, Blood Feud was killed in the details. Roman provides a lot of description for just about everything in the novel. He gets very specific from the brand of phone that Pandora's mom Karen uses to the exact brand of hair gel that goes in her hair. Several pages are used just outlining the layout of Pan's room. These things have little to no bearing on the story. The fact that Karen drives a 4Runner does not matter. Some of these details felt like they were pandering to the young adult crowd. Did you hear the hip song that was used for Pandora's ring tone? Isn't that cool, kids?
Blood Feud establishes the world of Pandora Zwieback. She has a lot going on with her newfound abilities and acquaintances. Steven A. Roman has the basis for what looks to be an interesting series. It's just rather bogged down in the minute details of every piece of the story. That can be good in creating the mental picture of what's going on, but there should be a little left to the imagination.