The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (2006)
Well, it is funny. And I did like it. But I didn’t love it.
Felix Gomez is a veteran of the Iraq war, a private investigator, and a vampire. Not necessarily in that order. After receiving a phone call from from an old friend who is now in the DOE, Felix drives out to Rocky Flats, Colorado to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania among the female workers at the DOE facility.
With a premise like that, you know a book isn’t going to take itself seriously. Which is why the opening chapter surprised me. It tells of Felix’s conversion to a vampire during a firefight in Karbala, and is surprisingly sad and haunting.
However, after the first chapter things do get silly. Felix must discover what has turned certain women in the facility into nymphomaniacs, and in the meantime, he also meets the local vampires and other supernaturals.
As with all vampire books, the powers and weaknesses of the vampires are a picking and choosing of supernatural folklore as well as other bits thrown in by the author. All of which is fine with me. As I’ve said before, I like seeing what bits of folklore different authors keep and discard when writing about supernatural creatures.
As for the book, the mystery was interesting, if silly. The writing was solid. The characters were fun, although a handful seemed to be interchangeable. It was a fun book, nothing serious, and despite the title, there wasn’t any actually boinking, although there was discussion of boinking, and some working up towards boinking, but no actual boinking. Which was perfectly fine with me.
There was one thing that bugged me however. The vampires constantly talk about how afraid they are of being discovered, yet the go around biting just about everyone to subdue them. Yes, they say the marks heal quickly, but there are marks. So if they’re so afraid of being found out, shouldn’t they be a little more circumspect? He just bit so many people over the course of the investigation I was expecting him to be caught at any moment.
Aside from that, it was a fun, interesting book. I can’t say I’m going to run out and buy the next book(s) in the series, but if I saw them used somewhere I wouldn’t hesitate to pick them up to read.
X-Rated Bloodsuckers (2007)
He’s good enough that he can choose the cases he wants, but is intrigued when Katz Meow asks him to discovered who murdered her friend and so takes on that case. Little does he know that things are far more complicated that the death of an aging porn star.
When I read The Nymphos of Rock Flats I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and so wasn’t sure how I felt about the book. I knew what to expect with X-Rated Bloodsuckers, which is why I think I enjoyed it far more than the first book. Felix is crass and bawdy but amusing and not so bad aside from being a vampire and the books about him are a fun romp.
The other reason I think I preferred this book is now that Felix has gotten over his issues from the first book, he’s able to better able to deal with others, so we see him working not just with Coyote (who is very much the Coyote of folklore) but trying to develop some sort of relationship with a human woman.
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If you’re looking for a fun romp with a vampire PI, then you may want to try Mario Acevedo. But I recommend you start with The Nymphos of Rock Flats, not because you won’t be able to follow this story–you most certainly will–but because I think it will give you a better understanding of who Feliz is in this book.
The Undead Kama Sutra (2008)
Felix Gomez is again on the case–or rather cases as his luck would have it. First a dying alien asks Felix to find his killer, then orders come down from the Araneum too looking into a plane crash. Meanwhile, he’d come to Florida on his own to investigate a rumor of a book called the Undead Kama Sutra–possibly being put together by ancient manuscripts by his friend Carmen Arellano–that might change the lives of vampires everywhere.
While in Florida, he discovers that some vampires have discovered a way escape the curse of burning in the sunlight. Is it the Undead Kama Sutra? Is the effect permanent? What of the aliens? What do they want?
I can’t say this is my favorite book in this series so far. There’s lots of sex (par for the course for this series [and most vampire series to be honest]) but I expected that (after all, the title pretty much advertises vampire sex). What bothered me about this story was 1) even after the explanations, I’m still not sure parts of the story made sense and 2) the story didn’t feel completely resolved, which left me of two minds. If the story is, in fact, resolved, and that is where things are to be left, I’m fine with the ending. But if the ending was instead a come hither for the next book in the series? Well, then I’m annoyed.
After reading Jailbait Zombie, the ending was not, in fact, a come hither for the next book in the series, which makes me much happier about the conclusion to this book.
Revised Rating: 7/10
Published by Eos
Jailbait Zombie (2009)
Felix Gomez has zombie problems, specifically, the Araneum wants him to find the source of the current zombie infestation and put a stop to it. To add insult to injury, the don’t even seem to trust him and are sending Jolie to help him with the task.
It’s probably for the best that they do, since one of the first things Felix finds is a 16-year old who really really really wants to become a zombie.
Werewolf Smackdown (2010)
I’m a sucker for supernatural detectives (See: Simon R. Green & P.N. Elrod) so I snatched up the first Felix Gomez books when I came across them, then I seem to have forgotten about them, so when I had the chance to pick up Werewolf Smackdown on sale, I grabbed it.
There are still many things I like about this series.
The pictures had been taken at social events, always with people huddling close to absorb the warmth of his charismatic smile.
“Haints confuse the cloth for water. They won’t cross it because they think they’ll drown.”
“Does it work?”
“You see any haints?”
“How come everyone knows so much about me? Did someone post my visit on craigslist?”
Many bits like those above made me giggle.
However, towards the end of the book I got really frustrated with Felix and the choices he was making. I think this pretty much sums it up.
My impulse was to shoot him. Get this over with. Don’t give him a chance to strike back or escape.
But I had questions. He better have answers.
As soon as I read that I immediately typed the note (sigh) because I knew precisely what would happen–nothing good.
For the last quarter or even third of the book, Felix makes lots of those choices. I think at some point my eyes were rolling around in my head like marbles.
It was as if every time he walked into a situation, he though, “what is the WORST possible choice I could make here? Let’s do that!” (I even rolled my eyes while typing that, thinking of the stupidity,)
And the other characters made choices that were JUST as stupid, and worse, unbelievable, especially in regards to self-preservation. (Oh, I’ll just make these sacrifices for Felix!) Just… no. People don’t behave like that. Especially the people with whom Felix is interacting.
So, I’m done with this series (not that I even know whether there are any further books, since I lost track of the series).
Published by HarperCollins