Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Undeath & Taxes

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Undeath & Taxes (2015) Drew Hayes

This is really five novellas making a single book, which is absolutely perfect IMO. Each of the stories within the book are a complete package all wrapped up, although with bit that carry from tale to tale.

Fred is a vampire. But before even that, he is an accountant. One who loves his job and is proud of his work.

Learning about the parahuman world, through virtue of my own death, hadn’t been nearly as disturbing to me as learning there were whole sections of laws, tax codes, and deduction options for my kind.

He’s also extremely honest.

I glanced at the clock and wrote down the time. It would be unethical to bill for accounting work when I was merely playing with Sally, so I had to chart when I went on and off the clock.

One of the strengths of these stories is that the secondary characters are just as developed as Fred–and they’re also just as complicated as normal people.

“Fred,” Richard called, greeting me from down the hall. He was in Sally’s room, where he’d been almost exclusively since the kidnapping. The giant of a man was squatting down beside a plastic table, fake teacup clutched daintily in his hand and a gleaming plastic tiara perched atop his golden mane of hair.

Bubba spoke with the sort of twang one would expect from someone sporting such a moniker. His frame (massive, with ample muscle), wardrobe (Baseball caps, jeans, and flannel), and occupation (truck driver) also fit well within the bounds of appropriate stereotypes. These small conformities only highlighted the unexpected bits: his wisdom, gentleness, and unashamed homosexuality being a few examples.

I also like that although Fred is honest and steady and fond of sweater vests and proper behavior, he isn’t (too) bothered by those around him who are not.

“What rule are you invoking for that one?” Arch asked.

“Section fifteen, paragraph twelve. It’s the one titled ‘fuck you; it’s happening because I say so.’ Surprised you didn’t know that one, Arch. Most agents invoke it all the time.”

OK, he is embarrassed by public displays of affection, when they involve him. But that’s a personality quirk as opposed to a judgment on someone else.

As I said about this first book, it’s fun and silly, and was totally enjoyable to read.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8/10


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