You might think a book entitled The Vampire and The Vegan would be a comedy. It’s not. Instead, the book reads as more of a pamphlet for veganism. The two main characters, Pearl (The Vampire) and Salaam (The Vegan), represent the two opposing factions. When Pearl feeds upon her victims, the narrative describes the process of killing and how the animals are treated. This is meant to illustrate just how terrible it is to be a meat-eater. For Salaam, he reasons that it is just as healthy to be a Vegan.
When we first meet Salaam, he is living in the same building as Pearl. She wants to make him her next victim, but he does not have the required necromantic energy, the author’s phrase for the blood of those who eat meat. Salaam owns two cats, and jokes with Pearl that they are the only things in his apartment that are not vegan.
Pearl does not have to feed every night. Instead, she feeds every few days. Every time she feeds, the reader is assaulted with another round of torture porn about how poorly treated animals are and how they are killed. It is almost like reading an adaptation for an Eli Roth film, only not as entertaining. The victims are all males, with one exception, that being her first when she relates her earliest kill.
The end of the book lists resources for those interested in Vegan lifestyle, giving rise to idea that it was written for people who are already Vegan or Vegetarian. Possibly the author had in mind she could convert a few people with her vivid descriptions, but she failed quite heartily in that regard as far as this reader is concerned.
This is certainly a different take on the vampire tale, but not an enjoyable one: it makes me long for the sparkling Edward Cullen.
(note: this review originally appeared on Best Damn Creative Writiing Blog)