In an earlier post, I mentioned that some readers don’t pay too much attention to book covers. I believe that to be the case with Temp Girl by Stephanie Bond. Her cover with cool tag line invites a reader’s interest. Then there is the other side of the coin. I received an alert from Brendan Detzner about the publication of this short story (it wasn’t described as a short story in the alert). I have been entertained by Detzner writings for a long time and, even more important, they spurred my son’s interest in reading. With a title like Hot Chicks Infected With Stomach Parasites, there was no way I was not going to read it and then post some comments. A provocative title like this dares the reader to ignore it. (Yep, I know about the earlier double negative. Dare to break the rules).
This very short story is funny. Not laughing out loud funny. That kind has spikes and intervals between laughing. This is more of a steady hum of chuckling throughout. Most of it is occasioned not by the content itself but by Detzner’s innovative phrasing in a description of characters and action. I am posting my review before I get my son’s reaction to this but I am sure he will love it. In my opinion, there is no inappropriate or shocking vocabulary used for the sake of shock value. If the use of the word “ass” is objectionable (frequently described), a lot of TBR shelves will be considerably less crowded.
As far as the story, the world has vampires. To counter this, the world has a group of people known as “The Chosen.” The vampire world is not monolithic (see: Varos). The Chosen are the enforcement arm of the Higher Council, which means the forces fighting vampires, or evil, is also not monolithic. Mary, Jenny, and Harriet are three of the Chosen. Frequently sent to dispatch vampires, in this instance, they are working with Nero, a vampire. It seems that Varos has gone rogue And Nero has been sent to enlist the help of the three Chosen girls to rid the vampire element of rogue Varos.
The battle is joined and things don’t really work out. But the reader will find out some interesting things. Everybody seems to get used by another group that was previously thought well defined as far as goals. The reader will also discover the origins of “Vampires, lycans, werebats, succubi, stalkers (and) immortals.” Not to write a spoiler, but it has something to do with “ass.”
For those not enthralled by the prospect of studying science, Detzner also offers a short survey version of the Darwinian theory. “You exclude the weak, bang whoever’s left, add their genetic diversity to yours and spit out kids with more and better (super)powers over the course of the next generation or so.” (loc 110-112). Take out the parenthetical (super) and you pretty much have it. This is the kind of phrasing that makes reading Detzner fun.