Generation V was quite an enjoyable read, and I have already ordered the following books. While the book pushes the “reality bites” line pretty hard, it’s mostly humorous and spaced out well enough to not be overwhelming. The more imminent danger to the reader’s immersion is how much of a pure soul Fortitude has. Granted, most of the time it’s fun and entertaining to see more pragmatic minds react to him, but occasionally his shocked reactions are just too much and it becomes obnoxious. Fortunately, those moments tend to be short-lived, thanks to the witty banter between Suzume and Fortitude, Chivalry and Fortitude, or the perils of working a minimum wage job at a coffee shop. There’s plenty to help ease you back into the story, and Fortitude’s worry for the safety of those targeted by the vampire is understandable and infectious: there was a sense of dread that grew as the plot drives onwards and we see who the outsider vampire is preying on and why.
With those pain points out of the way, on to the things that made Generation V such a great read. First, the characterization was really good. The characters all felt distinct, unique, and like actual people, with a strong first impression as well as further depth. Suzume is probably the best example, being sexy and not afraid to flaunt it, mischievous and loving a good prank (or seven), but sensitive enough to back off on issues that really hurt. Further, there are some excellent instances of character development that made me leave bookmarks and take notes later, especially in Fortitude’s case. These moments arise out of the relationships between different characters, and drive the plot forwards. Essentially, there’s that perfect relationship between the world, the characters, and the plot where they are all coupled tightly, and developments to any one feel organic and drive additional organic developments, rather than feeling like an author decided that something has to happen.
As someone who reads a decent amount of urban fantasy, the mythos also felt fresh and unique. Fortitude’s introduction to his vampireness aside, his strained relationship with his vampire family and his refusal to engage with the supernatural world means the reader is right alongside him with learning about the supernatural world for the first time.
Cover Art Review: Not gonna lie, the title line on the side of the book and then the composition of the cover were one of the things that made me pull this one off the shelf and take a closer look. The use of the white – black – red palette is really efficient and evocative. It also reminds me of a bad joke about newspapers…