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Kit was midway through premed when she realized she loved the heart, but hated blood. It took her a few more years to figure out what to do with her freewheeling life, most of which is not fit to print in a bio. She decided to get back to what she was always doing anyway, and had been as long as she could remember: telling stories. Now she furiously scribbles out books for the Vampire General series, as well as other projects that will jump out at you when you least expect it.
on April 30, 2012 :
Vampire General (Book one of the Intern with a Vampire series)
By: Kit Iwasaki
Genre: Paranormal Medical Drama (I think I just made that genre up, btw :) )
Pub Date: April 13, 2001
Coffee Beans: 4/5
Favorite Line: A man vomited blood on the floor behind them, then tried to sneak a bottle of Jack Daniels from his jacket to wash out his mouth.(ebook, pg 6)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review.
Author’s Summary: Human medicine is easy. On her first day at Grace General Hospital, new intern Aline Harman risks vampire infection, vivisection, and having her heart torn out of her chest… and this from her colleagues.
Juggling transhuman politics only becomes more difficult when a patient’s life is at stake. With a zombie to resuscitate and a mermaid in critical care, Aline has her hands full. At least the doctors are good-looking.
This book only took me about a day and a half to read through because it’s well-written, creative, and fast-paced. It also helps that the book is only around 32,000 words (about a quarter the length of what I usually read), so I consider this book more of a novella than a novel. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, though I generally like my books a little longer so I have more of a story to get into and more of the characters to get involved and attached to.
Kit Iwasaki is a talented writer who knows how to involve her reader in a fast-paced, clean story with interesting characters. The setting is ideal: an ER full of transhumant patients, urgency and tension, attractive doctors, potentially dangerous co-workers, and a whole set of rules the main character, Aline, is learning how to play by. In the short amount of time we’re given, Iwaski does a pretty impressive job of showing us who the characters are and giving us a bit of a story to get attached to. Her previous experience being a premed student comes in handy to make everything in the book believable.
So, if it’s a good story, good characters, and great writing, why the 4 stars instead of something higher?
I think that with everything Kit gives the reader, there’s an awesome potential of there being so much more available for the reader. As it is, there’s not much time for Kit to make sure we connect and understand her characters on more than just a surface level. We see how they react to a situation, but we don’t understand, on a deeper level, why they do what they do. For example, when Aline finds out about this whole paranormal world, we don’t get much of a reaction from her, which I can’t help but feel a bit cheated about.
I also felt there were broken promises for romantic possibilities between Aline and a couple characters. I know leaving the romances unresolved leaves openings for other books (which there are), but there was such an intense and immediate build up between Aline and the other characters and it was washed away with a fire hose as soon as it caught fire. It felt a bit like a broken promise or at the very least being a tease.
The last thing I found a bit disappointing was the depth of the plot. Yes, Aline gets dumped into a pretty weird work situation, but to me, that isn’t enough, I kept waiting for the larger, main plotline to come into play, more than just what her night was like at this transhuman hospital, but I didn’t feel like it was ever delivered. There were several hints to one, so I know it’s there, I just have a feeling the author’s waiting to unveil it throughout her other books, which I’m not a fan of. Maybe a larger, connecting plot that threads through the series, but each book needs to have its own standalone plot that carries it.
Overall, it was a very good book. Engaging, fast-paced, well-written. The few issues I had were a direct result of the book being so short. I have no doubt, that if it were a regular length novel, none of my points would have remained issues. But, in the end, it really comes down to making your reader want to read more, and if you’ve done that, you’ve succeeded in one of the main goals of being an author, which Kit nailed. :) I’ll purchase the second book in the series, Slash and Burn, when it comes out (Summer 2012, GoodReads says), to see what happens with Cassie and what—if anything—happens between Aline and a couple certain coworkers. I only hope the second book’s a little longer than the first so it gives me something more to sink my teeth into.
Pick it up and check it out for yourself, it’s only $0.99 over at Smashwords, and if you’re a sucker for a good vampire book and good writing like I am, you’ll enjoy this story.
Happy reading, my friends!
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
Kristi (Books N Beans)
on Nov. 27, 2011 :
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review.
Intern with the Vampire is a really good little book. (Little meaning it's size, not in a derogatory way). As far as the time it took to read it, this would be equivalent to a Harlequin series book. You know the ones. They're around $3 or $4 at the store. Basically, it's in between a novel and a novella.
Intern starts with Aline (she's our main gal) in a tryst, well almost, in the ER supply closet of in a hospital. (Duh, of course an ER is in a hospital. How redundant.) Why almost? They're doctors on duty, so naturally they get paged. Really, I'm not sure I can get anymore obvious. Let's move on before I irritate myself.
The pace is set from here. The entire story takes place in the course of one night and in two different ERs. You'll have to find out for yourself why it's in two ERs, because that would be a bit of a spoiler. But the fact that it's all in an ER, means it's a quick-paced story. Doing it again, aren't I? Sheesh.
So where does the vampire come in? That would be in the second ER. Yep, it's a paranormal hospital. Iwasaki (the author) doesn't just rest on the normal creatures (vampires, werewolves, etc) that you can read oh so frequently these days. Nope she adds in a whole slew more. She gives you mer-people, zombies who haven't died and risen yet, immortals in general, and a black widow. You read that right. A black widow who's a doctor. Kind of a scary idea, huh?
The story itself isn't scary though. It's medical stuff sounds the same as it does on the TV shows, but maybe a more medically inclined reader would disagree. There's plenty of humor, though it is a little more on the sarcastic, dry, and twisted side. Just the way I like it! And though it was described by the author as a paranormal romance, there really wasn't any. Oh don't get me wrong there was some lusting, but no actual romance scenes. So rest easy boys, you might just enjoy this one too! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge-picking).
So, you're cruising along and liking the story. The night shift has come to an end, and therefore so has this portion of the series. How does Iwasaki end the book? With a scream. Talk about making you want to come back for more. But wait! There's more! It's really the lack of a scream that gets you, because now everyone...ugh...another spoiler.
You just have to read the book. It's great! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I can't wait to see what's next for Aline & her days, er nights, as a paranormal doctor, er intern. Or was it resident? Sorry, you'll have to go find out for yourself.
***On a personal note, I only slept 4 1/2 hours last night, so I've been up since 3 am (it's now 5pm) and I'm feeling it. I read back through what I wrote and I tried to make it better, but I only ended up making it worse. Caffeine can only work so much of a miracle I'm afraid.***
Oooh, book 2 is listed on Goodreads. Yaaaay! It's called Slash and Burn. And don't forget to check out Kit Iwasaki's bio. It's either going to post above or below this one. Ok, I'm going to stop talking now!
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Sep. 17, 2011 :
I was really intrigued by the premise of Intern With the Vampire when I read it. As a urban fantasy fan who also enjoys medical drama/thrillers I thought the idea original with lots of potential and this brief novella is an excellent introduction to a new series. In fact really my only complaint is that at just 152 pages, Intern With the Vampire is too short.
Iwasaki places her protagonist doctor in training, Aline Harman in a familiar setting with a paranormal twist. Dismissed from her residency Aline's options are limited so when Dr Rocque offers her a position at a private hospital she has never heard of, Aline is wiling to at least take a look. As she steps into the frantic ER of Grace General Aline discovers the hospital has a very select clientele and is both terrified and fascinated as she is introduced to a host of supernatural creatures she never imagined really existed. During her very long shift she treats a senile vampire, an injured mermaid and a zombie while dealing with a black widow surgeon that has taken an instant dislike to her and a doctor whose pheromones make her vulnerable to his deadly charms.
The blend of the familiar hospital environment and the absurdity of it's patients and staff works surprisingly well. There is an authenticity to the structure of the ER and the treatments which I am sure comes from the the author's own experience in the medical field and the details really help sell the idea. From the start Aline lurches from crisis to crisis and she barely has time to reflect on her strange new environment. The fast pace of the storyline keeps the reader immersed in the action and the imagination engaged.
I was fascinated by the characters who despite being supernatural have very individual traits. The author's characterisation is deft and clever and I love how she gently pokes fun at some of the stereotypical characters in a medical drama. The lead surgeon for example is gorgeous but also a vampire who could potentially suck her dry, it certainly creates an interesting workplace for Aline who has to pretend she is not human to keep her job.
Intern With the Vampire is a well written, creative novella and I admit to being surprised at both the quality and the execution. The world of Grace General is imaginative and intriguing and I am looking forward to reading the next installment, Slash and Burnthough it is sadly already several months over due for publication. I really hope the sequel eventuates.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on July 31, 2011 :
In the genre of vampire/ER it is one of the first books I have read combining both genres and frankly it was well done. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. When I got to the end I was disappointed that there was not more to read.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on July 09, 2011 :
The best way to describe Intern with a Vampire, is a hospital drama where the patients and doctors are supernatural beings rather than humans. The beginning of this book had me cracking up, and I definitely smiled. It reminded me of pretty much every hospital drama or soap opera that I've ever watched. Within the first page two characters are in a supply closet...and they aren't looking for supplies.Of course, since they're doctors they got interrupted by a page. It was definitely entertaining though, and so was the rest of the book. :)
I thought that Intern with a Vampire was an interesting mix of paranormal and the familiar hospital drama. I thought Aline was a fantastic character, and the majority of the book was in her point of view, however, there were a couple of chapters that had different narrators. The switch to different narrators was a fantastic device. It added some extra tension, and I loved that we got to learn what happened to the one character through a patient's wife's eyes rather than through the doctor operating on him, it made seeing what happened to the patient become even more personal and I loved that. :D
I think that lots of people would love this story. It was funny, refreshing, and definitely unique. :)
The next book in the Vampire General series, Slash and Burn, comes out later this month (July 2011). I can't wait for Slash and Burn...Intern with the Vampire ended on with a killer cliffhanger. :P
***I received a coupon code from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 78 days after purchase)
on June 12, 2011 :
Great concept, and an intriguing fantasy world. Well-written too. But most of the characters are extremely unlikeable, and I got tired of the unremitting nastiness. Not sure why the author made that choice, but it didn't work for me. There was plenty of drama just in the premise itself, so I'm not sure why the characters all had to be so horrible.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 08, 2011 :
Vampire General was like watching E.R. but with a bunch of vampires, some black widows and zombies. The story was short but packed with excitement. The main character Aline was fantastic. Being the only human doctor in Grace General hospital Aline had to pretend to be a vampire to be able to care for her patients (a zombie and a mermaid!!). I'm not a big fan of cliffhangers but the way the author wrote the ending was perfect. Lets hope Kit writes a sequel because I can't wait to read more about Aline and the other doctors of Vampire Genral.
In the middle of posting this review I found out that there is going to be a sequel!! Isn't that exciting news? The sequel is call: Vampire General: Slash and Burn
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on June 07, 2011 :
Another vampire novel? Yep, another one. Vampire novels seem to have taken over the bookstore and ebookstore shelves. Try telling someone that you are reading a fantasy novel about vampires. You may be shocked by their reaction, or you may be that person, the one looking down on me for reading “yet another vampire novel”. Well, here are the ins and outs of this particular debut novel by Kit Iwasaki.
Vampire General opens with a steamy scene in which Aline, resident doctor and human being, is in a supply closet with her boyfriend, also a resident and human being. The cliched scene is quickly interrupted by pagers sounding, alerting Aline and Tim to an incoming emergency.
As they rush to the Emergency Room, Tim gets a critical patient who eventually codes while Aline gets stuck with a patient who is capable of walking himself in. Aline's patient, Dr. Rocque, is insistent that he be able to see his patient, Clive. Clive is, of course, Tim's patient.
Aline is reluctant to grant Rocque's request, but eventually gives in to Rocque's charm. In her attempt to help Rocque, Aline succeeds in stopping Clive's heart while Tim and another doctor watch. After the stunt of killing a patient, Aline is dismissed by this hospital, and Tim, for good.
Depressed, Aline heads home only to become more depressed with the lack of comfort food available in her apartment. Her self wallowing is cut short by Rocque knocking on her door in the middle of the night.
Aline finds herself following Rocque to a hospital unknown to her in a questionable part of town. Before entering the hospital, Rocque has one condition that Aline must abide by: she must keep her mouth shut.
When Aline walks through the doors of the hospital, she is horror struck. She steps off of the street and into a world that she never imagined could exist. There were things in this hospital that didn't exist in Aline's worst nightmares. She not only has to treat patients that could harm or kill her, she has to work with those who are far scarier. From vampires to mermaids, Aline finds herself fighting for her patients' lives, fighting for her right to treat her patients, and could find herself fighting for her own life if anyone were to find out that she is human and not the vampire that Rocque has claimed that she is.
Vampire General is a new twist on Vampire culture that I haven't seen in the past. I've seen variations of vampires as doctors with human patients or supernatural patients, but this was a first for me. What makes this twist so desirable to the reader is that the doctor herself has no idea what she is walking into and has her assumptions of the entire world thrown out the window all in the course of a few moments.
This novel seemed to read like a single episode of a television drama. I often find myself wishing that my favorite television show was a novel instead of an hour long show. Books are far better at expanding on ideas and scenes and one episode would be plenty of material for a well written book. The book followed a simple story line of a girl who lost her job, got a new one, and had to overcome problems in the her new workplace. Granted, her workplace problems were far greater than her coworkers not liking her or a treacherous commute. The story, however, lacked a subplot. Yes, there was lust and sexual tension, but it never went anywhere. There was no scandal, no deceit. Aline was able to keep herself in check despite the impossible pull of vampire pheromones.
I found it odd that the author never discussed vampire diets. Aline, who is pretending to be a vampire, sits down the the hospital cafeteria, orders a salad and proceeds to eat it without anyone questioning her. I know vampires live only in the fantasy world, but I found it odd to think of a vampire, even someone pretending to be a vampire, eating a salad. I found it even weirder that no one in the book questioned her “diet”. It seems like a loose end that the author could easily clear up for the reader.
As a reader, I found myself wanting to yell at the book, “Okay, I get it already!” The author had the ability to give a great description and lead the reader to a conclusion, but then also spelled out what the reader had already understood. An example of this is the last sentence of a character description. The book reads, 'On his left hand was a thick, heavy golden ring; Kessler was married.' The point of the ring description is to show that Kessler is married.
I have to admit, the cliff hanger ending has me awaiting the publication of future Vampire General novels. I have confirmed with the publisher, and author, that there will be more in this series coming out soon. Aline was a likeable character, and I see her becoming stronger and holding her own at Grace General Hospital, even after the transhumans discover that she isn't one of them. My biggest question is, when does she become a vampire?
(reviewed 43 days after purchase)
on May 10, 2011 :
This was my first experience with a strictly ebook, but once i read the description of "True Blood meets Scrubs" I jumped on reading it, and I'm so glad I did. Dr.Aline Harman has her life together. She worked at a great hospital, and she gets to relieve her stress with a great doctor. That all comes crashing to an end when Rocque comes through the ER doors.
After ruining Aline's career in the human world, Rocque offers her a job at Grace General. Upon arriving at Grace General, Aline finds out she can't let anyone know she is human. That's not her only hurtle she also has to figure out a way to fight the pheromones that the vampires secrete naturally that make them even more irresistible, did i mention that most of the doctors are vampires.Intern With A Vampire is a fast and fun read, and I am excited about reading the next instalment in the series.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on May 04, 2011 :
Dr. Aline Harman never meant to become a staff member of Grace General Hospital for paranormal patients. After all, she's human and she's enjoying her second year of residency at a normal hospital where the staff is unfriendly but the emotional reward of helping patients is very high. Then she lends a hand to the mysterious Dr. William Rocque and his bizarre zombie-like patient, and makes a mistake that gets her dismissed from her workplace. To Rocque, this shows that Aline's the kind of person who will take a risk to help someone, making her the perfect candidate for an internship at his hospital. Aline has never heard of Grace General, but Rocque assures her that it is a well-known “private facility with a unique clientele”. She's about to find out just how unique.
This story is really a genius kind of genre-blend. Some people love medical stories and some love paranormal stories, and what better way to make a lot of readers happy at once than to write about urban fantasy medicine? The glimpses of worldbuilding are really cool, because Grace General isn't just for vampires—werewolves, pixies and other creatures are treated, too, and one of the first patients Aline sees is a mermaid who had an unfortunate collision with a yacht propeller. Aline is thrown into a tough world where the patients are dangerous and the doctors are slightly psycho, but just when the story's getting really crazy, it is grounded by Aline's sympathy and how much she wants to help hurting people.
The support cast is great, though most of them just cause more problems for Aline. Rocque is sweet and kind, but he's only slightly helpful and rarely offers his much-needed guidance. Kessler, the grumpy Chief of Emergency, is looking for any excuse to fire Aline, and Dr. Arlington dislikes Aline so much that she worries she might not even survive her first shift. One neat thing about this novella/short novel is that it actually makes you care about the lives of these paranormal creatures, because Aline does. It's a fast, fun ride of a story, but it's also surprisingly heartbreaking in places as Aline faces tough situations and tougher choices about her patients' welfare. Looking for some fresh urban fantasy that really stands out from the pack? Check into Vampire General.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on April 20, 2011 :
This was a quick fun read. When Aline Harmon is dismissed from her job at a hospital she is hired to work at Grace General Hospital. What she doesn't know is that the other staff members and all of the patients are not human. Thrown into the deep end treating a badly injured mermaid Aline must learn on the fly to deal with situations that were never covered in medical school.
I liked the characters and Kit Iwasaki did a good job of comming up with plausible medical emergencys and treatments for a variety of supernatural creatures. My complaint is that I have to wait for the next installment.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on April 20, 2011 :
I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. The concept was interesting and the story moved at a good pace. Some of the characters were very intriguing (Dr. Scott and Roque) but I found myself wanting more from them. Not much romance, some tense sensual moments but not much more. I don't know if this is a series but I hope so and I hope the author does more with those two characters. Overall, it was a fun read with some intriguing possibilities as the beginning of a series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)