Once again, I’m reviewing a sequel book in a series without having covered the first book. Some of the review will be very lightly spoiler-ish.
The central conceit of the series: Fred Fletcher lived a quiet, boring life as an accountant. He liked this life. Then he died. (Hot tip: nothing good can happen at your high school reunion.) Fred did what any of us would do after becoming a vampire: made his day job his night job. Only the clients look a lot different now than they did before.
Bloody Acquisitions finds Fred fighting off an invading vampire clan, overly enthusiastic amateur vampire hunters, and brokering peace between squabbling sibling mages. All in a day’s work for our favorite vampire accountant.
While I’ve read at least one book in all of Hayes’s series, the Fred books are my favorites. The pace is breezy with each episode reading like a novella as opposed to the ponderous pace of the superhero books. As the third book in the series, Bloody Acquisitions isn’t the best place to start. Previous episodes don’t figure strongly in this story, but it does build on what came before.
The character of Fred is about as perfect a beta hero as I could wish for in books. While he’s not brave, he’s not a coward. He’s clever and kind, and I’m always rooting for him. I can’t imagine that I would want to spend my afterlife as an accountant for paranormal creatures, but it’s absolutely the right choice for Fred.
I listened to this as an audiobook, which was not my most favorite thing in the world. When I approach the page, it’s just me and the words with my imagination doing the heavy lifting. A narrator adds someone else’s voice between me and the words making a duet a three-way. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Do you, playa!) All this to say, Kirby Heyborne’s narration actually works well for Fred. The gentle twang is sometimes hokey and mostly soothing.
I enjoy this series a bit and absolutely recommend it for anyone who might be into silly fantasy.