The “yay for Drew Hayes” streak continues. Undeading Bells is book 6 in the Fred series and a lot of the fun continues. The main challenge comes in the form of the alluded to wedding of the title, between Krystal and Fred. Of course there are several obstacles to overcome before getting to the altar. There are basically 3 things the House of Fred and Fred have to work through: first, wedding planning and then pulling off the actual ceremony, Fred further working on his vampire powers (this time it’s turning humans into vampires), and third dealing with what has become normal life (conducting job interviews, helping pals with projects, etc).
A lot of the normal mundane thing turning into an adventure is present, as is the adventure quest. The story opens with an open call for potential new employees for Fred’s accounting business that does not go as planned, which allows for some insight into how the paranormal world is starting to perceive Fred, and introduces Gregor the gargoyle and Al whose species is a drawn out reveal, so no spoilers here. Both have purpose in the story and show up elsewhere. My only complaint here is that they both have some good potential that is on display when they are first introduced but when they appear in later stories, they’re mostly just there, not doing anything interesting. It’s the same thing with some previously introduced characters like Richard and Sally. When they first show up, they have a lot of entertainment, personality, and adventure potential, but then when they show up again, it’s like they’re just a reminder they exist, and not much else. On the quest side, Fred agrees to help Amy scope out a potential investment opportunity which develops into more of a survival thing, and the reveal of what’s actually going on works nicely in terms of being current on pop culture phenomena.
I did enjoy getting to see more of Sheriff Thurgood of Boarback TX, mostly around here during the wedding planning and ceremony. What I was worried about (too much drama and no actual wedding- think every prime-time drama wedding ever) didn’t happen, mostly, so that’s good, and there was enough of the Sheriff to give him some good character development.
My only other minor complaint is that Fred’s new skill of turning people into vampires (apparently, he’s unusually good at it, and one of his two turns ends up having some addition interesting abilities) is used near the end for an understandable reason but the incident causing it seemed a little forced (almost like another reminder of a character who doesn’t have much direct involvement, although this time it does have more purpose than some of the others).
Overall, another enjoyable read and I’m now going to have to wait to see what happens next for who knows how long, but maybe in the meanwhile I can catch up with my TBR shelf and maybe have an excuse to get the most recent Hayes book that presents the first Five Minute Sherlock novelization.