Bingo 7: Home
This one was just kind of fortuitous; I wanted to read Fred the Vampire Accountant #7 which has just recently been published, and it just so happened to be perfect for this square, being titled Out of House and Home. It’s not just the title either, the book is actually about losing and finding both literal and metaphorical home.
The book opens a little while after the final events of book 6 (a wedding); Fred and company are getting back to their nightly lives, when Charlotte manor, their sentient shared home, comes under magical attack. So Fred has to save everyone, which he nearly manages, but the structure, the physical building, is lost. Charlotte, the spirit of the home, is saved, but now everyone, including Charlotte, needs a new home. They find temporary respite, but the rest of the novel is Fred trying to work out who all helped his evil sire Quinn do this, and eventually facing the challenge of another vampire clan trying to get Fred and his clan thrown out of Winslow, CO, which has been Fred’s home since the beginning of the series. There is much talk of seeking of homes and the concept of what makes a home gets brought up frequently.
There are plenty of other adventures to be had and things to be learned, and Fred has to really focus on what it means to be the head of the household and a leader. Along the way, Fred and occasionally pals encounter more information about the mystery of Sally (seriously, this could be so interesting but Sally hasn’t really been a factor since novel 1, she should be allowed to be more than the subject of intriguing conversation), face an unknown monster in the mountains during a blizzard, solving the mystery of a series of magical mishaps in a local mall for parahumans (involving a bout of mall hockey), etc.
The series remain a lot of fun, even when things get serious, but there’s enough of a cast now that it seems like a lot of characters only get mentioned as a reminder they exist, and not much to do with plot of character development. I already mentioned Sally Alderson, but the same applies to her father Richard, Neil the necromancer and his zombie friend Albert now wielder of a chosen one sort of sword, Arch the arch-agent, even alchemist whiz Amy who gets some more page-time and a touch of character but even this could have been a little more. On the other hand, I’m kind of glad Krystal wasn’t as much a presence because she can kind of take over in terms of voice and focus of the story, although just because she’s married now doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t have something interesting to do or some character herself; the only ones we really get to see more of are Fred and Gideon, and in Gideon’s case, it’s a little more information than character.
The ending suggests further adventures to come, and I’m glad of that, and I also liked the full circle answer that comes in the solution to where Fred and Charlotte, and everyone else, end up finding for a new place to call home.