Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Accidentally Dead (Accidentals #2) by Dakota Cassidy

After struggling to sell make up, Nina Blackman has returned to school to become a dental hygienist. On her very first day, Nina is bitten by a vampire.  Greg who has a bad reaction to anesthesia, which causes his to bite Nina, which causes him to  break his 500 year old rule about turning a human into a vampire.  Greg is now stuck with the very angry Nina, who is determined to avoid the cult she believes he is running and to find a cure for her vampirism.

Accidentally Dead is the second in the Accidentals series and I really had to talk myself into picking it up because of who the protagonist is.  I decided to give it a try in the belief that Cassidy would finally allow Nina to grow beyond the angry, short tempered, pain in the ass she was in the first novel. Cassidy tried to explain some of Nina's point of view my making her dead mother (yes, another dead mother in this genre) a drug addict who died of an overdose, after leaving her on several occasions.  Nina's father (yes, also dead) was a long distance truck driver, who never found the strength to choose his daughter over his addict wife.  Nina however was raised and loved by her grandmother Lou.  Because of her relationship with her parents, Nina never learned how to trust and that is why she pushes people away.

Marty, who is a werewolf, and Wendy, a human, are her two closest friends.  They prove repeatedly that they won't turn tail and run and still yet, Nina treats them like shit. On several occasions, Nina notices that something is not quite right with Wendy - who has lost weight and looks pale but of course, Nina's problems take front and center.  Clearly this was a set up for the next novel in the Accidental series but it certainly didn't endear me to Nina in the slightest. Then there is the constant and I do mean constant bickering with Marty.  Cassidy clearly meant to use the idea of a vampire arguing with a werewolf about who is the strongest supernatural as a comedic schtick but it got old quickly and had my eyes glazing over.

The antagonist of Accidentally Dead is Svetlanna, who unfortunately has the worst motivations. Svetlanna killed Greg's uncle because he rejected her in favour of another woman and turned Greg into a vampire because of a family resemblance. According to vampire rules, a vampire must mate for eternity by their 500th birthday and it must be someone blood related. Since Svetlanna created Greg, she has decided that he will mate with her though he is insistent that he would rather be dead.  In fact, the men who are in line to marry Svetlanna all go to extreme measures not to marry her.  Was it really necessary to have a female antagonist who's malice is based in jealousy over a man?  The whole thing read like tripe to me.

Cassidy also left a few gaping plot holes.  As part of Greg's rebellion of being in a clan with Svetlanna, he created his own clan with the primary rule being not to turn humans and to live alongside humans with as little influence as possible.  Nina is in fact the only human Greg has turned in over five hundred years and he is determined to feed only from bagged blood.  Of course this brings up the issue of what Greg did before bagged blood?  Apparently, he must have killed the people he fed from in order not to turn them.  How is taking a life more moral than creating a vampire?

There is also the issue of bloodlust.  Every time Nina has not fed and she is around an animal, we get this in-depth conversation about how she is drawn to the smell of the blood.  I get it, a hungry vampire will always be attracted to the smell of blood.  This however doesn't seem to apply whenever Nina is around her human friend Wendy or her werewolf friend Marty.  It is never explained why their blood above all else is somehow not tempting.

When Lou passes out and stops breathing, Greg, who has taken a vow not to make another vampire starts considering changing Lou, though she is extremely religious, simply because Nina asked him to. How is it that neither one of them decided to run and call 911 first, or start chest compressions?  Nope, the solution is to change the old lady.

The only character of colour in Accidentally Dead is Unmesh and he is barely worth mentioning.  Unmesh is Nina's landlord and he shows up long enough to tell Nina that her rent has been paid by Greg for a year and accuse her of being a prostitute.  We know Unmesh is of colour because he tells us. "It is I, Unmesh from India, Ms. Neena. I am needing you."  Why would Unmesh need to make this announcement to speak to his tenant? Wouldn't announcing his identity be enough? I suspect that the India reference was to drive home his race so that Cassidy could not be accused of writing an erased book.  The fact is, Unmesh is so minor to the story that his absence would not have made a difference whatsoever.

Accidentally Dead is set in N.Y.C. and there isn't a single LGBT character. It was wrong in the first book in this series and even more ridiculous in the second.  An all straight, cisgender and largely White N.Y.C. does not make sense in any context.

I went into Accidentally Dead hoping for some mindless chicklit with a few laughs but the protagonist absolutely ruined any possibility of that for me.  She is constantly swearing.  To be clear, I don't have a problem with profanity but I do find it tiring because it invades almost every single sentence Nina says.  It makes her appear to have the intelligence of a concussed penguin.   Her uber tough girl routine and constant threats of violence just bored me.  This is the second novel in which Nina is a major character and she has not grown in the least.  I find it hard to believe that she is 33 years old and still so bloody immature.  Finishing Accidentally Dead was absolutely a force of will on my part. I hated the protagonist from start to finish and only managed to get to the end of Accidentally Dead by refusing to be defeated.  Accidentally Dead is something you should only read at your own risk.