Monday, September 9, 2013

Bud the Crud and the Vampire-Werewolf Wars / Jamie Wasserman


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Availability
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store

Author:

Jamie Wasserman is an IT specialist that lives in Columbia, MD. He graduated from University of Mary Washington, is married to a very patient woman and has three children. 

His “…work has appeared in The Rhysling Anthology, Exquisite Corpse, Star*Line, Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Strange Horizons, Flesh and Blood, Gothic.net, Weber Studies, and Magma (UK) among many others. He has received numerous honorable mentions from The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and been nominated for a Pushcart by Lite: Baltimore's Literary Arts Newspaper.

He is the author of three other Young Adult fantasy novels Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story, Angel Moon (the sequel to Blood and Sunlight), and Holding Back the Day. You can enjoy “Random musings from the fractured mind of Jamie Wasserman” on his blog Ready to Write.”

Description:

“Vampires and werewolves and ... puberty? It’s all here.”

“…There’s vampires and werewolves and bullies and even love, if you’re into that kind of thing… No one curses in this book – not even the werewolves. Looking back, some of it was pretty scary…

Buddy is a fourteen-year-old late bloomer with bright red hair that has been a target for bullies all his life. This is a peek at the week his whole world changed.

Appraisal:

Jamie Wasserman has an uncanny way of relating to the male pubescent mind. Buddy is just trying to survive his school years by burying himself in his comic books until he graduates and then suddenly everything will be different for him, right? Out of the blue a stranger sticks up for Buddy at the mall. A boy his sister Amber has had her eye on for a while now. Will comes to Buddy’s rescue when Hans destroys Buddy’s new comic book “The Haunted Man.” Suddenly Buddy has a friend in Will and it turns out Will has had his eye on Amber as well.
This story is told through Buddy’s eyes and we see how he deals with a whole cast of characters and how he learns to deal with bullies, vampires, werewolves, and slayers. I identified with the relationship between Buddy and his cheerleader sister Amber, who could do no wrong, their relationship rang true. I also really enjoyed Guy, Buddy’s new found bodyguard at school, courtesy of Will. His lessons were invaluable to Buddy as he guided him to standup for himself and meet his challenges head on. The plot moves swiftly along in this character driven tale as we follow Buddy through his days at school, trips to the mall, and to the daring rescue of his sister and Will from the slayers. 

Wasserman tackles Buddy’s insecurities and challenges his, as well as others, concepts of friendship in this coming of age story with vampires, werewolves, slayers and bullies. With an overall theme of “the meek shall inherit the earth,” this story was handled in a delightful way. I found myself cheering Buddy on and shaking my head when he stumbled. I love Jamie Wasserman’s sense of humor and will read anything he writes. I have followed his writing career now for a couple of years and I have never been disappointed. I hope to see Buddy’s adventures continue as this story ends with Buddy headed to a haunted graveyard with his deceased cat Spooky and a garden spade. What could possibly go wrong?

Format/Typo Issues:

I found no significant errors.

Rating: **** Four stars

2 comments:

Pete Barber said...

Great review. Your last sentence left me laughing.

?wazithinkin said...

Thanks, Pete. I believe that is the last line of the story. I probably should have put it in quotes.

I can tell you that I know what happens because I followed the story being written in the Amazon Kindle forum. All hell breaks loose. :D One of these days perhaps Mr. Wasserman will publish the rest of the story. I certainly hope so.