Hello Gemmies! I have a new book review to share with you today. The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix is a bloody good Southern horror. This book was inventive, engaging, gory, and darn right funny. Let's start with the cover, I love it! The vampire bite marks in the peaches perfectly sum up the campy cleverness of this book.
The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires is an extremely well written character driven story. This story is full of humor, but don't let that fool you, this is no light vampire horror romp. There is plenty of graphic gore to make you keep the lights on at night. This detailed world that Grady Hendrix has created is a pure joy to immerse your self in. Set in the 1990's Charleston, we follow a group of housewives who start a book club reading true crime stories in an attempt to help break up the monotony of their everyday lives. Told mainly from Patricia's point of view, their once peaceful community starts to face a series of unfortunate events after the great nephew of an elderly neighbor comes to town. The charming nephew, James is definitely not what he appears to be. There were so many twists and turns and gut wrenching events throughout this book, it left me breathless.
Beyond the horror, what really stuck out the most for me, were the complex relationships between the women. And their relationships with their families. This book takes a raw look at the world of what is considered "traditional Southern values." From the privilege, sexism, abuse, racism, fake mannerisms, but also the love, and sisterhood. The ignorance and ability to ignore things happening right in front of your face made me want to scream at times. Especially after we go through a time jump. But if i'm being honest I know at least 10 people who would act the exact same way the characters in this book did. Unfortunately there are a lot of people wont take action to change things until it effects them. It was great to see each ladies character arc, especially Patricia. And the villain?!?!? OMG.....Grady Hendrix has created the ultimate apex predator that you love to hate.
If you are a fan of Southern Gothic horrors then go read this book! This gem published by Quirk Books is available for purchase from all major booksellers. I give The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires 5 out of 5 gems. I loved this book so much and cannot wait to read more stories from this author. Happy Reading!