Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
(Felix Gomez Series #1)
Author: Mario Acevedo
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Eos (March 14, 2006)
Available at Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble

Summary: Back home in the States, the reluctantly undead former infantryman pays penance for his war-time sins—making a living as a private detective able to unravel mysteries that baffle his mortal counterparts. Now an old friend has asked him to investigate a bizarre outbreak of nymphomania at the secret government facilities in Rocky Flats, Colorado.

I picked up my first Mario Acevedo book as part of the NAC Mini-Challenge: League of Reluctant Adults from Literary Escapism this month. First, I must say I was a little bit wary of The Nymphos of Rocky Flats because of it's title and the cover art. Was it going to be loaded with vampire porn and lusty tramps hiding out in a small desert town? My mind works in mysterious ways folks. See that picture on the book cover? For me, it brings to mind a 50's greaser wearing a white t-shirt with a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve who thinks he's the Casanova of the Vampire World. These thoughts roll around in my head on a daily basis and as usual, I was wrong with a capital W.

Felix Gomez is a former soldier, a vampire and he is guilt ridden. He's also a man with convictions, and a hot private detective. Felix is called on by an old friend to figure out why several women who work for the U.S. Department of Energy suddenly came down with a case of nymphomania that cost them their families, their lives and possibly their jobs. Hey, too much sex is not always a good thing people. Felix, despite my first impression from the cover, is not a greaser, and does not take advantage of women. Actually, he's one of the good guys, among humans and vampires.

I had to sneak a peak at a few reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble before I wrote this blog post to get a feel for what people were saying. I can tell you this: IF you expect Nymphos of Rocky Flats to be a paranormal romance, an Anita Blake book spin-off, or an erotic supernatural tale of lusty sex, you will be disappointed. However, I'm not sure that anyone who actually reads the summaries provided would be led to these conclusions. We could ask Mr. Acevedo, he might agree to whip up a quick erotic short featuring Felix. I'm just saying...

Seriously though, the Felix Gomez books are part urban fantasy, part detective/mystery with a little conspiracy suspense thrown in for good measure. The author doesn't waste time with lavish descriptions, or complex character profiles. Felix is a straight forward guy, a former soldier who lives his life day to day, bending the "rules" of the vamp world to his lifestyle. He doesn't want to play with others; he just wants to do his job and get paid. Sometimes life doesn't give us what we want though, and he has to face some things on this job that he's been putting off dealing with.

I liked The Nymphos of Rocky Flats for it's straight forward "guy" humor, the action and the mystery solving. I've always loved tough PI's in books and television, so it was a fun read for me. I did give a few cringes when the vampires smothered their food in blood, but it added to the gritty feel of Felix's world. The author has a really cool take on vampires that I had to read over twice once I got to the revealing scene. I wanted to grab someone and say "You are NOT going to believe what Felix just did!".

If you are a fan of Rob Thurman, Simon Green, Jim Butcher or Anton Strout I think you will really enjoy Mario Acevedo's books. I'm tickled that so many of the Felix Gomez books are already published so I won't have any wait time. The fifth book, Werewolf Smackdown, is coming out this March.

1. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (2006)
2. X-Rated Bloodsuckers (2007)
3. The Undead Kama Sutra (2008)
4. Jailbait Zombie (2009)
5. Werewolf Smackdown (2010)

If you want to learn more about Mario Acevedo you can visit the sites below:

League of Reluctant Adults: