SFF

Vampires of Portlandia

Parliament House. Oct. 2020. 427p. ISBN 9780578674971. pap. $14.99. FANTASY
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An immigrant vampire story with Filipino folklore weaved in has the potential to be a rewarding novel, but unfortunately needs stronger character development and pacing. The overarching tale revolves around the Leones vampire family who immigrate to Portland, OR, from the Philippines. Matriarch Marcella is the leader of the aswang, a term given to various supernatural beings. Her grandson inadvertently breaks the covenant of peace among all aswang when he eats crows that turn out to be werebeasts. Marcella then becomes gravely ill and passes on an amulet that gives her powers to another grandson, Percival. Arturo, an evil aswang, has been plotting to capture the amulet to take over leadership. He sees this as the perfect opportunity to unite all aswang to his side. While Percival, thrust into a leadership role, must convince others that he is worthy of their support and fight Arturo. There are moments of storytelling that stand out, especially those that take place in the Philippines, but as a whole the uneven storytelling weigh the narrative down.
VERDICT Those who enjoy the “Twilight” books or TV series “Grimm” may find this entertaining. Portland enthusiasts will also appreciate the references.

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