Romeo is a Montegue--notorious for their skills in slaying vampires. Juliet is a Capulet--the royalty of the vampire world in 15th-century Romania. Can their union possibly end well?
Despite some jarring switches between modern teen slang and stabs at sounding Shakespearean, Romeo and Juliet and Vampires is a fun read. Claudia Gabel spins an interesting take on the vampire mythology, with ruby-eyed, pure-blooded vampires who float rather than walk and have nasty-sounding pointy fingernails. They're in a bit of a bind since the recent treaty whereby the Romanian prince has brokered a truce. As long as the vamps don't engage in any human blood-drinking--which generally results in the death of their victims--they don't have to fear the stakes of the Montagues.
Yet here comes Romeo, crashing the Capulet party with a stake hidden in his pants (really), trying to drink a glass of pig blood and not finding it too tasty. He's busted, but doesn't leave before catching a glimpse of Juliet...and you know what happens.
As for Juliet, she's still a human but is about to undergo the transition to vampire on her 16th birthday, which she must complete by draining and killing a human. She's sweet and headstrong and doesn't want to do it. Yet the physical changes have already begun when she spots Romeo...and you know what happens.
This could have been an absolute disaster, but author Gabel provides just enough humor and twists to keep it from being so far over-the-top as to be unsalvageable. Besides, Shakespeare wrote for the masses, and I think he'd quite enjoy the idea of one of his little plays being turned into 21st-century pop culture.
"You are deluded, Romeo. Vampires do not have the capability to love. They are heartless."
The Capulets and the Montagues have some deep and essential differences. Blood differences. Of course, the Capulets can escape their vampire fate, and the Montagues can try not to kill their undead enemies. But at the end of the day, their blood feud is unstoppable.
So it's really quite a problem when Juliet, a vampire-to-be, and Romeo, the human who should be hunting her, fall desperately in love. What they don't realize is how deadly their love will turn out to be—or what it will mean for their afterlives. . . .
This riotous twist on the ultimate tale of forbidden romance is simply to die for.