The Reluctant Vampire Queen by Jo Simmons – Book Review

About the Book

Meet Mo Merrydrew – independent young woman, Mini Battenberg fan, president of the debating society – and reluctant vampire queen …

Fifteen-year-old Mo Merrydrew isn’t exactly expecting to be asked to be Vampire Queen of Great Britain when she’s cycling home from school one wet Tuesday evening. Apparently, she is ‘the Chosen One’. Aside from being uncomfortable with the idea of unelected power (not very democratic), there’s the blood drinking to consider (Mo is a vegetarian), and frankly it’s just not really the sort of role Mo’s looking for (she wants to aim for a real job in politics). But – if you’re Vampire Queen, you probably don’t have to do PE any more, and when the dreamy Luca, a vampire familiar, turns up, it all suddenly starts to look a bit more appealing …

Geek Girl meets Buffy in a brilliantly funny new teen series from bestselling author Jo Simmons

About the Author

The first teen book from Jo Simmons author of I Sold My Brother on the Internet which I reviewed here.

Jo Simmons began her working life as a journalist. Her first fiction series for children, Pip Street, was inspired by her own kids’ love of funny fiction, and two Super Loud Sambooks followed. In addition to children’s fiction, she co-wrote a humorous parenting book, Can I Give Them Back Now?: The Aargh To Zzzzzz Of Parenting, published by Square Peg. Jo lives in Brighton with her husband, two boys and a scruffy formerly Romanian street dog. I Swapped My Brother on the Internet was her first book for Bloomsbury and The Reluctant Vampire Queen is her first book for teens.


What I Thought

Mo Merrydrew has a PLAN which involves studying hard, attending university and gaining a glittering career in politics or law. It does not involve boys and definitely didn’t feature vampires but it seems that the universe has an alternative plan for her. Will she accept the chosen one role that has been laid out for her and put her lifelong dreams on the back burner? 

Or will she try to have it all? 

The Geek Girl meets Buffy comparison is pretty spot on, think of the episode of Buffy where she meets Dracula, or the original Buffy movie, and you’ve got a good idea what you’d be heading into.  

Other comparisons I’d give it would be an aged down What We Do in the Shadows or an aged up The Little Vampire. It did read a little young so fits very firmly in the teen bracket over what we’ve come to expect from YA. It’s very much a comedy rather than a horror. 

The friendship between Mo and Lou is explored well, particularly when it is breaking down. 

But who is the real villain of the piece? Mean girl Tracey or the Vampire King of Europe? Mo’s internal journey to fight her fear is important in terms of her success or failure to address the challenges of these two. 

And then there is Luca, a vampire’s familiar, but also a dreamy cute hottie. I really enjoyed his character and how he provided a bridge between the vampire and human world. I also felt pretty sorry for him having to do a particular one of the familiar’s tasks. Queens are certainly demanding and Vampire Queens – even reluctant ones are no different. 

Overall this was a really fun, pacy read, that seems to be the first in a series, and I’m very interested to see where it goes next. 

I received an E-ARC of this book via netgalley. Opinions are all my own. 

Posted on June 27, 2022, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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