Cover Reveal: Undeath and Taxes by Drew Hayes

Reveal

Today I am proud to participate in a cover reveal for Drew Hayes’ Undeath & Taxes, the continuing paranormal urban fantasy adventures about Fred the vampire accountant. I reviewed the first book last year which you can check out here.

Undeath And Taxes CoverAfter discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an Undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected–he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters and their respective financial needs. 

Said monsters are, unfortunately, still spectacular at pulling Fred into trouble, though. And despite merely wanting to stick with simple paperwork, Fred once again finds he is going to have to deal with enchanted weaponry, government agents, possessed houses, and one enigmatic dragon’s interest. In the parahuman world, any business can turn deadly, even one as mundane as accounting.

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Author Bio:

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

See Drew told about himself in first person on his website and twitter.

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes

Published: 29 July, 2014
Goodreads badgePublisher: REUTS Publications, LLC
Pages: 192
Format: ebook
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.

One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess.

Note: I was provided a copy of this book for review

The stories in The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant are not as uninteresting and uneventful as the title makes them out to be. We are introduced to Fred, a simple accountant who was bitten by an unknown vampire a year ago, and since then has adjusted to his new life and carried on as if nothing has happened. This simple and straightforward life is soon disrupted after his high school reunion as he meets up with old friends, makes new friends, and discovers that the world is a lot more adventurous than he may have thought.

I like Fred, I like that he has taken the practical approach to his circumstances, he starts up his own accounting business from home to avoid going out during the day, and he has struck a deal at the hospital to get access to blood. Other than that he carries on his life almost as if nothing has happened. Hayes uses good explanations and examples to sum up Fred’s new routine and how he can carry on his life. It makes sense and works, adding a great touch of reality into the paranormal tone of the book.

Fred has got the skills of a vampire, but what he lacks is the confidence. You notice as each story goes on, Fred becomes more comfortable and in touch with his abilities. This possibly has something to do with the fact that he has gains a parahuman group of friends around him, and unlike in that first year, he can explore his abilities, use them, and even has more cause for using them than he had before. As he becomes more in touch with what he can actually do you see he is not as weak as he sees himself to be, there is a power within him. His timid nature makes him a great character, he is kind and thoughtful, and not at all like he believes vampires are supposed to be. But it is also wonderful to see when he uses his abilities, his strength and speed, that he can be quite formidable, and after being introduced to Fred as a shy and seemingly weak guy, you understand how his type is considered one of the more powerful creatures in the parahuman world.

The format is in the style of Fred’s memoirs, a guide to future readers who find themselves in his predicament and unsure of what they are supposed to do, confused by media misconceptions and stereotypes. His journeys are divided up into individual stories, each one about an adventure Fred has, who he meets, and how it changes his life. These are joined together to create an overall story about Fred and his seemingly uninteresting life.

While these stories are all connected and follow on from one another, Hayes still recaps as he goes. Initially there was a lot of retelling and repeating of previous events in each new story, despite the fact you can read each tale consecutively. You know what has already happened and do not need such a detailed reminder with each new tale. There was even a line that says “I hope you know by now” implying we are supposed to know the information that has been provided before it. Reminding readers is fine, but a less noticeable way is needed, one that blends into the story more successfully. Hayes did get the hang of it in later stories and when there were recaps they were shorter and felt more natural within the narrative.

Another thing I noticed was the continual reminder about the fact Fred is essentially dead. Simple phrases like “he was out of breath” are interrupted to add in that “even though he had no breath” for example, while humorous the first few times, soon lost its humour and on occasion jarred the story a little bit. I understand using them as a joke, especially since many are from Fred’s thoughts as he makes a joke to himself, but there was a lot and after awhile it grew tiresome. These references, like the recapping, are toned down in later stories though.

These were my only real issues with the story, and even then they are small. Hayes has taken an interesting approach to the vampire and parahuman story with Fred, showing that being turned does not automatically make you into a monster, nor does it suddenly make your life any more interesting than it was before. I liked that Hayes normalised this, and used Fred as a voice to help us explore the process and the outcome of becoming a vampire.

The tales of Fred are unexpected and light hearted, and actually a really fun read. There are great characters and each story is new and different, while still being connected to the events and outcomes of the previous story. Hayes has created a world that balances the real and the paranormal well, and with each story takes us deeper into the hidden world of the paranormal and the life of Fred and his new parahuman friends. It is a great book with characters you come to love and I for one hope there will be more utterly uninteresting and unadventurous tales of Fred, the vampire accountant.

Purchase Fred, the Vampire Accountant at the following locations

Amazon