The Vampire of Maple Town by Kane McLoughlin

The Vampire of Maple Town is full of magic, mystery, vampires, and secrets.  How far would you go for love? Would you destroy an entire town?  Would you keep your loved ones locked away to keep them safe? Would you sign a contract that exchanges your life for another?   

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After being rescued by a mysterious woman in a magical coach, Charlie finds himself the new resident of a mansion at 13 Chiaroscuro Lane.  Becoming the adopted son of the town’s mysterious doctor Victor Prowl isn’t as great as it seems. Unable to interact with the outside world, Charlie spends his time aimlessly wandering the mansion.  But living in comfort in the mansion doesn’t help lessen the loneliness Charlie feels until one day he discovers a magical friend. Aria, a bird made of paper, is able to fly and sing as any other bird may do and quickly becomes Charlie’s new companion.  Together, the two begin to spend their days exploring the village after Victor leaves for work each morning. They discover new friends, new love, and secrets that will threaten the entire village.

If you took a great vampire story and set it in an old-fashioned version of Wonderland, you would come very close to the feeling of this story.  There are magic dolls turned to life who broker magical deals with life altering consequences. Witches who aren’t allowed to show their magical talent.  Vampires who are also doctors and werewolves that should never be trusted. Witches who are learning their skills and witches who aren’t as dead as they seem. Not to mention blacksmith apprentices who may have powerful secrets of their own.  Village festivals, feasts, balls, blacksmith shops, and forests become the setting for both young love and revenge.

This was an interesting take on vampires.  Sunlight doesn’t affect them and Charlie goes most of the book without drinking any blood, let alone craving it when he’s around other people.  In fact, Charlie spends most of the story trying to figure how he could be one of the evil creatures that he keeps hearing about. He isn’t mean or cruel and seems to be a normal boy who just wants to find his place in the world.  

Really enjoyed this one.  The story moves quickly with plenty of twists and turns. Bonus-as of this posting, it’s only $2.99 for Kindle!

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Full disclosure time:  I received a free copy of this book from the author through a LibraryThing giveaway.  All opinions are my own.