I am no critic, but I do have an insatiable appetite for good reads. And The Vampire and the Vegan by Merlene Alicia Vassall is just that.
First things first (no spoilers), yes this is a book where veganism and vampiric mythology intersect. This intriguing paradox wasn’t a far cry for Vassall who before becoming a vegetarian in the 1980s and then vegan in 1996, has always adored the campy Dracula movies of the 1970s and their adaptations.
The first installment, Book I: Food, introduces audiences to Pearl, a sultry vampire who craves the necromantic energy that permeates the bodies of meat eaters. That is until she meets a vegan by the name of Salaam. Without giving too much away, Salaam introduces Pearl to a new, purer way of existing and she will be left to make a pivotal decision.
What I enjoyed most about this book is its parallel of vampires with people who choose to eat meat. Vassell beautiful illustrates the lust and savagery of taking another life but subtly as to not draw you away from the story. Part graphic novel part fantasy, readers have an opportunity to explore not only the characters, but also themselves. This series is truly a clever and well-told piece of art that brings new life to gothic literature.
Keeping our eyes out for Book II.