Family Bites Paperback – 31 Jan 2003
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From the Author
Family Bites is about two families of undead getting to know each other and trying to keep open minds.
Libidinous werewolves, aristocratic vampires, suspiciously pink cocktails and some very disturbing woodwork. Also features one or two good murders, but with humour.
About the Author
I have been writing since I was eighteen, mainly comic sci-fi until Family Bites. This is my first published work.
Top Customer Reviews
A wickedly comic take on werewolves and vampires, full of characters who you'd love to meet - and others who you'd run a mile to avoid.
Every new author on the comic fantasy scene gets hailed as "the new Terry Pratchett", and usually turns out not to be fit to wipe Pratchett's boots. For the first time an author has appeared who truly deserves that title. The style is very different to Pratchett, and the humour is approached from a very different angle, but the sheer quality is not far short of Pratchett and is head and shoulders above anyone else in the field.
If you like Pratchett, buy "Family Bites" - you'll love it. Just keep your eyes away from the cover.
They get new neighbours, in the shape of the Alfonz family. Who happen to be vampires. Very sociable vampires, who have adapted to sunshine, garlic, and can even muster a reflection in a mirror, at a push.
Then one day, the Rivers' maid Katie wakes up with a mark on her neck and a sudden aversion to sunlight...
I bought this book on the recommendation of several friends and #afpers. I'm glad they recommended it, as I think I'd not have got past the cover otherwise. It's oft been said that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and nowhere is it more true than in the case of Family Bites. It looks like it was drawn for a school art project. It's *dreadful*
The book, however, is a gem. It fairly crackles along with a lovely line in wit and dialogue - the characters are very well written. For a first novel, it's a beaut. The book is funny, often laugh-out-loud funny, with a Pratchettesque use of the footnote*. These are characters you'll grow to love, despite their nature. For a novel involving werewolves and vampires, it's not scary, treating them as ordinary people rather than monsters.
I find little time to really get into longer novels these days, what with one thing and another. I haven't begrudged Family Bites a single minute of my time spent reading it. I hope the author is hard at work on a sequel. I shall be pestering the local bookshops to stock it. Do yourself a favour. Go and buy a copy.**
* used to great comic effect
**now. Yes you. :-)
The best thing about it is the subversion of werewolf/vampire cliches; most obvious when Sophia and Daniel are looking each other up in mythology books. She manages to create a nervy, haemophobic vampire without his being a wimp, and Ben and Sophia, werewolves who act like large friendly dogs in both forms, are terrifically drawn.
As others have said, it's obvious to compare this with Pratchett. It's *really* obvious to compare it to Carpe Jugulum and the Fifth Elephant. But I actually think the Rivers family are a *more* interesting werewolf family than the von Uberwalds. (And I expect to be struck by lightning by the God of Comic Fantasy for saying so).
My only niggle is with Daniel's brother John. We're evidentally meant to see him as a lovable rogue, similar to Richard Rivers, but his behavior is more that of a total git. He redeems himself towards the end, but I'd still like to have seen more consequences for his actions.
Others have said the book really deserves 10 stars. Well, due to the above and the needlessly confusing fractions in the later chapter numbers, I'm afraid I have to dock one, bringing it down to nine 8-).
I undestand there's going to be a sequel. I lool forward to it.
Please ignore the cover artwork (which is DIRE) and give a new book by a wonderful new authoress a chance.
Family Bites is fantasy (in the vein of Hughart and Pratchett) with a generous dollop of comic phrasing and some VERY good characters. The summary of the book tells of the Rivers (a family with a difference) and the interesting times that are had when the nearby Hall is inherited by a Lord and Lady Alphonz (complete with family).
The writing style is fresh and engaging (it managed to engage my attention all the way through the night until 3:00 am!!) I couldn't put it down!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoy the two authors I've used as an example - I think Lisa Williams has made a brilliant start to what I hope is a long and fruitful career (as I want MORE!)
This is a great book from a new author. Fast strong character and scene development populate a well told tale which proceeds at a nifty pace, and which is fun, occasionally gruesome, but sometimes saucy as well.
Inevitably any author in this genre will be compared to the other popular greats such as Pratchett. Early Pratchett made me laugh out loud, more recently it has grown more serious and deep. Family Bites had me in hysterics. There are some very subtle jokes though too, so read carefully and enjoy.
A different style from Pratchett but an excellent comic feast.
I eagerly await more from this author. If Colour of Magic had been this good
as a first (Discworld) novel, who knows what delights we would have had.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Rivers family live happily near the village of Falborough, whose inhabitants don't have any problem with the fact that the Rivers are werewolves. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2004 by L O'connor
I'm sorry I can only give this book a five, as it's deserving of so much more! Plenty of humour, some dark and some just crazy, hairy werewolves with a liking for chicken and... Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2004 by sinders
One of the best books I've read in a very long time, and very much looking forward to the sequel!
The book focusses on two undead families... Read more