We hope you enjoy this book review by Douglas R. Cobb.

Your favorite vampire PI and Iraq war veteran is back in Mario Acevedo's The Undead Kama Sutra. He thirsts for blood, but hungers for truth, justice, revenge, and to get his groove on - not necessarily in that order. When the alien Gilbert Odin, in human guise, calls Felix on his cell phone from a squalid motel asking for help, the Gomez heads there immediately. Having meet Odin on a past case while investigating "an outbreak of nymphomania at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Colorado," and helping Felix out, it's the least the vampire PI can do to come to his aid. He sees a puncture wound on Odin that "looked like someone had impaled him with a white-hot length of rebar." Someone shot Odin with a space blaster, leaving the weapon behind in the room for Gomez to almost trip over.

Before he dies, the alien gives Felix GPS coordinates of where to take his body to be picked up by a spaceship, twenty thousand dollars in an envelope as payment to "Find Goodman," the man who shot him, and the mission to "Save the Earth women." To fulfill Odin's last wish, Gomez takes the alien on a Wave Runner to the coordinates. The Wave Runner's engine stalls - the typical sign of the imminent approach of aliens in movies and literature - and, sure, enough, a spaceship rises from the water and Odin and the blaster get teleported up on two beams of light. So much for his idea of using the blaster against Goodman, whenever they might meet.

So, where does the title of the book enter into the plot? Just like the Kama Sutra of India for mortals, The Undead Kama Sutra for vampires (not Acevedo's novel, but the manuscript he writes about) depicts vampires in various sexual couplings. By practicing the poses, like when mortals do with the Kama Sutra we all know and love, one's energy centers or chakras would be opened and stimulated. The Undead Kama Sutra had long been the subject of legend within the vampire community, and dispute, as there were no complete copies of the original, though random pages would surface occasionally. The poses were supposed to be "psychically therapeutic," but "the trick was performing sex using the proper technique in the right sequence and for the correct duration."

One of Felix's lovely vampire female friends, Carmen, believes she is close to compiling an accurate recreation of the original. She's always up for testing her theories by having sex with pretty much anyone who is available, though she seems to especially want to put the poses into practice with Gomez. He has misgivings about it, believing that Carmen might be like an insatiable machine, or that he might not live up to her expectations and to her other past partners. Though he does eventually have sex with her, the novel is really not very graphic or lurid. There is the use of some explicit language, but most of the book, if it were a movie, probably wouldn't get above a PG-13 rating. If you are looking for a book that is highly explicit, The Undead Kama Sutra will likely disappoint you.

If you like a suspenseful thriller that's somewhat campy and over-the-edge, however, Acevedo's novel will likely be one you'll want to add to your reading list. The book is full of government conspiracies and coverups, and Felix uncovers a plot that Goodman is figures largely in involving kidnapping the women of Earth, faking their deaths (and, if other people die due to "collateral damage," that's the price that has to be paid), and selling them to the highest alien bidders to be their companions (i.e., pets, complete with collars).

The only aspect I didn't especially care for was that Carmen also gets abducted by the aliens and Gomez is powerless to stop them. It does, however, set things up for a future book where either Felix saves her or she escapes from her captors, and if that happens, it should be a pretty interesting book. As in past novels in the series, the Areneum (the word means "spiderweb" in Latin), or "worldwide network of vampires formed to protect us from extermination by the humans," has a role in the plot. They know aliens, both good and bad, have infiltrated human society and government, and they request Gomez "to investigate this threat." They stipulate, though, that "Under no circumstances are you to allow yourself or any other vampire to be compromised by these extraterrestrials."

The Undead Kama Sutra is a nicely twisted page-turning addition to the Felix Gomez series. Felix Gomez, usually so macho and sexually assertive in the other books of the series, wonders in this one at times if he is losing his touch with women. Carmen learns about a spider whose bite will temporarily, for a few days, make the sun's rays harmless to vampires. She has the spider bite Felix during a ceremony. He likes to be able to not fear the scalding, blistering death that would result if he went unprotected outdoors in the daylight, and he likes being able to tan once again, but the bite also seems to have taken away much of his allure to the opposite sex. Can he get his groove back? Will he get his revenge on Goodman and save the Earth women? Get The Undead Kama Sutra today, and find out!



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