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Lovable characters

By Janoda, editor

Feb 13, 2010: Crank tells the story of 2 best friends, Mike and Crandall, who play in a band together. Mike has been in love with Crandall from the moment they met, but never dared doing anything about it. Their relationship changes when Crandall is bitten by a vampire, and all their secrets are laid on the table.

Pia Veleno is excellent at building characters. Both Crandall and Mike are intriguing and well-defined, and after every chapter you want to read more, because you really want to get to know them—especially Crandall.

To watch the birth of their relationship, and how it changes them is very endearing and interesting. The changing POV serves the story well, because both react very differently to everything that’s happening.

I think the story so far focuses too much on the sexual part of the relationship. I don’t mind the occasional interlude, but I think the author goes slightly overboard with it. On the other hand, new relationships tend to be very physical, so perhaps that’s what makes it realistic.

A second thing I’m dubious about is the vampires. Even though a vampire was the catalyst that got everything started, I feel like they aren’t really serving the story. I’d even say they are redundant, but since we aren’t at the end of the story yet, I might be wrong on that account.

With characters this intriguing, and a relationship of this depth and complexity, the urban fantasy angle really doesn’t add anything. In fact, I’d say that both the vampire plotline and the strong sexual focus get in the way of what the author actually does best: writing great characters who develop in intriguing and surprising ways.

I’d recommend it to lovers of romance novels who don’t mind an urban fantasy setting.

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