I've been a Peter David fan for years. But for some reason, exclusively his Marvel Comics work. I keep glancing at his other stuff - Young Justice at DC, New Frontier for Star Trek - and thinking I should give some of them a go, but I just never seemed to get round to it.
Then the terrible news over the holidays hit. PAD had a stroke, and what with him being an American, Peter's recovery was about to swallow a whole lot of funds. His wife, who has been a trooper keeping fans up to date when it would be so easy to concentrate on the more important things, explained pretty early on that one of the easiest ways to help was to buy his work. My first thought was I was finally going to start New Frontier, but Mrs David laid out several books of PADs that would be more help. The one that seemed most appealing to me was Pulling Up Stakes, a vampire novel dealing with a organised group of Vampire Hunters. The twist being that the main character was also secretly a vampire.
Now, I'm not saying I was sold on the book, but I wanted to help out one of my favourite authors and of the choices it was the one I could get behind the most. I downloaded it on the Kindle and I was away. Within the very first few pages I was hooked. It was scratching an Urban Fantasy itch that had been unfulfilled since I finished Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt books. Stakes is a lot less brutal, and decidedly less noir, then Huston, but vampires in New York from a first person perspective, you can't help but draw one or two parallels. That said Stakes is a lot more light hearted, leaning more towards the Buffy style than anything.
The few niggles I had was that one twist near the end was pretty obvious, the ending was a bit cleaner than I expected, and a few character introduced early on were seemingly forgotten later in the book. Though the fact we know this is going to be a series does lessen the impact of that last one for me.
Quite interesting for me is that there are two Pulling Up Stakes books, but they are actually one novel. PAD has released the first few chapters as a very cheap (77p/99c) short story to hook people, then the second, longer part for a little bit more. It's an interesting approach to hook readers, and one I may think about. Of course it helps if you have a very definite End of Act 1, which this certainly has.
I highly recommend Pulling Up Stakes, plus the first part is pretty damn cheap so it's not much of a commitment. And if you're not reading X-Factor from Marvel you really should be. Oh and I bought New Frontier too.