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"Overbite' packs a punch, but the passion is gone

"Overbite' packs a punch, but the passion is gone

"Overbite" (William Morrow), by Meg Cabot

July 4th, 2011 by SUMMER MOORE, Associated Press in News

Special powers are supposed to be fun. In Meena Harper's case, there's nothing fun about having them. Meena can tell when and how everyone around her is going to die, so she's been ostracized and feared since she was a little girl.

Then she lands in bed with the vampire Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. Although Meena loves Lucien, she knows what he's capable of doing, and their relationship ends.

Soon a powerful and secret Vatican organization recruits Meena to help track down her former lover and all his followers. They use her power to warn their soldiers, led by the hunky yet awkward Alaric Wulf, before they go into battle. With her, the demon hunters head out to find Lucien and end the vampires for good.

"Overbite" is the second novel in Cabot's "Insatiable" series, and it falls short. The first novel was a passionate love story, full of the intensity and desire that comes from an adult vampire novel. The sequel is much slower, and the love story is gone.

Readers are aware of the tension between Meena and Alaric, but the characters are painfully slow to catch on. Meena's desire to prove that vampires can be redeemed contradicts her actions toward Lucien, whom she refuses all too easily.

Cabot does tell a vampire story without making it repetitive. Her vampires can turn to mist and are directly associated with the devil. There is even a spring from which Lucien draws his powers that is believed to be a direct link to the underworld. And although the author skillfully brings in religion without being preachy, love and passion are missing from the story.