Bitten By Books – Review of Vampire Syndrome

Bitten By Books Review of “Vampire Syndrome” by Daven Anderson

I’d like to thank Marie for her honest and thoughtful review! 😀

For anyone concerned that using a character with Down Syndrome may be exploitative, do not worry. Jack proves he is capable of filling a valuable place in the vampire community, and he draws frequent parallels to the way regular society short-changes their expectations of people with DS.

As I intended! 😀

There may also be concerns that characters pan a vampire book/movie series based with no veil whatsoever on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series.

This may also be a selling point to many readers. 😉
I did use the in-universe “Vampire Moonlight” series as an opportunity to show how I would have written a similar paranormal romance. 17-year-old human Janet Zachary is an apprentice professional drag racer, and at one point uses her race car to rescue her vampire boyfriend. Janet would have more crossover appeal to male readers, and this setup above establishes her as a strong female, not a pushover. Instead of just criticism or satire, I use my in-universe series to suggest how (I think) that particular series could have been substantially improved. And…

…one of the strongest vampire characters loves the series and does not care what anyone says about it, so both sides are covered.

I do want to address this quote below, as this is not the first time someone has made this criticism.

(Jack) uses logic and problem solving skills I found unrealistically advanced for someone with DS.

Jack is a composite of several people that I have worked with over the past twenty years. Two of them have read my book, and they both felt I was spot-on regarding Jack. Jack’s logic and problem-solving skills are in line with those whom I have worked with, who deal with customers in a retail environment on a continual basis. I will admit that it does require a certain level of aptitude regarding logic and problem-solving skills to work in a job requiring constant interaction with the public, but this applies to people at all levels of cognition, and there are many, many people of “normal” cognition who are not at all suited to working in retail. The movie “Where Hope Grows” features a main character with Down Syndrome who works in a grocery store (and its lead actor would be a great candidate to play Jack!).


  1. I love it, Daven. The reviewer actually pointed out the the barriers you are working hard to remove. Seems to me that you have accomplished your goal — even if it takes a bit for people to admit it.

    • Many people with Down Syndrome are gainfully employed, and work with the public (as realistically portrayed in the movie “Where Hope Grows”).
      I have worked with one such person for 15 years, and his basic logic and problem-solving skills are never in question.
      My bonus material (as reviewer Marie noted) explains Down Syndrome in more detail. Jack, like my co-workers, is at a high level of cognition. He was a national-record-holding Special Olympics athlete, after all, and that requires sticking to a serious training regimen worthy of any Olympic athlete.

  2. Reblogged this on The Ravings of a Sick Mind.

  3. Daven–not surprisingly, your book succeeds in getting even reviewers to engage with its issues. That’ll keep Jack’s story around when today’s hordes of fly-by night vamps are singing ‘fangs for the memories’ in some dusty corner of a book remainder warehouse somewhere.

    • “…fly-by-night vamps – singing ‘fangs for the memories’ in some dusty corner of a book remainder warehouse somewhere.”
      Exactly the kind of books one publisher who rejected “Vampire Syndrome” specializes in. Rote mass-market paranormal romance paperbacks that no one will remember ten years from now…

  4. […] Originally posted on Vampire Syndrome Blog: […]

  5. Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

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