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Literature / Family Bites

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We're werewolves, they're vampires. What're the odds of that, eh?

Family Bites is a comic fantasy novel by Lisa Williams. (Not to be confused with the US psychic of that name). The Rivers family are an easygoing and friendly family of werewolves, more-or-less accepted by the local community. Their new neighbours are the Alfonzes, who turn out to be equally friendly and easy-going vampires. The Rivers' daughter, Sophia, and the Alfonzes' eldest son, Daniel, fall in Love at First Sight, before discovering each other's true nature. It's basically a Regency romance but with werewolves and vampires. And more direct references to sex.

Meanwhile, the Alfonzes' rakish second son has turned the Rivers' maid, but not had a chance to explain things to her. And the Alfonzes' creepy cousin Edgar (a tradtional vampire) is plotting something...

A sequel, Family Bites 2: Perpetual Motion, is in the works.

This book contains examples of:

  • The Casanova: Richard Rivers and John Alfonz.
  • Dhampyr: Daniel Alfonz. The son of a human father and a vampire mother (who subesquently married a male vampire at her family's insistence), Daniel can't fly (not that well-brought up vampires in this universe ever do), can be seen in mirrors unless he concentrates, and has slightly less powerful senses than his relatives. He also has no craving for blood, and is actually rather squeamish about it, but still has to drink some every few weeks.
  • Fur Against Fang: Toyed with but ultimately averted. Ben Rivers says "Never trust a vampire", but this turns out to be because his grandad's business partner was a vampire and ran off with all the money. The two families actually get along fine.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampires: The Alfonzes.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: John Alfonz's seduction technique.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires don't fly or turn into bats — they can, it's just "not the done thing". They can also bite to kill or not by choice (and with practice can leave no mark at all), can see themselves in mirrors if they concentrate, and the more modern ones don't feed on humans directly. Newly created vampires are faster and stronger than other vampires, sunlight is a problem that can be got round by wearing cloaks and wide-brimmed hats, and the surest way to kill a vampire is to bury them alive (although stake-through-the-heart with optional beheading also works well).
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Lycanthropy is hereditary (although Sophia thinks they can probably infect people, it's just no-one she knows has ever tried). The Rivers family are described as looking like large friendly dogs in wolf form. They can change shape whenever they feel like it, although they sometimes do it at full moon without meaning to.
    • A lampshade is hung on Our Monsters Are Different: Sophia and Daniel look each other up in the mythology books, and are completely bewildered by what they find. Then they look themselves up and get even more bewildered.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: "Chapter Twenty-Four - Part One" and "Chapter Twenty-Four - Part Two".
  • Vampires Are Rich: The Alfonzes are nobilty, although very down-to-earth nobility.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: The Alfonzes (most of them) drink animal blood. Word of God is they "order it from a butcher or something".
  • Werewolves Are Dogs: The Rivers family of werewolves are described as looking and acting like particularly friendly sheepdogs when in wolf form.
  • Wonderful Werewolf: The Rivers, combined with Werewolves Are Dogs.