I stumbled upon The Nymphos of Rocky Flats while browsing through the fiction section at Barnes & Noble one evening. At first I was intrigued by the title, while not a personal fan of either the sci-fi or adult-romance genres, I seemed to be magnetized towards this book. I kept the title in mind and did some research on the author before returning to the store and picking up a copy. Mr. Acevedo has several books that fall into this adult/sci-fi genre, the two popular titles being X-Rated Bloodsuckers and Nymphos. In a time where vampires, werewolves and zombie books and movies raid the market, Mario Acevedo’s work falls (almost surprisingly) flat.
Nymphos is about an undead infantryman, Felix Gomez, (Mr. Acevedo himself being a former member of the U.S. Army Infantry draws upon personal experience to help – despite the irony -bring “life” into his character) who takes on a position as a private detective for cases involving the supernatural. The case he tackles in this novel? Why an outbreak of nymphomania of course. During the case he must deal with women who can’t control their lust, a love affair with a dryad, and Eastern European vampire hunters who want him eliminated. While the novel certainly has its humorous and entertaining moments, all in all there seemed to be too much shoved into just one novel. This, along with vague descriptions about Gomez’s powers that expand way above and beyond the typical “vampire” character (since when can a vampire have the power to control one’s mind? And since when can one turn into a werewolf?), and an ending that appeared to be capped on for lack of any better ideas (without giving anyway any crucial details, it ends on a typical sci-fi “no-no”) all together make for a novel that manages to be simultaneously lackluster and over-the-top. Perhaps issues are resolved in the two sequential novels, but I wasn’t interested enough to find out.
While overall I wasn’t impressed, I did enjoy the back story and idea for the main character, Felix Gomez. While fighting in Iraq, he accidentally shoots and kills an innocent Iraqi girl. Feeling guilt for his mistake, he is bitten by a vampire so that he must pay for his sins, en endless life of guilt and remorse he must forever deal with. It affects him to the point that he can’t even drink human blood, for it only reminds him of his awful blunder. I was very fascinated by this premise and the emotional chord that it struck. However, it seemed to be oddly placed in a book riddled with sex and violence. I would have much preferred more focus on this serious issue and for Acevedo to rely more on substance than shock value.
If one is interested in this novel (it does make for a great beach read), I would suggest reading this along with X-Rated Bloodsuckers and The Undead Kama Sutra, both by Acevedo. Perhaps the whole trilogy will better explain Gomez’s powers and delve more into his trials, if not, it can still be entertaining for those who love the sexiness of adult romance novels mixed in with the unbelievable nature of the sci-fi fantasy genre.