Creatures of the night and other mystical beings might want to avoid the attention of ordinary folk, but the attention of other supernatural beings is still welcome–particularly in the love department. David D. Hammons’ Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service depicts a reality where supernatural beings need a little help finding the right someone special.
Eli Kowalski works for Rasputin, a.k.a. Love Machine, certifying and helping supernatural creatures connect and find love. Eli has become adept at spotting the real deal from ordinary people who claim to be a supernatural being, often using stereotypes of a witch or vampire. On his latest certification, Eli is given an artifact that turns out to be the Tablet of Nicaea, which is rumored to be able to destroy all supernatural creatures. As Eli learns more about the Tablet from another certification job, a witch named Meri, he becomes entangled and invested in the plot of a witch calling himself Darkstar, who is keen on stealing the Tablet to remove his romantic competition so “nice guys” can finally get the girl.
Having been intrigued by the presence of established supernatural characters, the premise of them needing a dating service, and the vibrant cover art, I was excited to read this. The story developed and moved quickly while incorporating the mythos of the various supernatural creatures present in the literary and filmic canon, with a few additional nuances to their characters that helps to set this version apart from the pack. I was really getting into the story and enjoying the amusing antics of Rasputin, but when the villain turns out to just be a fedora wearing, friend-zone lamenting man-child, I lost some of my interest pretty quickly (because it’s just eugh), even though the synopsis did warn of the “Men’s Rights Activist” character – which just proves that the writing up to that point was engrossing, as it blocked out the memory of this unfortunate facet to the narrative.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.