Review: Generation V by M.L. Brennan

Posted April 23, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 110 Comments

Review: Generation V by M.L. Brennan
Generation V by M.L. Brennan
Series: American Vampire #1
Published by Roc
Published on: May 7 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 319
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…


I want to say upfront that this book rocked my socks off. It REALLY did—most potential I’ve seen in a new(ish) UF series in a LONG friggin’ time.

Don’t forget that.

Fortitude Scott is a pushover. He lets his coworkers dump their responsibilities on him without uttering a word of protest, his roommate isn’t paying his share of the rent (and hasn’t for months), and when his girlfriend belatedly informs him that they have an “open” relationship, he does nothing.

He’s also a vampire.

Kind of.

Baby vampires are made when Mommy or Daddy vampires create host parents via MASSIVE blood-exchanges, and afterward have the hosts make a baby the old-fashioned way. The blood-exchange fundamentally changes the host parents DNA, so that any offspring have more genetically in common with the vampire than the modified humans. The baby vampire grows (MOSTLY) like a normal human child, until he (or she) “transitions” into full vamphood sometime after physical maturity.

Fort is 26 years old, and desperate to hold-off his transition for as long as he can, to the bafflement of his mother and siblings.

He also refuses to acclimatize himself to the supernatural world, preferring to live and work amongst humans. But when an Italian vampire comes to visit, and young girls begin to disappear, Fort throws himself head-long into the world he’s thus far avoided to try and save them.

My issues:

1. One of my #1 RAGE buttons in books is when Bad Things happen to children. Bad Things happen to children in this book. VERY Bad Things. To little girls. I don’t like it.

2. I don’t NEED all of my MCs to be hardcore, kick-ass, take-sass-from-nobody types. Those types do tend to be my favorites, BUT I have a healthy appreciation for intelligent, out-smarting types too. And quiet, I-shall-not-be-moved types. AND committed-to-the-cause types . . .

Fort is none of these.

Fort, as I stated earlier, is a PUSHOVER. A passive-aggressive PUSHOVER.

Admittedly, the passive-aggression is oftentimes downright hysterical—really guys, I can’t remember the last time I lol’d this much while reading a book. Maybe First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones?

Anyway, the point is that MANY times while reading this book I was disgusted with Fort. He was such a damn pansy. When his cheating bitch-of-a-girlfriend shows up at his apartment for the first time in three weeks, instead of forcing a Talk like he wants to, he allows himself to be distracted by her manipulations and taken advantage of. Again. He recognizes that his roommate has a lot of money for eating out since he’s not paying rent, but keeps letting Roommate put him off.

Did I mention that the retroactive “open” status of Fort’s relationship with his girlfriend came about after he caught Girlfriend and Roommate having sex?

Oh, yeah. That happened.


So this was by no means a perfect book.

HOWEVER, Fort does finally grow a pair (at the very end), and the Bad Guy is of course vanquished. Don’t get mad—pedophile Bad Guys never live to the see the next book. And without those two problems, this book is spectacular. Anyone who enjoys a good Beta character will absolutely love this book. And the transformation is not a transformation—Fort is, and will always be, a Beta. He just won’t sit there and take it (whatever “it” is) anymore. I can live with that.

There are also a lot a interesting secondaries, Suzume Hollis being my favorite of the bunch.

Suze is a kitsune. What’s a kitsune?

A kitsune is fox-shifter from Japanese folklore. They are tricksters that often fall under the same umbrella as Coyote and Loki, and like Coyote and Loki, kitsune can be categorically vicious. Brennan paints a particularly vivid picture of this in Suze who can be alternately cute-as-a-button and absolutely terrifying. Mostly she’s just funny. The combination of Fort’s sneaky, undermining younger sibliing-like antics and Suze’s pranking and hilarious observations gets ALL the funny points.

So ultimately, I HIGHLY recommend Generation V by M.L. Brennan. I had to make myself stop reading Iron Night (book 2) and write this review, so the books wouldn’t run together. Not happy about that. Going back to reading right . . . about . . . now . . .

Jessica Signature

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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110 responses to “Review: Generation V by M.L. Brennan

    • In this case it was more about the shiesty girlfriend trying to get a pass for cheating. That’s the retroactive part. But that’s exactly what it would be if they’d discussed it in the beginning of their relationship. Just ugh.

  1. Oh man I want to like Fort but I have a feeling all of the things that bothered you about him will get under my skin as well.

    It does sound like this has great potential and hopefully the next book will be better and Fort will be more assertive and strong.

  2. Ha. I had the same issue. I HAD actually finished Iron Night before writing this review. And I NEVER read series one after another like I used to anymore, but I enjoyed this one so much.

    The next book has more Prudence, so that is awesome. And one less pedophile bad guy.

    • Yeah, I finished Iron Night the day after I wrote this review. I was right about not having the same issues with Fort b/c he does continue to stand up for himself, but I still had situational issues with it—namely I had just read another book a few weeks prior with a remarkably similar plot . . . sigh. Can’t catch a break with this series, LOL. But it’s still hilarious. I don’t plan on giving up on it any time soon.

  3. I confess to being a total Alpha-type fangril. I’d probably go nuts over the Beta MC vibe, especially in situations you’ve talked about.
    I’m very predictable in saying this, lol, but a Suze story? I’d be ALL OVER that xD

    p.S.: A fellow Wraiths fan, I’m in geeky heaven <333

    • Yeah, if you absolutely can’t handle betas at all then this would probably drive you nuts. Even after Fort does stop letting people walk all over him, he’s still not an alpha, and he’ll never just go for it in a relationship (which again isn’t my favorite, but I can deal with it 😉 ).

      And yeah, the Wraith are cool (so are whatever Ronon was)!

  4. “Me<——D-I-S-G-U-S-T-E-D."

    SAME JESSICA! I kind of want to throttle Fort at the moment. KICK THAT WOMAN AND YOUR A-HOLE ROOMMATE TO THE CURB! Like you said, I don't need all my main characters to be badasses, everyone has their own strengths, but I need Fort to pick a strength and stick to it immediately:) I'm glad toward the end he shows a little fire, I'm fine with him being a beta, I just can't deal with a pushover!

  5. I have a physical copy of this one (I won it through a giveaway) but it’s been languishing on my shelf since it came to live with me. I’ll pass by and every so often whisper “soon”. I think it’s still going to have to wait just a little while. I’m not in really in the mood for a pushover MC…hmmm…but laughter…okay, maybe I’ll need to try really, really hard to get to it sooner than later.

    • Seriously . . . no one hates a pushover more than I do. No one. But this book was funny enough to get me through it, and I’ve finished book 2, so I can safely report that Fort’s new stand-up-for-himselfness is here to stay. I think it’s definitely worth a try 😉

    • Yeah, Fort definitely has crazy character growth that appears to be here to stay, so I think it’s worth it. And again, no one hates a pushover more than I do, so that is some kind of funny to get me through it 😉

  6. Haha, I actually flailed a little when I saw this review. I love these books, Fort makes me laugh so hard! I agree, the first one does have its hiccups, but oh man, the second was absolutely amazing. When I recommend/gift these books to people I always say to do 1 and 2 together, because the character, the story, everything becomes even stronger in the sequel. I really liked Generation V, but I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED Iron Night, let’s just put it that way 😀 Third book is supposed to have a November release date, I’m so excited.

    • Fort is seriously hilarious. And so many off-the-wall crazy things happened (like the tennis balls as lightning bolts, LOL). I definitely see the wisdom behind recommending both books together though. I’m not sure what I would have done, if book 2 hadn’t already been available. And I’m super excited about book 3 too!

  7. Nope, still not interested in reading this book. There just is something about a male main character that is not my kind of thing. With some exceptions of course. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

  8. I’ll firstly say that this guy on the cover is YUMMY! But then I’ll say that this whole thing sounds really scary. I mean I don’t mind scary but this is kinda of gross. Also I’m more of sweet, intelligent guys so well I don’t know. Fort sounds interesting. Great review, Jessica 🙂

  9. Not a fan of that cover, and the bad things happening to little girls doesn’t bode well with me. Glad to see you somewhat enjoyed it though! Great review, Jessica 🙂

    • Thank you! And no, bad things happening to little girls does NOT bode well. Like I said—MAJOR rage button. But despite that, I did manage to enjoy it, and that’s what counts, right?

  10. I HIGHLY agree that this series has SO much potential and I really enjoyed the first book, too. And YES to your issues. Yes. Plus, he’s so passive-aggressive and such a pushover…I wanted to smack him. Fort. Dude. Get some balls, man.

  11. Your review confuses me, I think I would like certain parts of this book, like the fox shapeshifter but bad things happening to little girls totally turns me off and I don’t like that Fort is a big pansy.

    • Yeah, this was really a matter of pushing through it. When you start out with a character as lame as Fort, there’s almost always character growth. So do you wait for it, or do you throw in the towel? This was funny enough for me to wait for it, and I don’t regret it. Fort did stand up for himself, the Bad Guy got his eternal reward, and I have nothing but high hopes for the future 😉

  12. YES!!! I mean, with UF/PNR series, it’s always hard to impress with the first book. The Elemental Assassin books for instance–LOOOOVE them, but the first book? Totally mediocre. I’m glad you enjoyed this so much. I’m so sorry to hear that Fort is a pushover though like, wut? I hate those. I started um. The Song of Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski whose The Edge of Never I loved, but my god! I had to DNF it because the guy was such a pushover and so whipped I just couldn’t handle. BUT KITSUNE!!!! OH SHIT. I’m in love with the Japanese mythology thanks to Teen Wolf so this one word is enough to get me interested 😀 Yay 😀

    • Yeah, I love kitsune too! And Suze is a particularly fun one. This first book for sure suffers from first book syndrome, but the good news is that I came into it a bit late, so book 2 was already right there waiting for me to grab when I finished this one. And Fort stops being a great, big lamewad to that’s good too 😉 I hope you check it out, Siiri–it’s HI-larious!

  13. I would have the same problems as you but I love the sound of Kitsune! Sounds like it would have been a great book if it was her book. LOL Hm… still might wait on this one.

    • I don’t blame you, but if you ever need something really clever and geektastic, it’d give this a try. Nobody hates a pushover more than I do, and this was funny enough to get me through it 😉

  14. This sounds like another one that I would probably have the same issues as you but I am very curious about Mr. Pushover and the fact that this UF seems to be a little different than others. I’m adding it to my list.

    • I really do recommend this series despite the problems I had with this installment. It has a fantastic off-beat humor, and having since read book 2, I can say with authority that Fort standing up for himself at the end of this book wasn’t a fluke.

  15. i have to admit i’m intrigued by the world these characters are in but i’m not sure i could come to like the characters. Glad you managed to like it though!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  16. Julie

    I absolutely adored this book. It was one of my top reads last year. And Iron Night…can’t wait until your review because I found it even better (I read the last scene over and over and over). I am well aware of all of the issues you had with this one but apparently, they bothered you way more than they bothered me 😉 I didn’t quite find Fort to be a pushover though. He is someone who knows what is family is capable of and how they will do ‘whatever is necessary’ to ensure Fort’s survival and happiness…whether Fort wants that or not. So he does not ruffle feathers or create waves. He has gotten into the habit or ignoring the obvious because he just wants his life without his family’s interference. That habit has made him a little too oblivious. But he steps up when it counts and that scores huge for me 🙂

    • Yeah, I completely agree with you about Fort’s interactions with his family. They were the one area that he never had a hard time taking some kind of action (whether it was directly trying to hold them accountable, or simply avoiding them b/c, like you said, he knew there was nothing he could do). My issues were with his human relationships. He did stand up for himself in the end, but getting there, for me, was brutal. Luckily that bit of character growth cemented this series as one to stick with 😉

  17. Maybe you’ve already finished the next book but it is worlds better, i for one figured Fort was going to be one of those characters that we see grow and develop into a stronger person. I know him being a push over ticked me off a lot too but i totally adored this world and the characters. So glad you enjoyed it! Crazy ex girlfriend right!

    • Yeah, I pretty much knew that Fort was being set up for mucho character development, I just wish that 1. he didn’t let everyone treat him SO badly, and 2. he stopped putting up with before the VERY end. And yeah, book 2 was MUCH better on that front, and crazy ex-girlfriend is right!

  18. I’m glad you had a good time with the book, I realy love the series. I also understand your problems about the kids and the main chracter himself. The same for his ex-girlfriend, I don’t understand why he is like that with her after what she did and how she acts.

  19. Christy  

    What sold me was your mention of the humor. I’m a sucker for it. I’m pretty sure I’d be okay with Fort, especially since he does eventually grow a pair. 🙂 Plus, I just like that it’s a male MC.

  20. See, now, everyone has recommended this book to me but I too hate when bad things happen to children and the whole MC being a pushover thing would drive me up the wall. So I just don’t know if I want to read it.

    • I won’t lie, the Bad Things to children in this book was ROUGH. And I’m one of those people that just b/c the bad guy gets his comeuppance, doesn’t make up for what happened beforehand. I’m pretty sure Fort was written to feel the same b/c really that situation is what pushed him to start standing up for himself. I haven’t read far enough into the series to say that if I had known what I was getting into before reading it, I still would, but having gotten through it, I don’t regret it.

  21. I’m not big on UF, but this one sounds promising. Especially since it sounds like a hilarious read! And there’s Japanese folklore–yes, I need this. I’m not sure about the cheating thing. That topic does not sit well with me.

    • Cheating is another of my biggest RAGE buttons, so I totally get you there, but fortunately in this book it doesn’t play a huge role. It mostly serves to make you hate Girlfriend, and we only see her a handful of times, so if that’s the only thing holding you back, I think you’d still really like it.

  22. Woah, WOAH! This UF sounds freaking amazing! I just love Beta males, there should be more of them and the guy here sounds amazing. I don’t know if I can withstand the pedophilia though *shudders* Great review Jessica!

    • Thanks, Jeann! If you love beta males, I would try to push through the Bad Things b/c it’s a situational problem, and outside of that, this book is amazing. Betas aren’t even my thing, and I loved it 😉

  23. The fact that you likened the humor to First Grave has me wanting to read this.I may or may not already own this.I need to check both my nook and kindle (isn’t that horrible) I am glad you warned me about the RAGE buttons. I can handle anything you throw at me, but the harming of children, animals and cheating aggravate me the most. It depends on 1. how it is handled and 2. if it makes senses and isn’t thrown in for shock value. Great review Jessica

    • The Bad Things happening to children was definitely a problem for me in this book—there’s no way around that. But to a degree I understand why Brennan went that route. It was going to take something truly hideous to make Fort comes to terms with himself. However, the cheating actually wasn’t much of a problem, and that is my #2 RAGE button. It was basically used to illustrate exactly how much of a pushover Fort was in the beginning of the book (vs the end), and also to make you hate Girlfriend. Also—now I’m nervous about the First Grave comparison, LOL. I made it b/c of how often this book had me laughing, but it’s been so long since I’ve read the other that I have no idea if the types of humor are similar. Still I really liked this book, and highly recommend it 🙂

  24. Wow, this does sound pretty great, except like you I am not good with the bad things happening to little kids, I have a 5 and 2 year old, and I can’t imagine

    • I don’t have any myself yet, but I do have a 14 y.o. sister, and 3 nephews all 4 y.o. or younger, so yeah—HIGHLY unpleasant. But again, aside from that it’s a great book. SO it boils down to whether or not it’s worth slogging through the muck in order to enjoy the rest of the series. Whether it is, or it isn’t, I’m just happy that you won’t be going into it blindly 😉

  25. Hmm not sure this book is for me… but I love it when authors come up with something original in the paranormal genre – like growing a vampire and them transitioning instead of them being turned and staying like that forever and ever.. amen…

    I do like the sound of the Kitsune character though.. so many will check it out sometime.

    Great review as always 🙂

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

  26. bookaholiccat  

    I agree about Fort in this book, he was a bit dormant, but he gets a lot better in second book. I’m sure you are going to like it more than this one.

  27. Faye M.  

    I think the last time I chuckled/laughed/giggled over a male voice/character was when I read the Dante Walker series by Victoria Scott. I don’t know if he was a pushover, though, but he was a jerk in the most humorous of ways. I think I’ll be getting this one since you highly recommend it 😀

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  28. You are by far one of the most gifted reviewers that I have come across and I’m not saying that because you share my love of Henry Cavill and Benedict Cumberbatch. There. Now you know. ♥♥♥

    I seriously want to read this and I’m adding it to my TBR now. Like right now!!! Stunning review Jessica! 😉

  29. wrkreads  

    I always have to write the review of a book before reading the next one to prevent blurring.

    This sounds highly amusing with some annoying issues. The one good thing about reading about seriously nasty bad guys is that they never make it to the next book. It makes reading their actions so much easier, but still not pleasant.

    • Me too! No matter what I’m feeling when I finish one book, if I immediately start the next installment, my review will be compromised. That used to be the #1 reason why I wouldn’t write reviews for more than a couple of books in one series, LOL. Working on breaking that habit . . .

      Exactly. I was able to push past the unpleasantness b/c I knew Bad Guy’s days were numbered.

  30. Passive-agressive can be fun (to read about!) and even if Fort is a pushover, it seems as if he has quite a lot of potential. And I’m all for potential 😀 Great review, Jessica, I especially like to know in advance if bad things are going to happen to children.
    And I can always hope the cheating girlfriend will get her comeuppance at some point 😉
    Great review as always, I want this now!

    • Thanks, Lexxie! And passive-aggressive is certainly entertaining! In the book anyway. And YES, Fort has incredible potential. As for the shiesty girlfriend . . . you’ll just have to read it for yourself 😉

  31. Oh god I could not read this book for the children thing alone. Shit like that stays with me for a long time and I just can’t. Fort also sounds like he needs a good slap or 2 O_O At least he’s starting to grow as a character and will hopefully be less of an annoyance in the next book.

    • You are so right, Giselle. I’m not sure I would have read this, if I had known in advance. And that’s my own fault b/c the blurb certainly hints at it (but I have a terrible habit of either not reading blurbs at all, or not reading them intelligently which may as will be the same thing). It has stayed with me; I’m not able to just breeze past that kind of thing . . . On the bright side, Fort is definitely an annoyance in book 2. So there’s that 😉

  32. Fort has cooks name as does odd Thomas . Lol

    I for one like odd names also I know a few *spineless* chaps. I don’t fit in the “popular group” that’s why. I think I would have a little more guts than fort but not a lot. That would classify me as a pushover right ( nervous chuckle ) .

    Honestly I like beta male MC in UF more but I prefer alpha males in PNR . This sounds like a lovely book

    Thx for the review , Jessica

  33. This book does sound interesting but I don’t think it would be for me – I am not a big fan of cheating, weak male leads and the bad things that happen to the kids sounds really disturbing.

    I’m pleased you enjoyed this overall 🙂 a great review Jessica!

    • Thanks, Sharon! I’d definitely say it’s not for everyone, and honestly, if I’d known about the Bad Things happening to children in advance, I probably wouldn’t have read it either. But I am glad that there were still things that I could enjoy—otherwise this review would have gone differently 😉

  34. Great review. This is the first book I’ve seen that has kitsune since the Women of the Otherworld series and that is very small. I see Jeremy in a much different light than the kitsune mentioned here.

    I’m not sure I’m going to get to this book any time soon. I have too many books already on my TBR list.

    • Thanks, Melanie! I can recall a few books that have made mention of kitsune, but most of them had the small emphasis that Women of the Otherworld had. EXCEPT for Richelle Meads’ Dark Swan series. One the MCs was a kitsune in those books, but it was a GUY. Which I guess isn’t weird, if you’re used to Jeremy, but mostly kitsune are portrayed a female.

      Story. Of. My. Life. But who knows? Maybe someday 😉

  35. Michele

    I’m really glad you liked this one overall, even though you had some problems with it (ie: Fort and his ball-less self — lol). You made this sound like a really fun read, and it’s one that’s definitely going on my list.

    • Excellent! There were definitely problems, but I have high hopes for the future installments. I’m not one of those people that likes particularly gritty UF (the kind that is often heralded by things like my #1 RAGE button), so we’ll see . . .