Book Review

The Opposite

of Life

By Narrelle M Harris

A Vampire Tour of Melbourne

I came to greatly admire Lissa, the main character in The Opposite of Life. I don’t expect that my life will turn out like hers— that I will discover that vampires are real and both more ordinary and more unsettling than TV led me to expect, or that I will stumble on quite so many dead bodies. (Ok, hopefully I will stumble on no dead bodies.) But Lissa, for all her terror and panic, her messy family interactions and poor decision making, is still someone to emulate. Lissa absolutely does not have her shit together, but she has decided not to give up.

The fantasy plot of The Opposite of Life seems so real when populated with unpolished characters, like a human mother who is more horrifying than any monster, and a vampire in questionable clothes named Gary, who chose to be a vampire because he didn’t want to feel so much. It’s nice to be partly dead, he thinks. But Lissa, who undergoes more trauma than any other character, still manages to conclude that life needs passion, even if it hurts. 

It’s a good lesson for all of us— that no matter what mess we find ourselves in, we still have agency. We still have little pieces of joy. And like Lissa, I think we all still have more adventures to come.

The Opposite of Life will take you on an unplanned, unexpected steeplechase through the city at 3 a.m. with people who might want to eat you, drug you, and/or kill you, and maybe bring you back again. With Lissa as your guide, you might just survive it.

Find author Narrelle M. Harris at and on Facebook, Mastadon, Twitter, and Tumblr

The Opposite of Life

Lissa Wilson has seen more than enough death in her family, so when people start being savagely killed whenever she has a night out in Melbourne, she’s determined to investigate and to make the killing stop.

Even when she realises the murders must be the work of a vampire.

She reluctantly teams up with the painfully-awkward suburban vampire, Gary, who has been instructed by Melbourne’s vampires to find out who’s making existence so difficult for the undead community.

But in getting to the undead heart of the matter, Lissa and Gary face more challenges than Gary’s appalling fashion sense. Particularly when the idea of living forever can be a big temptation for someone who has lost so much.