Gina Covella, the Macy's-worshipping teen fashionista from Ohio turned vampire after an imprudent neck-nibbling, is back for a third adventure, and it's a delight. Author Lucienne Diver improves with each new book, and her characters are growing and becoming more real and likeable as the series continues. There isn't the slightest hint that Diver is starting to run out of ideas for adventures. Fangtastic (Flux: 2012) pops out some very imaginative plot devices, and the little clan of vamped friends whose undead escapades began in Vamped (Flux: 2009) take several right angle turns and head off in a whole new direction by the end of this fast-paced story.
In ReVamped (Flux: 2010), the second in the series, Gina, her boyfriend (and "sire") Bobby and several of their friends had been tapped to work as supernatural secret agents for a covert Federal agency. By the end of that story, Gina has learned that the vampire council whom she helped foil in Vamped has a "Kill or Capture order" out on her. But this makes her somewhat valuable as a negotiating tool. Even more than Gina herself, Bobby has "special" qualities which the vampire council is dying — er, very anxious to get their hands on.
Fangtastic launches right into the action one week after the conclusion of ReVamped, during which the young vampire team have been recuperating with spa treatments and pedicures (well, Gina and her friend Marcy, at least, Bobby not so much). They're yanked out of their R&R by news reports of a grisly multiple murder of a family in Tampa, Florida. The Feds who "handle" the young vampires tell them that the chief suspect in the murders is a 17-year-old high school student who hangs out with the "vampire community" in the area.
By that, they don't mean undead vampires like Gina, but, as one Fed explains, "people who behave like vampires — both energy vampires and bloodsuckers with prosthetic fangs" who frequent a Goth club in Tampa. The twist is that the club itself is owned and run by real vampires, the ones who are so interested in Gina and Bobby. The Feds tell the V-team that they have two objectives: catch the perpetrators of the murder, and infiltrate the group of vampires running the club. To do both, their plan is to have Gina get in to see the vampires and promise them that she'll persuade Bobby to join them if they'll cooperate with her.
In short order (no offense intended to five-foot-tall Gina), the team and their "handlers" are all down in Tampa, with false names and identities and a rockin' Goth wardrobe to get into the club. Gina quickly hits it off with some of the "human vampires," but within minutes she's been spotted by the real vamps thanks to not showing up on security cameras. She makes her scripted proposal only to wind up locked in a cell in the club basement.