Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Itoh Press
Best for: 16+
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Good Reads Summary:
19 year old Emylene Stipe, a 2nd generation Goth, is shaken to the core when her make-believe world turns out to be real.
This is honestly a hard book for me to review. The rating doesn’t really accurately reflect the overall quality of the book, which was very good. The writing was great, the plot and characters were well-developed, and it didn’t follow the over-done formula for most YA vampire books.
My biggest problem with this book was that I didn’t really identify with any of the characters. That may not be a problem for some readers, but it made it a difficult read for me. Because the main character led an “alternative” lifestyle, it was hard for me to relate to anything she did. It wasn’t that I hated her character or anything, but our paradigms for life are VERY different.
Fortunately, Emylene was a dynamic character, so I found myself liking her more around the 3/4 mark, but that was a LONG way in for me to keep reading a character I wasn’t too fond of. Now, I of course would get bored reading about people who are exactly like me; I’m simply saying that we were SO different that it made it hard for me to enjoy getting to know her.
There was a lot of storytelling in this book (as in, one of the characters embarks on a VERY long story about their past), which wasn’t too bad, but most of the plot explanation was given in these stories. It wasn’t like, run into a vampire, BAM start having vampiric things happen everywhere blah blah actions and events start explaining the heart of the conflict. It was more like, sort of run into a vampire, then get told this story about vampires by an old dude for 5 hours and find out that the main conflict is from this really old story. Not my favorite way to discover the conflict. Not the stories weren’t interesting, the stories just seemed to slow the plot way down.
HOWEVER, I thought that some of the devices used were very interesting. There were some magic elements that were very clever (Other-Town, the sketch) and I really enjoyed the fantasy world that Rodness was creating. It was also nice to see some different legend building for vampires (or Vrykolakas); I’m curious if this was straight from Rodness’ imagination or if this is truly from Greek folklore.
A clever take on the vampire story, if nothing else. There’s some odd character interaction, but at the end of the day, the writing is solid, the story is interesting, and the characters are dynamic.