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Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Saturday, May 31, 2014





Asylum
Madeleine Roux


Series: Asylum #1
Genre: YA MysteryThriller
Hardback: 313 Pages
Publication: August 20, 2013
by Harper Teen




Synopsis

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

Asylum fits very nicely into the YA spectrum of thriller/mystery. It follows a young teen away at a collegiate summer camp that takes place in a, you guessed it, asylum. Throughout the book, protagonist Dan Crawford befriends two troubled youths and embarks on a summer of exploration attempting to unravel the hidden past of the now defunct sanitarium. Between classes and romances, the mystery comes to a head as Dan and his friends encounter their own connections to the impromptu dormitory.

To be fair, the YA genre is not my usual cup of tea, but this book does many things very well. The author sets up a pretty mundane story but allows the setting to interact with how the characters behave. That said, the book is not overly ambitious in that it doesn’t attempt to world build so much as to allow the narrative to carry the setting. The characters, for the most part, are believable in their youth-fueled intentions, and the author shows diversity in character traits even among the trio of friends. There isn’t a whole lot of characterization used for any of the characters outside of the friend group. I think this is actually to the benefit of the story as a whole because it allows the reader to only spend time on the characters that matter.

The story itself isn’t particularly ground breaking. Though the haunted asylum that drives people crazy isn’t exactly a new concept, however, the author utilizes psychology in an interesting manner. By allowing the main character to be flawed, in a manner I’ll leave out because of spoilers, Roux gives the reader a different vantage point on how a rational character might approach the challenges faced as compared to a non-rational character. The character of Dan Crawford is developed well, and the author lets it build at a steady pace in a manner consistent with the progression of the narrative. The only major flaw in the story is the Scooby-Doo-esq manner in which the major conflict is resolved, but that is not entirely unexpected in the genre.

Overall, the book is enjoyable and does a great job in presenting a narrative ripe for the YA audience. The author very clearly knows her readers and delivers a literary meal perfect for the young palette. The narrative isn’t overly complex yet does not consider the reader inept either. The twists and turns are not overdone and are built into the narrative without seeming too extravagant. The most interesting aspect, by far, is the progression of the protagonist and his characterization, which is handled phenomenally. All in all this is a good book, not ground breaking, but good. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stephen Kings’ with consideration of audience.




Additional Information
Series
  1. Asylum
  2. Sanctum




Similar Books

Content
  • Mental illness
  • Kissing
  • Violence

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Friday, May 30, 2014






She Is Not Invisible
by Marcus Sedgwick

Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery
Paperback: 224 Pages
Publication: April 22, 2014
by Roaring Book Press




Synopsis

Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Macmillan for review ◆

The premise of a teenage girl deciding to fly to another country to find her father instead of calling the police or talking to some other authority figure is questionable. Once you get past this part though, She Is Invisible is more than the story of a girl trying to reconnect with her father. It is about another way of viewing the world and the connections that people make with each other.

I like how the protagonist has a disability. It's not often that you see a blind protagonist. I enjoyed seeing the different adaptations that Laureth and her brother Benjamin have made so that she can more easily navigate daily life while acting as if she can see the world around her, as well as the various reactions that people make when they learn that she is visually impaired. Better yet, Laureth takes her disability as it is instead of making it out to be a huge handicap, which make sense considering how she's lived with it her entire life. The only time she really wishes for sight is when she has strong feelings of wanting to protect her little brother. Benjamin is absolutely adorable, and I love his relationship with Laureth. They make a fantastic brother-sister team. Another character I adore is the tween boy who addresses himself as a mister and talks in 19th-century style.

The story is told as if experienced through a bubble. We're in the story with Laureth navigating the streets of New York while reading pages from her father's notebook (with the help of her brother), but at the same time I felt disconnected from it all, creating the sense of possibility and disbelief at the same time. Part of this can be attributed to the incredulity of a teenage girl up and deciding to find her father herself instead of leaving it to authority figures—and taking her little brother with her. Another attribute is the magical realism, which totally made the story for me. In a story where coincidences play a large role, it makes sense that other magical happenings can occur, and it helps smooth over some instances where disbelief would overtake the magic of possibilities. I don't want to go into too much detail because of spoilers, but things like The Benjamin Effect and books seemingly falling from the sky are taken as they are without much inquiry.

At the same time, so much disbelief is suspended throughout the story that it's hard to come back to the real world from that. While events playing out as they do help Laureth and Benjaming arrive at a much-needed happy conclusion with their family, so many incredulous things happen that it's hard to get grounded back in the real world when the bubble finally pops and disbelief takes over. So much time is spent in Laureth's mind in this novel, however, her desire to continue believing in  possibilities causes the balance to teeter between the two dimensions. And I'm not sure what to believe anymore except that events play out in a way that allows everyone involved to find the resolution they need. I only wish that one more coincidence played out, and Laureth had the opportunity to run into the other person she wants to see at the end of the story.

She Is Not Invisible is a thought-provoking novel about the different kinds of people out there and how we influence each other, no matter how small a time we spend together. More importantly, it is about how we perceive the world and each other and how maintaining a narrow focus can lead us to form mistaken assumptions.




Additional Information
Series
  • N/A


Content
  • Description of suicides
  • Minor violence


Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Thursday, May 29, 2014





The Falconer
Elizabeth May


Series: The Falconer #1
Genre: HistoricalFantasy
Hardback: 378 Pages
Publication: May 6, 2014
by Chronicle Books




Synopsis

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Chronicle Books for review ◆

For the first half of the book, I was pretty sure that I was going to end up loathing this book. Around 60% into the novel, however, the action really picked up, and I found myself enchanted by the dark, compelling world of "faeries." I use quotation marks because Kiaran calls them something else, a term I wish I'd written down because I can't remember how to spell it.

As my feelings progressed from near loathing to genuine interest, it's appropriate to start with what I didn't like. One of my first grievances about the book was the poor world building. I don't know much about Scotland or historical periods, but I didn't really feel immersed in the Scottish culture and the time period. The language had more of a modern feel in spite of the occasional aye's and wee's. Though the story introduces different types of faeries early on, Aileana doesn't give much away about what they are and where they fall in the faerie hierarchy. It's not until later, more powerful faeries enter the storyline that more detailed classifications are offered, and I could piece together a better idea of her world. Even then, so much is left open. We only ever get a small taste of it in this first book.

I get that Aileana is furious at her mother's murderer. So furious and filled with anger that it crosses into obsession as she goes around killing faeries. When she keeps talking about how angry she is, however, it gets old fast. And she did this quite a bit in the beginning. This makes it difficult to see past the anger into the naive, hopeful girl she claims she used to be. It doesn't help that she dallies around in giving a full explanation for why she feels compelled to kill faeries. She also likes how drunk she gets on the rush of faerie power, but she doesn't explain what it is and how exactly it influences her. It wasn't until late into the story that I realized that killing faeries gives her more than an adrenaline rush.

Aileana is hot-headed character, and I can see why she'd be considered likable. However, I find it very difficult to like characters that lash out on the spur of the moment and take pleasure in making their feelings known without considering the consequences. For example, hough Kiaran is responsible for saving her life and training her to fight, Aileana will lash out at him and seems to feel justified in demanding he confide his secrets to her. Secrets that torment him. I understand that she doesn't trust him because of who he is, but her behavior seems to have more emotional than rational drive. Considering how hot he is though, I can't blame her for losing some control around him. I'll leave it to you to read the book to find out what happens along this vein.

Other than Aileana, and Kiaran to some extent, the characters remain static. This doesn't mean that they're any less likable. I love Derrick. He's absolutely adorable! I wish that I had a pixie like him—maybe, probably. While he can get on Aileana's nerves, his usefulness and, more importantly, friendship outweigh the cons. Catherine and Gavin are wonderful, supportive characters. These are the friends I'd trust with my secrets and would want to have my back. Not to say that the story couldn't have used more character development though, especially in the first half as characters were being introduced.

The action scenes are what really bring the story to life. The 'evil' faeries really come to life in horrific detail, and the suspense is built up. I felt myself rushing through the streets with Aileana and cringing as she endured torturous wounds to complete her missions. I felt the rush of power as she conquered yet another enemy and pride in the badges she accumulated on her body. And I found myself liking her a little. It's also pretty cool how there's some steampunk technology mixed in. As the story progressed, the action becomes more intense, climaxing in a nasty cliffhanger that has been melting in a puddle bemoaning the situation.

Why?????

As it is, I must wait until I can get a copy of the next book within my grasp to find out what happens. Other than that, I would definitely like to see more world building and character development. And definitely more epic action scenes. I know I've complained about her thus far, but Aileana is pretty badass when it comes to killing faeries.




Additional Information
Series
  1. The Falconer
  2. Untitled
  3. Untitled


Content
  • Language
  • Kissing
  • States of undress (semi-sexual context)
  • Violence

Review: Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014





Bloodwitch
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes


Series: The Maeve’ra Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Hardback: 288 Pages
Publication: May 13, 2013
by Delacorte Press




Synopsis

Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal, and he is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah.

Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust—the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.


Review

Abandoned by his parents at birth, Vance Ehecatl has been raised by powerful vampires at Midnight, a vampire empire ruled by Lady Jeshickah. Vance is a shape-shifter who transforms into a quetzal, a colorful bird, and for as long as he can remember, he has been protected from the outside world and given all the comforts he could want. He is completely loyal to Midnight until he meets Malachi Obsidian, a shape-shifter who hates the vampire empire. Malachi reveals to Vance that he is a bloodwitch with dangerous, unpredictable magic and why Midnight wants him around.

Vance is extremely naïve. He's always lived life in a bubble, ignorant to the brutal realities of the world. As Midnight desires his powers, they've treated him to a luxurious, sheltered life. When he finally learns the truth about how Midnight society works, however, he finds himself questioning the life that he has led and speculating what the truth is and who he can trust. Vance needs to differentiate friends from foe and determine what his identity will be from here on out. Other than Vance, however, there is little character development.

I never quite understood who the vampires are. The vampire characters fell flat, and I never really got to know any of them and what their motivations are. It would have helped if there was more world building. Outside of Vance's story, all we know about Midnight is that it has conquered most of the shape-shifter tribes except for a few independent, powerful groups. I would have enjoyed the book more if there were more details dedicated to world building and character development. As it is, it doesn't feel like there is much going on in Bloodwitch.

Bloodwitch is crafts a mysterious paranormal world of shape-shifters, vampires, and witches in creative ways. While Bloodwitch fell flat for me, I have hopes that the second book will greatly expand Vance's world and develop the plot more. I will be giving it a try to see if it will prove to be better than the first book.



Additional Information
Series
  1. Bloodwitch
  2. Bloodkin
  3. Bloodtraitor

Similar Books





Content
  • Minor violence described in detail

Review: Allies & Assassins by Justin Somper

Tuesday, May 27, 2014





Allies & Assassins
by Justin Somper

Series: Enemies of the Prince #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Hardback: 496 Pages
Publication: May 27, 2014
by Little Brown Books BFYR




Synopsis

Prince Anders, the ruler of Archenfield, has been murdered, leaving his younger brother, Jared, to ascend the throne. Sixteen-year-old Jared feels unprepared to rule the kingdom and its powerful and dangerous court, yet he knows he can rely on the twelve officers of the court to advise him. He also knows he can just as easily be at their mercy-especially when it appears that one of them may be responsible for his brother's death. Unable to trust anyone, Jared takes it upon himself to hunt down his brother's killer—but the killer may be hunting him, as well. Murder, betrayal, and intrigue abound in Justin Somper's thrilling YA series debut. Exploring the political machinations of the medieval court and the lives that hang in the balance, Allies & Assassins is a gripping tale of a teen torn between duty and revenge.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Hachette for review ◆

Allies & Assassins is a teen drama brought to a ruling council.

The writing is beautiful. Vivid, carefully chosen details bring pieces of the story to life from descriptions of bodies to the actions of the characters. These were definitely the highlights of the story for me. Additionally, the dialogue meets a balance between court formality and language that modern readers would be comfortable reading. Unfortunately, these aren't enough to make a story for me without a proper plot to support it.

There was a disappointing lack of political intrigue in a book where the ruler has been murdered. Throughout and exiting the story, I didn't have a clear feel for character motivations and who might be plotting against the princedom. For example, instead of developing the council characters through their discussions, the story portrays them for the most part as bickering with each other and bidding for power. While this is understandable, as there are coalitions going on here, I want to see more character development and political intrigue at court. Instead, the story follows two teenagers investigating a crime while the adults around them remain obstinately set in their opinions until presented with tangible evidence that suggests otherwise.

I appreciate how the story switches perspectives in an attempt to develop different angels of the case of Prince Anders's murder. What it ended up doing, however, was drag the pacing of the story and stifle the buildup of suspense instead of building it up. It also took the spotlight away from Jared, causing him to appear merely as a pawn for the older court members instead of a prominent character in his own right. I know that he's only just ascended to the throne, but it's not pleasant when the apparent protagonist acts in a passive role, seeming to have no control over anything. As such, Jared was disappointing as a protagonist.

To my surprise, the Physician's nice Asta plays a more active role in the story. Upon learning that Prince Anders was murdered while assisting her uncle in the examination of the body, Asta takes it upon herself to investigate the assassination. While her intelligent and courage are admirable, this was frustrating on multiple accounts. First, I don't see enough character motivation for her to investigate. Second, she acts with great audacity in using her uncle's name to question people of rank and in daring to approach Jared, the ruling prince. Her excuse is that she doesn't understand court politics having come from a poor village. Nevertheless, she should have some awareness that she's risking her uncle's position and her chances of having a better life by learning a proper trade.

Overall, the tone of the story feels targeted more towards a younger audience, running along the lines of The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. For its targeted age range, however, The False Prince does a better job of developing mystery and intrigue (albeit in a simple fashion) and features a more proactive protagonist.




Additional Information
Series
  • N/A




Content
  • Death
  • Minor violence
  • Couple instances of language


Review: Odin's Ravens by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Monday, May 26, 2014



Odin's Ravens
by M.A. Marr & K.L. Armstrong

Series: The Blackwell Pages #2
Genre: MG Fantasy
Hardback: 352 Pages
Publication: May 13, 2014
by Little Brown Books BFYR




Synopsis

Seven kids, Thor's hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world.

When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?

But the descendants' journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that's only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor's hammer, and stop the apocalypse--a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Hachette for review ◆

I felt like there is too much going on in one book. The tweens go through adventure after adventure without pause. There's barely any time for a break before something new comes up. While this can sometimes make for a fast-paced, thrilling story, it didn't work for this story. Rather, it felt like too much is trying to be crammed in too much in one book, resulting in a lack of focus to the story. On top of that, the tweens don't really know what they're doing and often rely on other people to tell them what to do; instead of solving things themselves, they stumble around until divine intervention turns them in a different direction.

The multiple POV didn't work for me either. While I like multiple POVs when the different narrators contribute an important perspective to the story, it doesn't do more than give us insight into different characters' thoughts here. It wasn't like they got separated, or one person knew something that another person didn't and it was important for us to know. Here, I feel like it's unncessary for the most part and actually detracted from the story because it jumps around from narrator to narrator so much and even made small skips in time that created awkward gaps in the storyline.

I do like the team. They're a group of likable characters in their own ways. Matt is expected to be the leader and champion despite the lack of experiences to draw from. Laurie wants to fight, but the others keep telling her to stay back. Baldwin is easy going and amiable. Owen wants to help but has to stay back because of his powers. And I have a soft spot for Fen especially because he keeps trying to do the right thing and being awkward going about it. The group dynamics are fun and filled with good humor. However, the dialogue often seems forced and tends to drag, as if it's placed there for the sake of conversation.

With one more book to go, it doesn't feel like the tweens have matured enough to take on Ragnarok. The biggest thing going on plotwise here is that they have achieved some important items and goals that may help them in their final battle. There is also the discovery of the brains behind the Raiders and the nasty cliffhanger the story left us on. While I wouldn't recommend this book to MG-fantasy readers as there are better ones out there, chances are high that I'll pick up Thor's Serpents because I've grown attached to some characters, and I'm interested in seeing how this all goes down.




Additional Information
Series


Similar Books
  • Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
  • Winterling series by Sarah Prineas

Content
  • N/A


Imagine Weekly: Stacking the Shelves May 25th

Sunday, May 25, 2014
Imagine Weekly is a weekly feature where we share a summary of what has taken place on the blog the previous week and show off books that we got.

I haven't done this in a couple weeks, so there are a lot!


Mailbox

Kris
I received for review:

Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco (Goodreads | Amazon)
Frostborn by Lou Anders (Goodreads | Amazon)


Enslaved by the Others by Jess Haines (Goodreads | Amazon)
Memory Zero by Keri Arthur (Goodreads | Amazon)


The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton (Goodreads | Amazon)
Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel (Goodreads | Amazon)
Divided by Elsie Chapman (Goodreads | Amazon)
Hexed by Michelle Krys (Goodreads | Amazon)


Kalen
I received for review:

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley (Goodreads | Amazon)
All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Legacy by Melissa Delport (Goodreads | Amazon)

Thanks to Angry Robot, Kensington, Random House, Sourcebooks, Tor, Tracey McDonald Publishers
* Check out more book hauls through Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews *


Previous Week

Reviews



What did you get this week? Leave a link in the comments section, and I'll check out your week's haul!

Review: Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

Saturday, May 24, 2014






Lost Souls
Poppy Z. Brite


Genre: HorrorUrban Fantasy
Paperback: 384 Pages
Publication: September 10, 1993
by Dell




Synopsis

At a club in Missing Mile, N.C., the children of the night gather, dressed in black, looking for acceptance. Among them are Ghost, who sees what others do not. Ann, longing for love, and Jason, whose real name is Nothing, newly awakened to an ancient, deathless truth about his father, and himself.

Others are coming to Missing Mile tonight. Three beautiful, hip vagabonds - Molochai, Twig, and the seductive Zillah (whose eyes are as green as limes) are on their own lost journey; slaking their ancient thirst for blood, looking for supple young flesh.

They find it in Nothing and Ann, leading them on a mad, illicit road trip south to New Orleans. Over miles of dark highway, Ghost pursues, his powers guiding him on a journey to reach his destiny, to save Ann from her new companions, to save Nothing from himself...


Review

Lost Souls is a clever spin on the coming-of-age story with a focus on the character Nothing, who comes to discover his mixed heritage (human and vampire) and realizes that, after years of feeling like an outcast in the human world, he can live as he pleases in good company with vampires.

As someone who has been obsessed with vampires since the age of seven, I absolutely loved this new take on the supernatural creatures. Unlike your traditional vampires where humans die and are transformed with a bite, these vamps are a separate race entirely. They are similar enough to humans to crossbreed with them but otherwise are completely different. Brite also makes an interesting distinction between young and old vampires: younger vampires can eat like humans, can walk around in sunlight, and have to sharpen their teeth. Older vampires can walk in the sun as long as they cover their skin and eyes, naturally have fangs, and rely solely on blood for nourishment.

The characterizations are pretty good. This novel was the expansion of a novella Brite had written before titled “The Seed of Lost Souls,” which is basically an incredibly compressed version of Lost Souls. A huge plus of the novel version is earned by the characterization and role expansion of the vampires, as well as the inclusion of Steve and Ghost into the plot. The way Steve and Ghost fit into the story works incredibly well. This novel serves as a more in-depth look at the beloved pair, who are arguably Brite’s most popular characters. We even get the story of how they met as children. For any established Brite or S&G fans, it expands their relationship and serves as a way to “catch up” with them. Even if you’re a first time Brite reader, you learn a lot about them and get to know them really well.

Descriptions are incredibly lush throughout the novel, a signature of Brite. As a New Orleans native himself, Brite gives an accurate and beautiful portrayal of the city, especially the French Quarter. Descriptions can get graphic, especially during the scenes when the vampires kill. Trust me, this is *not* a book for sensitive readers. A common thread in Brite novels is the thorough description and somewhat wry treatment of incredibly gruesome moments. As author Dan Simmons once very accurately said, Brite “combines the sensibilities of a poet with the unflinching eye of a surgeon.”

As a Goth myself, it was a lot of fun spotting references from within the subculture. My copy of Lost Souls was a present from an older Goth friend who had grown up in the scene and could relate to some of the events in the book. Even if you've never heard of Bauhaus or have no idea how the song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" goes, there is enough in the book to give you an idea of some of the elements of Goth culture. I don't identify with everything in the book one hundred percent, but I can definitely agree with some of the things Brite points out about young Goths.

One big downside I found in the novel was the lack of backstory on the vampires. While we get a brief mention of how Zillah came to take Molochai and Twig under his wing, nothing else is told on where any of them were before then. There are many hints dropped here and there about Christian’s past (he’s lived in several places, he’s tended bars for centuries, and his name is a family name), but they are very brief and almost vague. It could just be me wanting more since Christian is one of my favorite fictional characters, but I think it would be interesting to see some of his past and whether or not it influences him and his role in the group later on.

Additionally, while it wasn’t a problem for me, some people might be turned off by the way the chapters alternate in storyline. A chapter focusing on Christian could be followed by a Lost Souls? chapter then a Nothing chapter, you get the idea. This isn’t a book meant to be sped through. You really have to take your time reading it; otherwise, you might lose track of the alternating storylines.

If you’re looking for something that will make vampires interesting and fun again (as I was when I first received this novel as a college freshman), an alternate version of the coming-of-age tale, or a quick lesson on nineties Goth culture, this is the book for you. Though the story’s main protagonist is a half-vampire, readers can relate to the feelings of being misunderstood, wanting to find a place where they can belong, and ultimately coming to terms with their identity.




Additional Information
Series
  • N/A





Similar Books
  • Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
  • Sweetblood by Pete Hautman


Content
  • Gore
  • Violence
  • Sex 
  • Rape
  • Drug references