Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Review: Thirsty by M.T. Anderson

Review of Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
Publisher's Summary:
All Chris really wants is to be a normal kid, to hang out with his friends, avoid his parents, and get a date with Rebecca Schwartz. Unfortunately, Chris appears to be turning into a vampire. So while his hometown performs an ancient ritual that keeps Tch’muchgar, the Vampire Lord, locked in another world, Chris desperately tries to save himself from his own vampiric fate. He needs help, but whom can he trust? A savagely funny tale of terror, teen angst, suspense, and satire from National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson.

Thirsty is one of the most common teen vampire fiction outthere. Next to L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries, it is one of th few that are reissued continuously and continues to be purchased by teens.

I was a little disappointed, I guess because I had heard a lot about it, I had high expectations for it. Yes, it is everything that you have heard about it, but that's all it was. I guess I was expecting to be blown away. It is a good book. Chris is a believable character with problems, human problems as well as his impending vampire future.

In Conclusion: As I say in most of my reviews, I read so many vampire books, they all start to blend together. So on this one, I will say it is an enjoyable book. For those whose vampire tastes have been watered down by years and years, pages and pages, of the same things in mediocre writing, then this book will come across as an alright book, nothing too out of the ordinary, but not bad. Also, keep in mind, I read this right after Tantalize, which I loved, so it was probably hard to top that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Review:Tantalize by Cynthia Leitch Smith

Review of Tantalize by Cynthia Leitch Smith

Are you predator or prey?
CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS
SANGUINI'S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY.
APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM.
Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses - or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who's playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith's delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

Tantalize
is not your typical vampire/werewolf fiction. As you all know, my biggest critic to vamp books of course is, it's not memorable-it's not original. It takes a lot for me to think that a vampire book sticks out. Honestly, after everything, the ones that aren't great, all start to blend together. Anyway, Tantalize does stand out. It is different, and has a twist to it. It has a very open ending but I like it. I don't believe Ms. Smith is writing a sequel but she does have a vamp book called "Eternal" coming out Spring of 09' .

The characters where interesting and where well devolved- a detail many authors loose in vamp fiction. Evil vamps stay evil vamps. Scared Humans stay scared humans. Characters evolved with the plot and they seemed to grow. You felt like you knew them.

The ending is ....strange at best. You did not think it would end this way. I am a "completionist"
I like my books to have a complete and definite end to them. This does not but it is done in a suspenseful and edgy way that you won't care that you're like "What?"

In Conclusion: a memorable read, Wish it had a sequel, but it stands alone as one of the most unique vampire fiction I have read this year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Review: Maiden of the Wolf by Tiffany Trent and Angelika Ranger

Review of Maiden of the Wolf by Tiffany Trent and Angelika Ranger

Publisher's Summary:

With the culmination of Between Golden Jaws, Corrine and all of her friends are thrown into separate fairy worlds. Ilona finds herself in one of these raths, a world controlled by an evil countess so obsessed by youth, she sacrifices young girls to draw their life force into her own. Forced to join the countess's troop of werewolves, Ilona must help in their mission of kidnapping girls from the mortal world. As she puzzles over how to save the girls without putting herself in danger, she begins to fall for one of the werewolf lieutenants. It's the chance for love she's always dreamed of, but at what cost?

I was a little wary about Maiden of the Wolf. It is the 1st of book of the Hallowmere series that doesn't follow Corrine, our original main character. It also was the first book to be written primarily not by Tiffany Trent.

I was pleasantly surprised. I admit in the beginning it took me awhile to get into because I was like "Yo, where's Father Joe?!??!?!" but you are quickly engulfed by the story.

The story introduces us to a few main characters mainly Countess Bathory and Varco. Countess Bathory.......well....why don't you google her? Varco is a lieutenant whom Ilona befriends.

Ilona makes a good main character. She might not be Corrine but she is interesting to follow and I enjoyed following her story.

Ms. Ranger's writing also shocked me. I was a little afraid of another author touching Ms. Trent's wonderful work. BUT. Ms. Ranger won be over from the beginning. Her style is like Ms. Trent's but I'd say with a little less detail and a little more flair. Very refreshing and new feel to it.

In Conclusion: Once again, this series astounds me. I eagerly await Queen of the Masquerade(August 12)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Review:The 12th Demon by Bruce Hennigan

Review of The 12th Demon by Bruce Henningan

Publisher's Summary:
After defeating the thirteenth demon, Jonathan Steel and Josh Knight return to Dallas, Texas, to finish up Josh's family affairs. When they arrive, a mysterious assassin named Raven surfaces from Steel's murky, dangerous past. At the same time, Rudolph Wulf, the twelfth demon, has arrived from Romania with plans to fulfill a two-thousand-year-old promise to unleash an army of demonic creatures-creatures that will inhabit the bodies of his "vampyre" army. When Wulf kidnaps Josh, Steel must find them in time to save Josh from a violent death and to prevent Wulf from unleashing "vampyre majick" on the world.

I enjoyed the 12th Demon immensly. I will list why below, I usually don't do this in a review but I think it's the easiest way.

1) the story is very compelling. I didn't read the book before this in the series but I didn't feel too lost. It pulls you along and you can't wait to read the next page

2) The writing is very good. Bruce Hennigan writing style is very unique and different-in a good way. It;s hard to describe but it's refreshing and keeps the story going.

3) The main reason I found this so interesting was the fact that it dealt with religion. Now I was raised Roman Catholic but I don't follow/believe in everything it says, but I do have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. Most vampire book either A) make vampires the root of all evil and the devils advocate/spawn/worker/demon/ect. B) completely elude to religion-to hard to deal with.

The 12th Demon deals with religion in a very interesting way. It is an obviously influnce and pulls the story but it is used in a creative way. I like religion in books, even if it isn't my own religon, and I was really happy to see vampires and christianity in the same book-reminded me a lot of Anne Rice when she was still writing about vamps.

In Conclusion: An interesting, unique story that I feel many of my vamp fans will enjoy. I reccomend it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Review:Vamps by Nancy A. Collins

Review of Vamps by Nancy A. Collins:

So yeah, I've wanted to review this book for awhile. Now, I do read my fellow reviewers reviews and I had heard pretty disappointing things about this book. So my anticipation kind of dropped and I was no longer elated to read this book. How ever I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, one of the main characters, Lilith, best friend dies and she is more worried about her dad cutting up her credit cards.

Yes, Lilith is afraid of not being able to see her reflection

Yes, The book has redeeming qualities

In these reviews, this is pretty much why people didn't like the book, too superficial, too fake, ect.

Those facts are only a small part of the story. Being a vampire book reviewer and reading pretty much every teen vampire book out there, the ones that are different, unique stick out more than the okay but forgettable ones.

Vamps is unique and different. I think it has blended a lot of different elements of young adult vampire fiction into one.

The characters have faults but the story and writing don't, I think it's somewhat silly to not like a book because one of the characters you don't like. yes, Lilith is stupid and bitch-I don't like her- but she is very interesting to read and I am interested to see how she evolves over the next books in the series- perhaps she will grow into somewhat of a likable character. Cally is a likable character.

As said, the book has redeeming moments that are funny, uplifting and interesting. My favorite scene is when Cally kisses Exo Orlock on his cheek and he just stands there with his hand on his cheek. It's a good moment for the book, because Exo is not exactly attractive*hint-look at last name* and he is a slight nerd-or Spod as they say in the book- but he is a good guy and I think he is kinda cute in his own way. Then of course there's Peter............but that's dealing with spoiler territory and you all know I don't do that.

I also thought I'd address the issue of drugs and sexuality in this book. Along with being panned for being superficial, the book has been criticized for being explicit with sexual and drug explicitness. Now, again, being a book reviewer, you become numb to things like this- but I'd thought I'd make this point. On my advanced readers copy it says Ages 14 and up and Grades 9 and up. obviously this book is meant for high schoolers, not tweens. I always keep this in mind when writing a review, so really-it's being quite prudish to say this book is explicit because he boy friend plays with her thong and they drink blood laced with drugs from addicts. NOTHING Young Adult has not seen before nor will it be the last time.

In Conclusion: I liked it. In the Young Adult/Teen Vampire world, you must fight hard to be different than the others. Vamps is different and I will remember it 3 months from now. I think this book is getting far to hard of a rap.

Vamps will be released July 22

Vamps is scheduled for a release of a sequel, Vamps:Night Life on January 27-will definitely be checking that out

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Review: Daughters of Darkness by L.J. Smith

Review of Daughters of Darkness by L.J. Smith

Publisher's summary:
There's something strange about the new girls in town. Briar Creek, Oregon, has never seen anything like the supernatural grace of Rowan, Kestrel, and Jade, three sisters who move into the dilapidated old house next to Mark and Mary-Lynnette Carter. Mark is obsessed with Jade -- but she and her sisters have a secret. And when Mark and Mary-Lynnette follow them into the woods one night, they are plunged into a nightmare beyond their imagination. Because the sisters are fugitives from the Night World, and their brother Ash is hot on the trail behind them. He's ruthless, gorgeous, and he has orders to bring the girls back at all costs. And when he sees Mary-Lynette, he decides to take her too. . . .

Daughters of Darkness is the 2nd story told in the Night World Volume 1 Collection. It furthers the story told in book one, although only 1 character remains in both of them. I didn't like it as much as The Secret Vampire but I enjoy any L.J. Smith fiction-she's wonderful.

Ash was is a very complex, interesting character. It's nice to see his conficts with humans and how he evolves throughout the story.

In Conclusion: I am enjoying The Night World series, the next book- Spellbinder- doesn't have any vamps in it ( :( ) Yeah, I know sad, right? although this series is not as wonderful as the Vampire Diaries, it is a wonderful vamp series and you get 3 books for the price of one-so pick it up!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review:Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Publisher's summary:
In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Student Claire Danvers has never been convinced, though—especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball, attended by vampires and their human dates, that Claire realizes the elaborately evil trap he's set for Morganville.

In this fourth installment of The Morganville Vampires series, more of the story is unveiled and pieces are starting to fit together. Feast of Fools, in my opinion, is the best installment of the series yet, having a more character driven plot.

Ms. Caine's writing once again is wonderful. As I've said in past reviews of this series-some YA authors write "down" to teens, Ms. Caine avoids this completely. She is very detailed when needed and keeps the pace moving.

And...........my favorite character was given a lot more page time, which made me happy. For those who don't know- that's Myrnin, Claire's vampire teacher from the last novel, who just happens to be dying and 1/2*probably more like 4/5* crazy. Anyway, he was almost a main character this time around and I am glad we got to see his character develop. I really hope there is the cure for him-he despite taking a snap at Claire everyonce in awhile, really has a heart in him.

In Conclusion: Feast of Fools once again that Morganville is NOT your typical teen vampire novel. It doesn't follow the typical teen vampire love story scenario, which makes it stand out more. I eagery await the release of the next novel

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Review:Secret Vampire by L.J Smith

Review of Secret Vampire by L.J Smith-collected in Night World Volume 1.

Summary:
In SECRET VAMPIRE, Poppy is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret crush. A vampire in the Night World, James will risk everything to turn Poppy into a vampire and make her immortal.

Okay.........SO glad this series is being reissued. L.J. Smith once again proves she is one of the best vampire fiction writers, up their with Rice. I loved the Vampire Diaries, so when I saw this reissued I picked it up. The series was just to long to pick up 2nd hand. Collected in this first compilation is The Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness and Spellbinder.

I LOVED Secret Vampire. Ms. Smith's characters are some of the best, this book following Poppy, a girl diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and James, her vampire BFF. They are great characters who seem to miror Elena and Stefan from Vampire Diaries.

In Conclusion: I encourage all vampire fans to pick up this omnibus. I'm going to break up the 3 stories and do other books in between them-but L.J. Smith is one of the best of the best, she always delivers

Friday, June 6, 2008

Review:A Night Road by A.M. Jenkins

Review of A Night Road by A.M. Jenkins

Summary:For a heme like Cole, life is a tightrope existence in which sunlight is his deadly enemy and one mistake could trap him underground, staring at the inside of a coffin lid, for eternity. After a century of wandering he may still look like a teenager, but he's known in the heme community for being observant, meticulous, and controlled—a master of life on the road.

When Cole is asked to take a newly created heme out for training, however, his usual caution may not be enough. If Gordon, the rookie who really is in his teens, can't cut ties with his old life and accept his new limitations, Cole will have to discreetly dispose of the kid—the same way a mad dog would be put down for the safety of society.

Cole thinks he can handle it. But no matter how carefully he plans, or how much he thinks he's in control, accidents still happen. . . .

I thoroughly was surprised by this book. I ended up staying home today(softball collision-pulled some muscles in my neck-VERY painful) and read it all in a few hours. The story itself was pretty good. It follows Cole, Sandor and Gordo as they try to teach the latter the ways of being a vampire. Cole is our main character. While this book's storyline isn't the best-it's characters are wonderful. They are very well developed and each have their own feelings and personalities. In Vampire fiction, there are a few stereotypes(the bloodthirsty crazed one, the one that likes to push his limits, the perfect leader character) and I feel A Night Road avoided these vamp stereotypes well.

I was familiar with A.M. Jenkin's work before hand. I had never read anything of hers, but I a friend of mine loved Repossessed. Her writing is nothing less than spectacular. She is a wonderful asset to Teen Horror/Supernatural fiction.

Moreover, this book needs a sequel. Like NEEDS one. I feel the characters most definitly have more stories in them to tell, especially Cole and Gordo(n),

In Conclusion: A wonderfully, surprising vampire read. I loved it-and I seldom say that. If you are looking to a supernatural book with great detail and great characters-Pick up "A Night Road" by A.M. Jenkins