Tag Archives: Vampire Fiction

Review: Throat by R. A. Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Emma seems like your average teenage girl except for the fact that she considers herself cursed. A sufferer of epilepsy she has had to sacrifice many of the normal teen joys to her disease. Since the seizures began even the simplest pleasures such as driving a car, getting the attention of a boy or keeping a friend she can trust, have been lost to her.  But the complications of epilepsy are nothing compared to what she must face after a supernatural being changes her life forever.

After the attack of a vampire Emma must face the uniqueness of what she has become. Epilepsy once seemed a curse but it might have been the only thing keeping her from becoming one of the truly undead. While Emma has been given some attributes of a vampire many more seem to not apply to her such as an allergy to sunlight and a need for blood.  However the danger of her situation is all too real and she must find a way to save her immortal life and the mortal lives of those she loves. Pursued by her creator Emma searches for a way to defeat him while also learning the ins and outs of her new life. As she sets out on her own she soon finds a friend in the most unlikely of places as she prepares for battle at a NASA research facility. But while Emma left home to protect those she loved, she might have only brought danger to one she might be falling in love with.

In a young adult literary scene filled with vampire novels it can be difficult to stand out.  It seems as if every other book published for teens has a supernatural element hiding between its covers. However Throat manages to make itself new if only because of its realistic style. Nelson writes in a manner that feels like real life despite the fact that his main character is a vampire hybrid engaging in a fight for her life against her more powerful maker.  Enriching the story with Emma’s medical condition and the connected complications during her transformation Nelson has created a character unlike any other. Add in the world of NASA and some well researched vampire lore and readers will find a new take that will appeal to more that just paranormal fans.

Unfortunately while Throat may draw in some more reluctant readers it may also deter others with its length and somewhat drawn out storyline. Attention to detail is obvious but might be overwhelming to those looking for a strictly paranormal based story. Those readers who do connect and stick with it could find themselves intrigued and possibly hungering for more.

Throat by R.A. Nelson will be released January 25, 2011.

Think realistic vampire fiction might whet your thirst? Try a recent adult release: The Radleys by Matt Haig

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Filed under New Books, Paranormal, Young Adult Books

Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

http://www2.2space.net/images/upl_newsImage/1276826433.jpg“Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her. No one ever does.)  But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien’s already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.  And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.  Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future…If she even has one.

Meena Harper is absolutely one of Meg Cabot’s best characters to date. She’s not your conventional anything and yet she winds up being a fantastic heroine who readers will not only pull for and but also find irresistible. Of late I have had a busy reviewing schedule which in some ways had put me in a funk…I needed something fun, something witty, something with spunk to make me laugh…and of course Cabot did it! With her fantastical plot twists, hilarious pop culture references, purse obsessed antics and of course one heck of delicious Prince of Darkness who could resist this book? It’s a wonderful read to get lost in and to have fun with…vampires have taken over but Cabot shows they can still take and make a joke. However Insatiable is not just another beach read, there is enough classical literature built in to make readers of Dracula giggle at certain allusions and references. ( Yes, we lovers of classical literature do giggle but only on occasion and never in public). Fans of 24 and fashionistas will also feel “in”…as always Cabot has a little bit for everyone. All around Insatiable was home run for me…the perfect book at the perfect time!

Reading Insatiable also reminded me of one of my favorite lines from Interview with a Vampire:

“Vampires who pretend to be humans pretending to be vampires…..How avant-garde.”.

Indeed. Ms. Cabot…Bravo!


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Filed under Adult Books, Chick Lit, Meg Cabot, New Books, Paranormal

Review: Death’s Excellent Vacation

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RX9KFt4q6Bc/SuEjpMPaMWI/AAAAAAAAAcg/xJBFPp5QzhI/s320/deathsvacation.jpgEveryone needs a vacation, even the undead and especially the immortal wouldn’t you say?  With Death’s Excellent Vacation, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have presented readers with thirteen out of this world stories from some of today’s best-known and beloved paranormal writers including the editors themselves. Authors such as Jeff Abbott, L.A. Banks, Sarah Smith and Daniel Stashower all contribute stories to the collection including many others of paranormal notoriety. Ranging from eerie to intellectual and down right hilarious the anthology has something for everyone and a little bit of everything included.

Vampires, ghouls, ghosts and demons all make appearances in this collection of stories about what the supernatural do when they’re off the clock. This newest compilation proves to be a wild ride on the supernatural side ranging from a brand new sexy Sookie Stackhouse story to the out of this world tale of one demon dog’s unique European tour. Each story while not involving what one may consider a typical vacation does ring true to the theme “because everyone-and-everything needs a break from the routine”, whatever said routine might be.

Lovers of the genre will enjoy the uniqueness of each story and the variations in writing style and characterization woven into one book. However those not familiar with paranormal literature and its peculiarities may find themselves confused by the changing personas created by each writer. Vampires for instance take on different characteristics and weaknesses depending on their creator in each story. Some writers allow their vampires the joy of the sun during their vacas while others keep them far away within the confines of darkness for fear of absolute death. While sometimes difficult to follow this varying outlook is one of the things that makes this work a interesting resource for seeking out new paranormal writers and helping reader’s find their own niche and personal favorites.

In the end die hard readers of the paranormal and newbies will all find a story to perfectly fit their vacation reading within its magical pages. And as with any short story collection one can sit down and read straight through or pick and choose when the moment is right. Some ups and some downs between stories may be felt due to personal writing tastes of the reader but still a spooky addition to any reader’s reading list just in time for summer.
And did I mention it includes a new Sookie Stackhouse story?
~
Death’s Excellent Vacation will be released tomorrow August 3, 2010.
Also coming February 2011 is The Sookie Stackhouse Companion Book.

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Filed under Adult Books, Charlaine Harris, New Books, Paranormal, Short Story Collections

Review: Dead in the Family

Most Charlaine Harris fans will agree that the only thing better than a big ole’ glass of real Southern sweet tea is a new Sookie Stackhouse novel.  Everyone has been patiently waiting and the wait is now over. Dead in the Family, the tenth in the saga has finally arrived and it does not disappoint its loyal fans or new readers. Action, eternal love, blood…it is Sookie to the core.

When we last left Sookie Stackhouse, she was wounded from the Fae War in which she had lost so many of her dear friends and even some relatives.  She has survived the torture physically inflicted upon her by two sadistic fairies that opposed her grandfather, the Prince but will she ever get over the mental realities of what the war has done. The Fairy World has been shut off from the mortal one and Sookie has once been sealed off from a member of her family whom she had just begun to know and love.  Another grandparent to mourn while struggling to get through each day where you wait tables at bar owned by a Shapeshifter and share your bed with one of the most powerful vampires ever made.  All while knowing what every single human being around you thinks.  It’s hard a life but it had its perks.

However of course new issues arise in other quarters as Sookie tries to recover. Not all the fairies have returned to their world and two in particular seem to be tracking her while the Weres continue to need her help in their struggle to survive coming out to society.  Toss in a dead body in the back woods, new vampire political intrigue and the questions of Bill Compton’s recovery from silver poisoning and you have yourself quite a read.  But let’s not forget Eric, beautiful, immortal, blood bound Eric.  Plus the addition of another very well known historical figure that just happens to have been turned into an immortal much like our beloved Bubba.

Charlaine Harris is a puppeteer that has created characters that jump off the page despite their supernatural being.  In Dead in the Family she continues to excite and collect readers through her imaginative orchestration of Sookie’s life.  Her creativity and ability to surprise continue in this latest volume.  Reader’s will simply suck it up until it’s dry and wait for more. Enjoy…it will be nothing but True Blood for quite awhile after this one.

1.) Dead Until Dark

2.) Living Dead in Dallas

3.) Club Dead

4.) Dead to the World

5.) Dead as a Doornail

6.) Definitely Dead

7.) All Together Dead

8.) From Dead to Worse

9.) Dead and Gone

10.) Dead in the Family

11.) A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse Short Story Collection)

And thus I believe this completes my Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge. Thanks Charlaine Harris for hours of enjoyable reading! I was Sucked in by Sookie long ago….now everyone seems to be. And don’t forget True Blood Season 3 begins on HBO on June 13th!

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Filed under Adult Books, Charlaine Harris, New Books

Review: Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever

Molly Harper has returned with her third installment of the Nice Girls series with Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever. Once again she has managed to delight fans with a fast paced plot and a heroine with never ending sarcastic humor and a bit of spunk for every occasion. In this installment former children’s librarian turned vampire bookseller, Jane Jameson is once again trying not to be killed which can be tricky when you are already a member of the undead. After what she believes to be a break up with her irresistible sire Gabriel, Jane is looking for time to heal from her broken heart, surrounded by her closest friends who just happen to be a pregnant werewolf, shady 150 year old vampire and her dead Aunt Jettie.  Jane sets her goals for her new life and tries her hardest to keep going through each night as is if her heart was not broken into a million tiny non-beating pieces.  Dreams of Gabriel and the sinister presence of another haunt her. Liquor, girly movie marathons and the occasional bar fight help with the pain but many questions remain unanswered.  Are she and Gabriel over forever? Will she ever find a man with whom she can truly share the rest of her immortal life? And who is trying to kill her once again?

Secretive communications from the woman whom she believes to be Gabriel’s lover soon fill in the gaps and Jane realizes that her non-life might once again be in real danger. Who would think the undead would always have to fear being dead? Added in is her dreaded high school reunion at which she is to be part of the “in memory” wall, the upcoming arrival of her best friend’s werewolf babies and a jaunt into the pink world of the Half Moon Holllow Chamber of “Courtney” Commerce. With a wonderful cast of characters and a winning heroine, Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever is not to be missed much like it’s predecessors. It’s a guilty pleasure that will have you wrapped up and unable to walk away from the undead life of Jane Jameson. Charming, spastic and a somewhat needed dose of southern magic, Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever is one to be read and enjoyed with a nice glass of sweet tea or a bottle of O negative…your choice.

Why I Think Molly Harper is Secretly Spying On Me

Now that I have finished my review I can share with you my thoughts on why I think Molly Harper is secretly spying on me. After you read the books you will understand but below I will list my reasons for you to come back to at a later time. Perhaps my life would make a good book if only I were a vampire…but the similarities are fun! Thanks Molly for dreaming parts of my life up for your book even though you didn’t know it!

1.) I am originally from Russellville, Kentucky which means I say Luh-vul.  Because that’s just how you say it.Both my parents attended Western Kentucky University.

2.) My Name is Courtney but I am NOT blond…however I do think of myself as rather shiny and preppy.

3.) I am a Children’s Librarian.

4.) I am a devoted Janeite and believe Colin Firth is the true Mr. Darcy also I am a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

(Molly Harper has responded and assured me she has taken down the surveillance cameras…also I am awaiting a sneak peek at her next work! I will be happy to share with you all as soon as I can!)

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Sookie Stackhouse has sucked me in

Well….It’s happened! I have been sucked into the world of Sookie Stackhouse and True Blood. I have never been a big fan of Science Fiction but when Twilight first came out, I got into the series and eagerly awaited each book.  Then a few weeks ago a friend turned me onto the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I fully did not think I would get into it. The cover art made me cringe…just not something I would normally go for. But boy am I into it now. I have been watching the first season of True Blood and am almost finished with the second of the novels Living Dead in Dallas.  I think what is special about this series is similar to what is special about Twilight. Inventiveness, creativity and thinking about a subject in a new light. Bringing vampires “out of the coffin” and into society is a unique spin. Charlaine Harris has really surprised me and delighted as the pages have gone by. Plus being quite Southern doesn’t hurt with a girl like me! Plus in her Aurora Teagarden series, Harris has a murder solving southern librarian….you just can’t beat that! But perhaps I am biased on that account! In any case give it a try!

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