Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Solid Vampire Series. Woohoo!

Finally, events occur!!

Granted, I am just starting this process and really haven’t read too many YA novels (shameful, I know), but I was thrilled after reading this novel because there was action, solid dialogue, and a more developed fantastical world.

The main character Rose, who totally and completely rocks, is a Dhampir guardian who must protect Lissa Dragomir from the Strigoi. At first it might seem confusing but in reality it’s pretty clear once you get reading. Quick cheat sheet:

Dhampir-being with vampire and human blood.
Strigoi-fierce vampires who never die.

The novel begins with action which is such a change from the pokey, nothing-really- happens writing of Twilight. That action continues right up until the end and some mysteries kept me wondering and reading on for more which is an absolute plus.

So, on to my obligatory three points:

1. Overall, pretty well written. Sentence structure is varied so that there is some hustle and flow (couldn’t help but write hustle and flow.) The reader isn’t bored with the same sentence type over and over, and Richelle Mead works short sentences in so that they feel natural. I only noticed four typos (not really a fault of the author…) and it isn’t even fair to comment on that in my opinion.

The only drawback would have to be the flashbacks. Just too many for me. I know that they were necessary for background information, but it could have been done less, or perhaps just more adeptly. And they were only distracting maybe two to three times. So I forgive. And you should too.

2. The characters and situations were real! Yay! I know that this is fiction, but I still want my teenagers to act like teenagers. The words that come out of their mouths? And appear in quotation marks? Should sound like what a teenager would say! And in this book it rings true to me. The main character, Rose, is sarcastic and tough. Who doesn’t like that? Other characters also feel like real, separate, and believable teenagers in this school. Kudos there.

One aspect of YA lit I am not quite sure about is the level of touchy, edgy content. My gut feeling is that most teenagers know and experience a whole lot more than what many adults want to believe. This book was brilliant at bringing in real issues through the fictional world, covering everything from addiction, cutting, inappropriate relationships, and your garden variety bullying that is so common. It all felt real and I think it was dealt with smoothly and with insight.

3. It’s a book where vampires are vampires, and humans are humans. Well, sort of. There are slight modifications and creations veering from traditional vampire lore, but there are plenty of those out there that don’t totally buck the basic principal of vampirism. Anyone who is intrigued by the fantasy won’t be put off or disappointed. For example, the vampires take classes during the night, their daytime. They don’t sparkle!

I couldn’t help that last sparkle comment. Just couldn’t.

You can get to the website for the series here.

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