Friday, October 15, 2010

October? What does it mean for the reader?

It means novels that deal with the supernatural and every horrible monster you can imagine. Or maybe just with the feeling of being creeped out. October is Halloween month for me. It's not just a day but a month long event that I look forward to every year. Being inspired by my favorite holiday, I will be recommending spooky books all month long.

This entry will deal specifically with vampires. I know, I know. Some of you may be bored to death already of this recurring mythical creature. I can't blame you because it's everywhere and in everything. It probably has its own canned ravioli brand.

But these books I'm about to show you are the first books I ever read about vampires and they continue to be the best bunch I have ever read. So here we go!

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde (How's that alliteration working out for you, ma'am?) When 16-year-old Kerry helps a young man escape from a group of men who claim he is a vampire, she finds herself faced with some bizarre and dangerous choices.

Oh goodness, where do I begin with this? IT'S SO GOOD. I read it when I was 14 and I've been ordering it from the library once a year ever since. This is the end all and be all of vampire novels for me because Keri? She's pretty awesome. Talk about a character who knows herself. Yes, she makes a few mistakes but she's such a strong individual. One of the things I really liked about the novel and it's also the same thing that infuriated me about the book, was how much it left out. It hinted at a lot but most of it was left ambiguous. I think the novel was trying to keep it on a very huamn level since we're invited more into Keri's life than into anyone elses.

Truly a fantastic novel. I cannot recommend it enough or pay it enough wonderful little compliments. Also to those wondering, it's just one novel. There is no sequel for this novel and there never will be. I found out about that pretty early on since the author addresses it on her website.

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause 16-year-old Zoe is having a really horrible year. Her mother is dying of cancer, her father keeps her from visiting the hospital and her best friend is moving away. Then she meets Simon with his strange silver hair and his uncanny ability to know exactly how she feels. But there's something that isn't quite right about him. Who is Simon and what does he want from Zoe?

I don't know if vampire novels are supposed to make you cry but this one just turned on the waterworks for me. Not ashamed to say it. This book wasn't what I expected, which is to say that I didn't expect it to be so dark. Not a complaint at all. I actually tend to enjoy dark stories a lot more. To be honest, the scariest things that occur in this novel happen to be the smallest things. You'll understand that when you read it. Once again, it's just one novel. No sequels. I think only one was needed to tell this story.

The novel now has a new cover and I've seen it around. It makes me shudder with fear. The artwork is so bad and I do not understand how a publishing company paid a designer to do it. Just because it's short and the author isn't J.K. Rowling doesn't mean you can sell off something less than good. That is someone's novel you have just pasted your half-assed artwork on to.

The artwork above happens to be an earlier and much better edition. That's the artwork I first saw when I picked up the novel.

Demon in my View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Jessica Allodola is a high school senior who pens vampire tales under the pseudonym Ash Night. Because of her funeral clothing and cynical demeanor, Jessica is shunned by her sunnier classmates. No matter, she prefers the company of the undead she creates on her laptop, anyway. But Jessica is shaken when a creature from her novel, the suave vampire Aubrey (who fans will remember from In the Forests of the Night) shows up as a new student at her school. Not knowing whether he plans to seduce or harm her, Jessica plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Aubrey as she tries to discover the secret of his existence. As she delves deeper into the midnight world of her own novels, she encounters other supernatural beings, like Fala, an evil Egyptian vampire, and Caryn Smoke, a teenaged good witch. When she finally unearths the shocking truth that explains the tangibility of her imaginary world, Jessica must decide if she loves that dark world enough to leave the light forever.

Now this one is part of a series. DIMV is the second book and the one I like most.

Here's a little list of the books and the order in which they should be read:
1. In the Forests of the Night
2. Demon in My View
3. Shattered Mirror
4. Midnight Predator

This author is 4 years older than I am and when I was younger (before I realized how bad I am at writing) I kind of wanted to be her. She had her first novel published at age 14 which is incredible and something rare. Really respect the hell out of her and this series is both scary and enjoyable. None of her characters are perfect and I cannot tell you how much I like that. To me a main character or supporting character should not have to be. I know it's fiction but come on, let's not make gods out of these people.

*sigh* Alas, the same thing that happened to The Silver Kiss cover has happened to this series. I do not understand it.

But please, do not let the bad artwork deter you.