It’s nearly time – Cirque de la Nuit will be out soon! In the meantime, whilst I’m busy editing and polishing the final draft, I’m very excited to release the Book Trailer today, to give you a taster of what is to come 🙂
So, for my first and probably only book, I’ll manage to read for this challenge – I’ve been writing more than reading this month to meet my summer deadline for The Rainbow Maker’s Tale – I read Canadian author Ada Adam’s book ReVamped… here’s my review!
A simple mission turned deadly.
Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.
When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.
ReVamped is a re-take of the vampire myth, set in the not too distant future, where vamps are out and about in the world, known to humans and borderline celebrities in some cases. In this way it is like a milder version of True Blood / Sookie Stackhouse. It is fun, quick and easy to read, with lots of action and a couple of nice twists.
I do like it when someone takes a familiar idea and does something different with it (see my reviews of Being Human by Patricia Lynne for vampire monster-turned-softie human brother and Stephen Herfst’s Zed, the zombie with a brain)… and Ada Adams does this with ReVamped, especially well in the first few chapters. Genre inversion / bending – I like it! So… what ReVamped does well is create a realistic world for the media savvy, new popular vamps on the block: shows like American Vamp Idol and Transylvanian Shore – loved those little throw-ins. I also liked the fact that eating garlic allowed vampires to wander around in the daylight – nice touch. There were also a couple of light asides to other popular vampire tales, such as Twilight, which worked nicely.
The concept of ‘Born’ Vs ‘Made’ vampires is interesting and I’m sure has some considerable opportunities for development in the series. The idea with this being that some ‘special’ vampires are born of a female vampire parent, who mates with a vampire she’s made. The logistics of how this is physically possible is not delved into in ReVamped, but then neither is the physical body of the vampire (like the stone bodies of Twilight or the fire, silver and stake dodging vamps of Bonne Temps) and so whether this will come to anything in the future I have no idea.
What I did struggle with in ReVamped – but which I know from reviews on sites like Goodreads was a positive point for many readers – was the vampires as protectors (almost like superheroes) set up. There was virtually no neck biting, darkness or typical vampire-as-blood-thirsty-monster behaviour, which is one of the things I tend to like in vampire books when I read them: I like the conflict between the human and monstrous elements; I enjoy flawed characters. ReVamped does not really have these, with the exception of a couple of ‘baddies’ – speaking of which, I did like the werewolf twist, nicely done 🙂
Dawn, the main character we follow and the band of vamps she works with are all very nice, and very human (to me) but with some extra strength. Most of the time I didn’t find myself thinking of them of vampires from their behaviour. I think the hardest thing for me was that – in my eyes – the main defining characteristic of a vampire is their need to drink blood. In ReVamped – similar to True Blood – they have a synthetic alternative now, that becomes the preference over and above ‘the real deal’: the vampires in the book drink Blood Cola, even Blood Vodka on occasion and eat garlic bread to get out in the sun – but all of this made them more human than vampire to me.
Overall Verdict: ReVamped is a good, fun read. There’s lots of action throughout – sometimes a little too easily and neatly resolving things, but hey-ho – and there’s some nice inversions of the vampire mythology. I think I’d like to have seen more depth and explanation of the vampire characters – as I’ve said, they were more human than vamp for me. I’d be interested to see where the series goes with the next book. (And for anyone interested in romance, a couple of nice boys in the mix, not a full on love triangle though – phew!)
I’ve not read any ‘vampire books’ for a while now. Before I started Bites (last night at midnight, finished first thing this morning!) I was thinking to myself “I don’t really do vampire stories” but that’s not true: I read most of Ann Rice’s books, Twilight Saga, all the True Bloods (until about book ten when they got dull), Bram Stoker, dabbled in YA vampires with Blue Bloods, the first House of Night and a couple of not-so-good indie ones…and I liked most of them: some I loved, some not so much…and that doesn’t stop at books because I was a Buffy fan (not so much Angel) and have been loving the True Blood TV series. Perhaps I just go through phases of reading and then find myself a little under-awed with a genre after a while?
Anyway, I realised, I do “do vampire stories” – it’s just that I like ones that are written well, have some depth, interesting and/or original ideas… And Bites does 🙂
Bites is actually a novella of two short stories: Demonica and Last of the Blood – one is a more traditional vampire story, the other a semi-demon crossover with a smattering of angelic backstory which I was hooked on by the end of the first page… Both stories read well and quickly – as short stories there is a limited amount of world building (obviously!) but they introduce interesting characters and concepts.
In Bites, Damon is a thoughtful vampire – with shades of Louis, perhaps Angel, Edward and Bill about him – in how he views the existence he has and vampire/human relationships. I liked the POV story-telling from his side and found his rather poetic voice carried me through his story with interest. The resolution the issues of the story fits perfectly with his character. Catherine also really interested me – I think her experiences and perspective would offer a good story.
Demonica was my favourite of the two stories – this was a 5* for me – I loved the origina story aspects of the beginning and found myself drawn in very quickly. Again – good characters – the female lead is a great, strong person, but with believable weaknesses and flaws. The theological basis for the ideas crossing into the author’s own mythology were intriguing and believable – i love this blending of myths and I think what Ninfa sets up here is a good basis for longer novels.
Overall, I think this is a good debut for a new writer, showcasing her skills for writing interesting characters in familiar situations for the genre, but still doing something original with them. Her stregnth definitely lay in Demonica for me as an overall package it appealled more to me….Definitely recommended 🙂
Tonight is the Midwinter Solstice Ball, the most important night in the Daemonic Court’s calendar.
This is the night when new disciples are chosen, when demons come out to play, and all bets are off.
As it happens, tonight is also the night I become Queen.
LAST OF THE BLOOD
When the sweet scent reaches me I know I have found what I’m looking for. My hands reach out in the darkness to the unaware girl. She’s warm and soft and doesn’t even get to scream before I’m drinking deeply from her, her struggles too feeble to bother me. Only the blood counts.
Irina is about to become Queen of the Daemonic Court and Damon is on the run from his own nature … where will their paths take them?
Two short stories that will seduce you with romance, danger, sensuality … and Vampire bites.