I know by now most of us are familiar with Bella and Edward in the Twilight series. Well, this book, The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire, takes the idea of love and vampires in a different direction. Author, Abigail Gibbs, takes the concept of the world of vampires to a different level. We meet young Violet Lee who is left alone in Trafalgar Square late at night. She is dressed seductively and vulnerable. This is when she witnesses a massacre by vampires….she is the sole witness to their carnage and is kidnapped by their Prince….Kaspar Varn. She is brought back to their mansion and introduced to their life…to their world. She is disgusted and not intimidated by Kaspar or any of the vampires…which as you can imagine makes her all the more desirable to them.
She wonders why she was not killed…why her life was spared. She soon discovers the reason. A war is about to break out and she plays a vital role in the war. Her life will never be the same as she is seduced by vampires…..and finds she cannot resist the one who she seems to resent the most….Kaspar. Can she accept the path that her life has taken….will she give in to passion she feels? If she does, she will have to sacrifice the life she once knew. All your questions will be answered.
This book is not for young adults…it is more explicit than the Twilight series….just a warning.
This is a debut novel by Richard Levine. It explores the tragic events of two preteen kids….Ron AKA Runner Boy and long-legged D.C. Both kids have had horrible events happen in their life which has forces them to grow up faster than their twelve years. They meet at a party the summer before their 7th grade year, and immediately are drawn to each other through witty banter. Keep in mind this is all rate G. D.C. is a twelve-year old girl who towers over all at the party while wearing the brightest neon shirt in the room, but this does not deter her from being confident. She is comfortable in her own skin…a strong female character. Ron also exudes a calm confidence when he is not influence by the other boys’ taunts about D.C.
After the party, summer begins and tragedy hits both D.C. and Ron. The two meet again at the start of the school year and a natural and rare friendship begins. They join the Biology Club at school together, spend time with each other’s families, and begin to rely on each other. They seem to be wiser than the other kids in their school on some level.
Island Eyes, Island Skies is a book that has fun with language….lots of play on words and similes and metaphors. It will be a favorite of English teachers who can pull fun passages out of the text for some meaningful lessons on language. I also believe this book would be an asset for a young adult who has experienced death of a loved one. It is a heavy topic. Richard Levine has written of it in a way that kids can feel they are not alone. A tough topic to tackle.
If you are a follower of this blog, you know that I am a fan of dystopia literature. The type of book that takes place in the future after something horrific has happened to the country….to the world….to mankind in general, and daily life has turned into something of a nightmare. Ultimately, the main characters try desperately to find a better way. Well….here is a new tale from author Shannon Stoker called The Registry. It takes place after a war has taken many men, and a disease has been unleashed in America by the government and killed off most of the women. In order, to recreate a productive population….a bridal registry is created. Parents school their daughters to be beautiful, giving and irresistible to hopeful husbands while baby boys are sent off immediately to live in government orphanages until the age of 13. Daughters are the cash makers of the family….so a daughter is valuable…sons are not. The daughters lead a sheltered life until they are sold off to a husband, and then they are not allowed to see their parents again.
Mia Morrissey has just entered the registry and feels that something is not right with this system….so she runs away with help from her friend Whitney and a farm hand, Andrew. This begins a very fast-paced chase scene until the end of the novel. I wanted to love this novel, but there wasn’t time….it moved entirely too fast…..I had to go back because I felt there were gaps in the storyline. I wanted to learn more about the character of Andrew…more about the registry. I wanted to slow down and get more detail. She is writing a second book to continue the story….hopefully, the story will reveal more development.
I must admit something…I was hooked by this book immediately. All the reviews at the beginning of the book stated I would be….they all read that I would not be able to put this book down…and each one was quite correct. This is truly one of the best books that I have read in a while. It is the horror/fantasy genre, so readers of the faint heart do not read. I read the 685 page Advance Reader’s edition (not sure what the final copy will look like) in two days….I simply could not put it down. It was my saving grace while I have been trying to overcome strep throat…and it helped me escape into another world which is truly why we read.
The story takes place over many generations and is centered around Victoria McQueen who the reader meets as a eight-year old girl. Vic’s parents are a big mess. They are constantly fighting and Vic wants them to stop. When her mother loses a bracelet, and her parents argue once again, Vic escapes on her Tuff Burner (bike) and speeds away. It is on this bike trip that her life changes forever. She encounters the Shorter Bridge….a bridge that had been demolished….a bridge that isn’t suppose to be there. Vic crosses the Shorter Bridge, and when she comes out…she is no longer in Massachuetts….she is 40 miles away in New Hampshire where she locates her mother’s bracelet to return to her. She has discovered she has the ability to find lost things….things that she desires. The Shorter Bridge becomes a fixture in her growing up years….yet each trip across the bridge takes a bit out of Vic.
At the same time, there is Charlie Manx….who is one of the most creepy and disturbing characters I have ever read…who promises children rides in his 1938 Rolls Royce to Christmasland where there is no unhappiness, rides on the roller coaster, tons of hot chocolate and Christmas every day….this of course comes with a price. Charlie and Vic meet up during one of her trips through the Shorter Bridge….
I do not want to give anything away….I read this book blindly….not aware of what was to come. I want you to have the same experience. It is spooky, fast-paced, and quite original. I truly experienced all the sense while reading….I could feel the wind and smell the bats as Vic passed through the Shorter Bridge. I could taste metal and blood and peppermint. I could hear the voices of the creepy children calling. I could picture Charlie Manx clearly coming down the road towards me in his black Rolls Royce. Images and feelings I will hold on to for a long time.
I also learned after reading this book that author Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Interesting, he writes of the same genre of his father, but it is much different. His own style that is for sure. I will be seeking out more by Joe Hill.
Both the title and cover of this book led me to think: “what is this all about?” Nothing is given away from first glance…one must open the cover and explore the pages which is what reading is supposed to allow one to do. I get quite perturb when the insert or back cover list the contents of the books as an outline all drawn out for one to see the beginning, middle, and the end. Why is this? I am not grading their manuscript. I simply want to get lost in a good story, and this title and cover give me enough to pique my interest without giving it all away.
The story follows the events in a tiny neighbor outside of New York City where the majority of the inhabitants are elderly. Several have passed on, and almost immediately their houses are demolished. Curious. Evie, who works in NY for the Historical preservation Society (how cool of a job would that be!), gets word that her mother has taken ill and has been rushed to the hospital. It is up to Evie to come out and sort through her affairs. She discovers the house in deplorable conditions, cases of vodka and cigarettes fill the garage, insects and squirrels are residing in part of the house….and then she discovers the envelopes filled with cash. Lots of cash. The mystery deepens when she begins a friendship with Mina, the 91 year-old woman who lives across the street. Together Mina and Evie feel that something is not right…. but who listens to an old woman with Alzheimer’s?
Very well written….with great characters. This is not a mystery where you will be afraid to turn the lights out, but it will make you realize that suspense and mystery can come from ordinary events….making this a very realistic read.