Posts Tagged 'vampire'

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

shutter

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  372

RAC:  Yes

Micheline is the youngest descendant in the Helsing blood line.  Her and her friends work catching ghosts and other supernatural beings.  They each have special talents that allow them to track down and properly extinguish these harmful beings.  At the beginning of the story they are called to a particularly heinous scene where a ghost has killed people in a hospital.  They are supposed to wait for backup, but Micheline decides to go in alone and her team is forced to follow.  They are attacked by this being and contract a rare disease known as soulchain.  Soulchain will kill them if they do not kill the creature that infected them in seven days time.  Their parents wish them to lay low while they hunt the dangerous ghost, but Micheline and her team know it is them who must hunt it down to save their lives.

The plot is much more intriguing here than most readers will expect.  There is a lot of backstory on Micheline’s family and how her and her father came to be so estranged.  There is a fair amount of suspense and plot twists that keep the story active and fast paced.  The characters are interesting as their talents and personalities are revealed.  Plus, in this world no one is really ever safe, which makes the suspense all the more real.  Recommended for fans of science fiction and suspense.

Department Nineteen by Will Hill

department-19

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  540

RAC:  Yes

Jamie Carpenter witnessed his father’s murder a few years before the story begins and ever since he and his mother have believed that his father had been a traitor to the country.  On the night his father died, he witnessed some strange phenomena outside his house, but had since convinced himself he was hallucinating.  That changes when he is attacked by a vampire and barely escapes only to find his mother has been taken by one of the most powerful vampires in the world.  Then, he learns of a secret organization called Department Nineteen that takes care of creatures most people do not believe exist.  Despite the fact that many people believe his father is a traitor, he is welcomed in and allowed to train briefly in order to go after his mother.  Does he have what it takes to fight vampires for his government?

This book has been named an Iowa Award Winner for 2013-2014 and it is easy to see why.  Fans of fantasy enjoy the back story of this book as well as the truly colorful characters (Frankenstein is an actual employee at Department 19).  There are many twists and turns in the story and the action is almost continual.  This book sets up the possibility for many more to come.  Recommended.

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  362

RAC Book:  Yes

Nina is a vampire who belongs to a group called the reformed vampire support group.  This group meets to talk to each other about their difficult lives.  The life of a vampire is not as exciting as the movies would suggest for these vampires cannot change into bats, sparkle in the sun, or fight particularly well.  Instead they live on small rodents and take supplements, which leave them feeling sick most of the time.  They are, however, not a threat to anyone.  They are alarmed when one vampire fails to arrive for a meeting and they find him staked in his apartment.  They have no idea who could have done this and worry that the same killer could be coming for them.  In order to stop this they go on the offensive and start looking for this person, but only land themselves into more danger.

This is a very different vampire story from Twilight and Blue Bloods. These vampires are not glamorous or attractive, but nevertheless feel a need to preserve what little life they have left.  It is humorous in parts, but does get a bit long at times.  Vampire fans will enjoy this as a lighthearted story, but it won’t be anyone’s favorite vampire book.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Genre:  Fantasy/Romance

# of Pages:  351 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Jessica is a normal American teenager trying to enjoy her senior year, which seems more difficult when a strange Romanian exchange students comes to stay with her family.  Lucius claims to be a vampire who was betrothed to her when they were babies.  When Jessica turns to her parents for answers she learns that they were asked to raise her so that she would be safe until the pact could be realized.  Despite Lucius’s fervent efforts to convince her to marry him, she finds him repulsive and wants to date the normal high school boy, Jake, instead.  When Lucius starts dating a cheerleader at school Jessica is unprepared for the jealousy she feels.  Is it too late to have Lucius to herself?  Does she really believe in vampires?  Does she think she has what it takes to join this dark world?

This vampire story is very original and engaging.  Readers who like vampire fiction will devour this book and wish for a sequel.  Of all the vampire books available right now, this one has the perfect mix of the fantasy world readers love to escape to and the real world that teenagers can identify with.  The characters and plot are much more substantial than readers might be expecting and will be pleasantly surprised by this title.  Highly recommended for fantasy readers.

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  369 p.

RAC List:  Yes

In this fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series, Schuyler is on the run with her human familiar, Oliver.  She is afraid for her safety since the Conclave refused to believe her story about how her grandfather was murdered in the last book.  She is choosing not to choose between Oliver, her best friend, and Jack, whom she believes might be her soul mate.  Bliss is struggling with the loss of her mother and sister, while attempting to take control of her own mind from the “visitor” who sometimes chooses to take over her body and perform terrible deeds.  After the attack on the blue bloods in the last book, everything seems up in the air and no one knows exactly where they should turn for support.  Mimi and Jack are each avoiding the fact that they were somewhat relieved when their bonding ceremony was postponed.  Can the blue bloods fight the silver bloods if they do not know who they are really fighting?  Or what the plan of attack will be?  Will Schuyler be able to save the blue bloods through the Van Alen Legacy?

There are many things going on in this book, which made it move quickly.  At the same time, there was so much going on that sometimes important elements to the plot were revealed and they did not seem to get the shock they deserved because there was too much going on around it.  The characters are still strong and the readers will want to know what happens to each of them.   Of course, this book sets up another book to follow with many questions unanswered and people in limbo.   Students who have followed this series from the beginning will enjoy the book, but may be somewhat frustrated that more has not been resolved.  As the target audience grows up, they will fail to continue to follow this series.

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

persistance

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 212

RAC Book: Yes

Erin grew up believing she was mentally ill because from time to time she becomes an alter personality, a personality which is extremely violent. Over the years she has visited many hospitals and therapists and is taking multiple medications to try and help her condition. She is very surprised when two friends of hers reveal themselves to be shapeshifters and tell her that she is not Schizophrenic, but in fact many of the hallucinations she has are actual magical things that do exist in this world. The only question is how to convince Erin that she is not crazy and how to stop her alter personality from taking over her mind.

This is a complex fantasy story packed into a short amount of pages. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional as they struggle to figure out the situation and correct it without causing any undue harm to anyone else involved. Although the characters are not entirely human, they are rational and compassionate when they need to be. Fantasy lovers will enjoy following Erin’s story as it is revealed. The ending is a bit abrupt, but definitely worth a read.

Suck it up by Brian Meehl

Genre:  Fantasy

Age Level:  13 and up

# of Pages:  318

RAC Book:  Yes

Morning McCobb is a sixteen-year-old boy who was accidentally turned into a vampire.  He has never tasted human blood, however, and prefers a protein substitute called Blood Lite.  After he completes his training, he is approached by the leader of the Vampire League and asks him to become the first vampire to “come out” to the world.  If Morning is met with acceptance and understanding then the League hopes to have a “coming out day” in the future where all vampires can live peacefully with humans.  The only problem is that there are a few vampires who refuse to join the league called Loners.  These Loners still prey on humans.  One loner in particular does not like the idea of vampires coming out into society and vows to destroy Morning before that can become a reality.

This story is a fun, lighthearted vampire story that takes a different approach from many other vampire stories.  Morning is a nerdy kid who does not want to have to relive high school over and over simply because he will always look sixteen.  He sees this as an opportunity to do something with his life and make a difference, which would never happen if he had to hide his true identity.  He quickly learns that it is not easy to be in the spotlight and all vampires can be dangerous at one time or another, even the ones who have never been a threat to humans before.  For vampire lovers, this is a fun story that does not have some of the violence and darkness that some other vampire stories have.

Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 264 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Revelations is the third in this Blue Bloods series. This book follows closely where Masquerade ended, with Schuyler now living with the Force family and hating every minute. She tries to contact her grandfather, Lawrence, whenever possible, but this becomes more and more difficult as he must travel away to Rio de Janeiro in order to deal with a possible threat from the Blue Bloods’ biggest enemy: the Silver Bloods. Meanwhile, Schuyler and Jack force become involved, which causes problems because he is meant to be with Mimi for all eternity and she is not about to let him break their bond. Bliss is dealing with her hurt feelings from when Dylan abandoned her and she must decide how to help him when he returns in a serious mental state.

Although much too short, this book is just as thrilling as the previous two. The characters seem to grow and develop more with each book, which helps the reader to understand all points of view as this story unfolds. This story has action, betrayal, lover’s trysts, murder, friendship, and even shocking plot twists. For fans of the first two novels or any type of fantasy or vampire fiction they will devour this book and finish it wanting more.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 485 p.

RAC Book: Yes

One night when Clary Fray is at a party with her best friend she sees three strange looking teenagers kill another strange looking teenager. When she realizes that no one but her can see any of them she begins to get confused and looks to her mother for answers. Instead, her mother tells her they must go away for the rest of the summer. Clary runs off after fighting with her mother about this abrupt change in plans and ignores her mother’s repeated messages to come home. When she finally feels ready to talk to her mom she answers her phone to her frantic and scared mother begging her never to return home. After that no one can find a trace of her mother. Now Clary has to discover who her mother really is and what she has been hiding from Clary all these years. She also has to figure out who would take her mother and for what purpose. Is there a way to save her mother or is Clary on her own in a new world with people she never dreamed existed?

This fantasy story is the first in a series. Clary’s story follows many twists and turns as she tries to help find out what happened to her mother. The mysterious teenagers she met at the beginning all help her to understand this new world of shadowhunters, vampires, and werewolves she has just discovered. The ending is satisfying and packs a lot of surprises that will make the reader want to read the second one immediately after finishing. A good read for fantasy lovers.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of pages:

RAC Book: Yes

In this final installment of the Twilight series, Bella ventures down some very grown up paths compared to her previous high school life. Now that she is graduated and preparing to marry Edward she has to deal with any possible repercussions from the werewolves as the treaty between the werewolves and the vampires will be broken. She also must deal with the possibility that she will never see her family again. Despite these worries, Bella marries Edward and feels happy about her decision. On their honeymoon getaway an unexpected twist shakes their relationship to the core and Bella must make a tough decision about her own survival. In the end, her decision puts both her family and her new in-laws in danger as an imminent threat plans to destroy them all.

This series has such a strong fan base that it is impressive how Meyer managed to create an intricate and detailed final book to this saga. Although most pieces ended up fitting together nicely in the end, many readers will be unable to predict some of the unexpected plot twists and what they will eventually mean to the final story. Fans will feel okay about leaving the characters after this story because it thoroughly sets up what will happen to them after this point. There are no unanswered questions and even the most complicated obstacles are discussed. Considering how many things were left up in the air going into this book, it is amazing how Meyer managed to evolve the characters to deal with all of these issues in a way that didn’t seem too contrived or easy. A very strong and unique fantasy story that will be around for years to come.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Genre:  Fantasy

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  304

RAC Book:  Yes

Cal Thompson is a carrier of the parasite that creates vampires.  He was infected against his will and is now a hunter to hunt down others who have been infected and need help.  After he chases down all of the people he inadvertently infected he goes searching for the one who forced this life upon him.  Through this process he meets Lace, a girl who lives in the same apartment building of the girl he is looking for, and discovers she has noticed that something is not right in her building.

As Cal continues looking for clues as to what is really going on in the vampire community, he finds that Lace is difficult to get rid of and demands he tell her the truth about what he does for a living.  Instead of fleeing like most people would, Lace tries to help him find the mysterious Morgan who began Cal’s journey and what she finds surprises them both.

This vampire story focuses more on the science of vampirism and other parasites that exist in our world.  It lacks some of the excitement and mystery of this world found in other series such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight or Melissa De La Cruz’s Blue Bloods.  It does provide a unique take on vampires, but students won’t find it as interesting as Westerfeld’s Uglies series.  All in all, a little slow moving and cautious about a popular topic in young adult lit. right now.

Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre:  Fantasy

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  305

Series:  Blue Bloods

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to The Blue Bloods Schuyler is looking for her grandfather in Italy while the rest of the blue bloods in New York are planning the biggest blue blood gathering of the year.  Mimi Force decides to throw her own masquerade party after the formal party, which causes a lot of trouble since she chooses not to invite everyone.

Once Schuyler finds her grandfather and is rejected by him, she returns to New York only to get very sick.  The doctor thinks her human and vampire genes are fighting each other, but since she is the first half-blood they have no idea how to treat her.  Meanwhile, Bliss is spending a lot of time with a new boy in school that all the girls love, but she can’t stop thinking about Dylan and what happened to him.  A dramatic event shakes up the entire blue blood community and they must all come to the realization that they are no longer safe and something is indeed hunting them.

This sequel asks more questions than it answers, which is not a bad thing.  As we find out more about this group of people (their rules and their past), we also learn that there is so much more we still do not know.  Students who enjoyed the first one will like this one even more as we move on with these characters.  There are a lot of suprising revelations that will make the next book in the series a must read.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Genre:  Fantasy

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages: 497

Award Winner:  2007 Iowa High School Award

Sequel:  New Moon and Eclipse

RAC Book:  Yes

Bella has come to Forks, Washington to live with her father.  She does not have trouble making friends at her new school, but she becomes especially interested in the Cullen family.  The Cullen’s adopted five children, who are now all going to the same high school.  Bella notices that they are beautiful and never seem to eat.  When she becomes Edward Cullen’s lab partner she notices he appears to hate her, but she later learns that he actually really likes her which is problematic since he is a vampire.  The Cullens are all vampires, but none of them practice and choose instead to feed on animals to survive.

As Bella finds herself drawn to Edward she discovers that he always seems to be right there whenever she needs help getting out of bad situations and wants to genuinely protect her.  Her new friend, Jacob, from the nearby Native American reservation does not fear Edward but his people do not trust vampires and are not allowed on Native American property.

One day another group of vampires comes through town and becomes obsessed with getting Bella, which leads to a very dramatic and exciting ending.  Although this book is about vampires it is not gory or scary.  The story draws readers in until they have to find out what happens to Bella and Edward.  Students love this series and are hungry for more.  Highly recommended.

 

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Genre:  Fantasy, Romance

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  563

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to Twilight, Bella must learn to cope when Edward and the rest of the Cullens choose to leave because they believe it is too dangerous for Bella if they stay.  Bella falls apart and only begins to heal when her and Jacob Black become closer friends.  Bella also learns that if she is doing something dangerous she can head Edward’s voice in her head, which she finds reassuring.  When Jacob reveals some surprising news it becomes very clear that the two of them will not be able to remain friends if Edward comes back.  At the same time, Bella learns that Edward has received some false information that has prompted him to risk his life.  Can she save Edward?  Can she help Edward and Jacob to get along?

 This second installment was as good as the first.  In this book we learn a lot more about Jacob and his family as well as why they do not trust vampires. Edward is not in it as much, which is unfortunate, but the story is not boring in any way as we wait for him to return.  Those who enjoyed the first one will love this one as well.


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