Posts Tagged 'vampire'

Shutter by Courtney Alameda


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


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


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.