Yuki’s in her senior year and besides dealing with all the inherent pressures of that crazy time of li...moreIf you thought your high school days were rough…
Yuki’s in her senior year and besides dealing with all the inherent pressures of that crazy time of life, she has some unusual and difficult stresses all her own. She doesn’t get to see dead people, she has to smell them; her best friend, whom she’s beginning to suspect she cares for more deeply than she imagined, has an odd secret that may be related to her psychic power; and her dreams seem to portend an imminent danger.
Author E. J. Stevens’ delightfully original She Smells the Dead impressed me from its first pages and I now include it among my favorite novels. Yuki is one of the most likeable heroines a reader has the joy to be introduced to, and I loved hearing her every thought as much as following her story adventure. The author’s great character development shines through with the entire cast. Calvin, simultaneously cool and down-to-earth and Emma, passionate vegan and animal advocate, are the best friends we all wish we had. This paranormal romance of blossoming love and great friendships, with laugh-out-loud moments, shares the wonderful “high school can be hell” metaphor and witty dialogue of the TV series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but in a unique story all its own and with the distinctive voice of its talented author. I eagerly await the next book in the Spirit Guide series! Highly recommended. (less)
The real significance of the expression “truth is stranger than fiction” becomes apparent to novelist Beth Rider one seemingly normal evening at a boo...moreThe real significance of the expression “truth is stranger than fiction” becomes apparent to novelist Beth Rider one seemingly normal evening at a book signing, when she is suddenly accosted by a stranger who later marks her as a target, a “rabbit,” to be hunted by a legendary ancient race. What follows is one of the most original and inspiring vampire stories I’ve ever read.
Explaining all the reasons I love Ellen C. Maze’s “Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider,” without any spoilers, is almost impossible because, although the novel reads like any fast-paced and exciting story of suspense, the underlying themes and symbolism are much more complex.
The unique premise of this novel alone – of a fiction author who, unknowingly, writes the truth about and suggests the possibility of salvation for the creature known to most human beings as the vampire (though not known as such to this race of beings themselves, we learn) – was enough to fascinate me and draw me into the story. Many other factors, however, impressed me and made it a story that really touched me on a deeper level.
First, the character of Beth, who in the beginning of the story has no idea why she’s been made a target, is a kind of archetype for all human beings, each of whom have an individual role to play in God’s plan, even when they are unaware of that role or don’t realize at all that their daily decisions and actions are part of that design. Beth must learn, as all hopefully one day do, that what she had considered the gift of her talent, leading her to a particular career path, was, in fact, divine inspiration leading to a much more vital role. Further, the symbolism of a fiction writer whose creative work is the inspiration which can change the lives and spiritual destinies of so many is a great testament to the power of the written word and how what writers write can influence and transform another, for better or for worse. The deeper symbolism, that this is exactly how God transforms man – through His Word – is more significant still.
Over and over throughout the novel, I was struck by how much “Rabbit” reminded me of a parable. While, on the surface, the author seems to be simply telling a fascinating story with a moral theme - because these ideas are not presented in a systematically theological manner meant for scholars, but instead like one of those intriguing folklore tales listeners of any age can understand and enjoy – delving into deeper layers of the story offers an even more beautiful message of redemption, pointing toward fundamental truths about the love and mercy of God, the value of human life and the lengths God to which will go to bring each of His creatures back to Him.
While indisputably a Christian fiction, I believe any reader who appreciates an original, well-written and inspirational supernatural story will love and be touched by this unique vampire novel. Highly recommended reading. (less)