I like the premise; vampires living with the covert knowledge of the British government with their own rules and heirachy. I like the fact that they'r...moreI like the premise; vampires living with the covert knowledge of the British government with their own rules and heirachy. I like the fact that they're genuine bloodthirsty vampires (no glitter) but they can go out in the day, don't sleep and eat real food, and that's not explained. Some of the older vampires mentioned are hundreds of thousands of years old, which was a bit of a stretch, around with "the first humans" (surely they'd have cleared up some evolutionary issues for us then?) but that's incidental. There are many other world dimensions and other supernatural creatures including wizard-like sages.
I enjoyed the fact that it's set in England, and London but it's London written by someone who seems to not know it very well - to get from Embankment to Hamleys by just running through some side streets? Did I miss a page? Trafalgar Square: Pigeons don't fly at night, and it's never empty of people. Any group of young people who leave a friend in London to go get a kebab at that time of the morning on their own are insane especially as the nearest place that sells chips/kebabs isn't just across the road. Would the daughter of a (high up) Government Minister be allowed out (age 17) totally unprotected being a kidnap risk, also when he knows vampires are real?
For a seventeen year old, Violet Lee seems to have been around the block a few times, is out clubbing and pulling (it happens, I guess) and I liked that she wasn't a silly girl, was quite sensible (other than she was in Trafalgar Sq on her own but I guess the story has to start somewhere) and her fears and angers were quite justified. I think she held her own very well! Would vampires afraid of discovery really leave thirty (or however many) bodies in the middle of one of the most visited tourist spots in London? I know Kaspar was a bit off piste but if that really happened there would be mahem!!
I liked Ms Gibbs language, it's not childish; she uses decent vocabulary and doesn't explain it (my pet peeve with some YA fiction) and had written in some quite nice descriptions (some were a little cheesy). The eye colour thing annoyed me a little after a while but that is just part of her vampire lore. However, despite all her verbose descriptors of the Varnley mansion and the people and places, I don't come away with a clear image in my head of what she describes, and I struggled sometimes to work out what's going on as I felt the narrative was confusing and jumped about. I still don't have a firm idea how Kaspar looks, or the house, in my imagination, and don't have any real association with any of the characters. I had this tagged as YA in my shelves but it's not; certainly it's not one for young teens as some scenes in this are a little graphic and sexual. I found that the emotions and Violet's reaction to what was going on was fairly straight and well written. I worry that in the three months she only ate about three apples.
There are some big editing mistakes in this (kindle version). It was fairly fun to read but I found I got a bit bored towards the end with all the prophesy stuff, and I wasn't gripped and found it hard to get into after I picked it up again. It'd make a good film - except the Ilta scene, which I don't want to see. (less)
I haven't seen the film yet, and wasn't sure about the book, was nervous and tense all the way through actually. Whilst it's not a "nice" book (not fo...moreI haven't seen the film yet, and wasn't sure about the book, was nervous and tense all the way through actually. Whilst it's not a "nice" book (not for the sqeamish and I had some difficulty with some of the paedophile images) it is gripping and puts a new slant on the vampire genre with some rather clever takes on aspects of the myth.
This follows a young boy who is bullied at school who makes friends with his next door neighbour, a young (ish) girl with nocturnal habits and strange features, and how their friendship grows and he finds out more about her. Her carer (for the sake of society, she actually looks after him) is a paedophile (yeah, I didn't like that), and she needs him to keep her fed and they have carved out a rather symbiotic relationship. There's lots of blood, guts and really horrible images of the man chasing children around and then his being turned in perpetual state of arousal... it IS as horrible as it sounds but it's very well written and is a ripping good read, and although I was cringing for a lot of it, I couldn't put it down.
Unlike many vampire novels this is not (repeat NOT) a young-adult book, it is not appropriate for children - there are no sparkles in this book, it's pretty dark and grim. Lindqvist is an original, skilled writer with a sick sick imagination! I don't say this lightly, but I would recommend you read with the light on, or at least one within reaching distance. (less)
I thought I'd hit gold with this, psychologist and vampire. Unfortunately this is trash with a capital T. It's trying to be erotica as well but fails...moreI thought I'd hit gold with this, psychologist and vampire. Unfortunately this is trash with a capital T. It's trying to be erotica as well but fails on so many levels and is quite sick in places. It makes all vampires out to be psychopathic sex attackers but the main hero male vampire, whom Kismet Knight (!) falls for, is of course a studly of epic proportions, but it's all too cliche and frankly ridiculous. I had absolutely no desire to read the other books in the series. Avoid. Unless you have a penchant for lowest common denomenator fiction, with spurious connection to psychology, with not enough titilation and fascination to keep interest on the up! I do like occasional toothy trash, but this was too much even for me.(less)
I have no business reading this book, or commenting thusly, given my age and the presumed target audience, but does Ms Cast think all readers of her b...moreI have no business reading this book, or commenting thusly, given my age and the presumed target audience, but does Ms Cast think all readers of her book are SO stupid?
It's a nice idea and I love all the pagan/animism stuff in there - nice unusual mix with vampirism - but it's written so simplistically. Each time the "smart" (gay, don't lets forget he's gay) kid uses a "long" word she has to explain it, in the dialogue; and they're not even long words! Also, I've often finished one of these books (yes I read more than one) and thought, "What actually HAPPENED?" Answer, very little. The books are painfully repetative too, as if you have the memory capacity of a gnat and are a little slow on the uptake, reminiscent of trashy-documentary-style programming where they remind you what you saw before and after the ad break, in case you forgot what you just watched and at the end you realise you actually had very little NEW information and it ends up saying "and we don't really know" etc. Like that. I felt that even young adults would find that offensive although it tries really hard to be "with it" and written in a way appealing to "da yoots"! *smh* I know I would have found it offensive.
The main character Zoey Redbird is originally really likeable and you feel sympathy for her but then she goes off-piste a bit and starts being a bit scatty and ditzy and "Oh woe is me, oh-em-gee, I have special powers and can control all the elements and I have to choose between some hot guys who all fancy me!" and it gets a bit innane (PC Cast would have explained that word). AND if they mentioned ONE MORE TIME in the dialogue how the gay guy is gay and, like, that's okay because it's okay to be gay and we're all fine with it, and he's the really smart one, who is really witty, and he's really good with clothes and that's not a stereotype at all, but it's fine that he's gay, I'd just've DIED!! I would! Seriously! But then it's probably aimed at people over twenty years younger than me so perhaps I should just shut up. It's a little preachy. Just saying!
There are some original vampire ideas in this (thank goodness they do not include glitter, but do include curly tattoos) and in the early books at least a lot of heart and beauty that kept me hooked - yeah I admit it - and teary in places (!!) - but I gave up on the series eventually. I love the Native American connection and her Grandmother is just beautifully written, and her relationship to her goddess Nyx is touching. Read them yourself and see what you think... but be prepared to give up as they go downhill but seeing as they are such fast reads (because nothing happens) you may want to see what transpires. I'm vaguely curious so let me know!
Blessed be! *disappears in a cloud of white sage smoke*(less)
Not a great book, but a good trashy novel of the ilk that you have to read one of every now and then. Very funny, a bit daft, trying to be sexy and ch...moreNot a great book, but a good trashy novel of the ilk that you have to read one of every now and then. Very funny, a bit daft, trying to be sexy and chick-lit and doing an okay job of it (cue lots of talk of shoes.) The funniest bit is that when her vampire fangs come down, she lisps... and itth written into the dialogue of her speecth ath thee hath it happen. Something like that. Hilarious. Really genuinely laughed out loud at that. Just read the one, but wouldn't be averse to reading more but I'd save paper and read them on kindle.(less)
I think I saw the film first, and was blown away by how slick it was - considering it wasn't hollywood but low budget Russian. Then I read some of the...moreI think I saw the film first, and was blown away by how slick it was - considering it wasn't hollywood but low budget Russian. Then I read some of the books, which actually were helpful in explaining some of the film that I didn't quite follow. I really enjoyed these books, haven't read them all (yet) following the politics and secret war between the ancient supernatural beings pledged to the Light and those pledged to the Dark, which obviously normal Russians are oblivious to. It all centres around a prophesy believed by the "others" who are waiting for a person of phenomenal power would would end the war for good. It's sort of messianic in a Matrix sort of way, but not quite.
It is a created world set in Moscow that is complex and brilliant, gripping and really original. Highly recommend both the books and the film. I don't want to say too much as I really don't want to spoil any of the ideas, which are so surprising.(less)