Mhlafferty's Reviews > Taste

Taste by Kate Evangelista
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's review
Aug 29, 12

really liked it

I was given the opportunity to read Taste for an honest review of the book. I jumped at the chance as I had seen the book and it sounded intriguing. The plot revolves around a female student named Phoenix who discovers that her boarding school is harboring a society of zombies, formally Zhamvy. Phoenix’s curiosity of the Zhamvy and of the boy who rescues her from said zombies, Demitri, leads her to sneak into the school after hours to learn more about this secret society. With her life in danger she agrees to help them with a medical experiment to help determine what is plaguing their existence, all while in the middle of a love triangle with two princes no less.
Although I do give Ms. Evangelista props for coming up with a different concept from vampires, angels or werewolves in her choice of zombies, other than diet, they really aren’t that much different. They are superior to humans as they are very strong, have excellent senses, are extremely good looking and age 1 year to a human’s 50 years. The Zhamvy are “vegetarians” due to an edict issue 600 year prior after a plague almost killed the human s and in turn, the Zhamvy’s. So as it turns out, Phoenix really isn’t in that much danger as the penalty for “tasting” a human is severe. She is in danger however as a participant in a medical experiment that if discovered would expose that the “vegan” diet is having a detrimental effect on the survival of the race.
The pace of the book is good and the characters are well defined. I enjoyed that although there is a love triangle, it is clear where Phoenix’s heart truly is with. Other reviewers have said they didn’t like Phoenix’s choices, but I thought Ms. Evangelista laid the foundation to understand Phoenix’s personality. Her mother has died, she has serious daddy issues, she does not like to be told no, she has been kicked out of previous schools, so it wasn’t a surprise that she charged ahead when she was told to stay away from the Zhamvys. The author would also have Phoenix herself question her own choices so I wasn’t the only one asking what she was doing.
The thing that bothered me about the book (and this may be nitpicking) was that the Zhamvy’s diet is threatening their survival. They only stopped eating humans due to a plague that disappeared 600 years ago. Isn’t the solution to the problem obvious? What is proposed in the story is certainly more humane, but to me it does not make sense. To explain further would give too much away, but I wish she gave a better answer to that. Maybe book two will delve into it more.
Overall, I gave it 4 stars, but it is really more of 3.5.

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