Patrícia's Reviews > Vesper

Vesper by Jeff Sampson
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-reads, in-english, ag-young-adult, g-fantasy-urban
Read from July 15 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

RATING: 4 stars.

Here's another book that surprised me. Maybe because I had little to no expectations about it as the only thing I actually knew about it was that it was a werewolf story.
But now, after finishing it, I am impressed with the book. Not because it is a masterpiece, but because it just stands out among all the young adult urban fantasy I've read this year. And that is something, because with so many books of this genre coming out every month it's certainly difficult to be original.

Emily Webb is not popular. She doesn't think she's pretty. And she knows she's a geek. Most of the time she doesn't mind having only one friend and wearing loose clothes to hide her body (of which she is ashamed). Except sometimes... she wonders... how it would be like to be a confident girl, with a confident walk and even some superpowers...
But one thing is imagining and another, completely different thing is having it happen. Really happen. Because suddenly Emily doesn't need her glasses to see clearly; she is fast, strong and... confident.
What is happening to Emily? Why is she suddenly feeling like she is in a movie adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

Here's the main reason I liked this book: Emily. I could identify myself with her. She was shy and had doubts about her body and sometimes wished she had the courage to stand up to people. I think she was very human and I can imagine that many girls feel like Emily. I don't know if all of them want superpowers (I know I wanted to be a witch when I started reading Harry Potter... but it's a secret. :D), but certainly every girl in the world has at one point or another felt inadequate and uncomfortable.

So, Emily is a relatable sort of character who suffers a transformation that allows her to be as sassy, outspoken and self-assured as she wants. It's easy to see the appeal, I think. I also liked the fact that Sampson actually cared about development of his protagonist and that we can see Emily actually changing and growing.

The story wasn't anything special really. It was Emily's journey, Emily's change that drove this book and made it interesting.

There were characters that could have been introduced earlier to the story (like Spencer; we know he is there, but his role is not very prominent although he is an important character) and some parts that felt rushed (the last chapters), but overall "Vespers" was a nice read.
And as the author included parts (the transcripts) that take place much later in Emily's life, I guess I'll have to read the second book in the series to see what else happens to her: how she will find her pack and how the relationship with her "mate". Oh and everything about BioZenith. I'll just have to keep reading until I know as much as Emily seems to know in this first book.

Overall: this is an introductory book to the series, clearly. It focuses on Emily's experiences while changing and has a very simple plot that is there just to help Emily in her 'journey'. The "transcripts" that appear throughout hint at a deeper story and several plot lines that include other supernaturals and the rest of Emily's pack. These transcripts represent Emily's present while the book is a recounting of Emily's past so if the reader wants to know more he'll just have to read the other books. I think I will. :)
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