Chelsea's Reviews > The Turning

The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

it was ok
Read in April, 2010

his book caught my attention when it was recommended as similar to Patricia Briggs and Laurel K. Hamilton. It doesn't really live up to those standards, and I ended up giving up on it about 200 pages in.

The premise is that a Carrie, a newly trained doctor, is attacked in the morgue by a vampire and subsequently turns into one. She is then caught up in a war between two very different vampire men. One, Nathan, is a member of an elite league of vampires dedicated to the extinction of their own kind. The other, the vampire who turned Carrie, a blood thirsty and uncaring yet captivating monster. Nathan tells her that in order to remain alive, under the orders of his organization, she must join forces with them and follow their rules. Meanwhile, her sire tries to seduce her, desiring her as a companion.

First of all, I'd like to say in this books favor that it is very gritty and suspenseful. Much happens in a very short amount of time. I can sort of understand the comparison to the Anita Blake and Mercy Thompson books. The first person narrative, a tough loner type heroine, and a considerable amount of gore. The side characters were probably the best part--I liked Nathan and his foster son, Ziggy. I also thought that Cyrus was one of the better villains I've encountered in books such as this.

The problems are numerous. Carrie is pretty hard to relate to and even harder to like. I got the sense that I might warm up to her depending on how the story progressed, but I never fully did. She's cold, lacks empathy, never demonstrates much competence in her career or life in general, and makes some very bad choices throughout the book. It's not that she's poorly written--just unlikeable. Most of the minor premises are pretty shaky. The plot with the self exterminating vampires had some potential but it came of as a bit stupid and unfounded. Then there's Cyrus' underling and her destructive tendencies which struck me as childish, pointless, and wholly unnecessary. All of this distracted from the otherwise decent central plot--that being lonely human woman tries to cope with vampire-hood--so much that I lost interest.

I feel that this is the sort of book that you will either like or hate, and it's entirely dependent on your feelings toward the lead character. I for one am sick of independent to the point of stubborn to the point of stupid heroines who constantly need to be rescued from the messes they create. Especially when those heroines have few other qualities to redeem them. I wouldn't recommend this book.

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