Mini-Reviews: Werewolves

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Book: Vesper
Author: Jeff Sampson
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: January 25, 2011
Source: Borrowed ebook from library
Series: Deviants #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

Overall impressions: I posted a status review for this book on Goodreads that said "this is the most exciting boring book I've ever read." That pretty much sums up my feelings. While the story itself was full of promise of exciting things to come, they never fully materialized. I couldn't wait to see where the story was going, but the plot never fully went anywhere. It felt like a very slow build to what is sure to be an exciting next chapter. If you can hang with the slower pace, I think the payoff will be big.

I really liked the fresh take on the supernatural characters here. We know there are mysterious things going on, not only because Emily is acting so strangely, but also because we see hints in weird behaviors in other minor characters. Additionally, chapters are broken up occasionally by transcripts from a future discussion Emily is having about the events happening in the book. We never got complete answers, but the action and mystery were just interesting enough to hook me. By the time I finished this one, I was dying for the sequel. More please!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system





Book: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Release date: October 19, 2010
Source: Borrowed from local library
Series: Nightshade #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Overall impressions: From the beginning, this felt like a chore to read. I felt like I had walked in on a lecture mid-class and was struggling to keep up having missed some important revelations. The lore and history of this world is definitely intricate, but Cremer never bothers to clue us in. Instead, we have to make our own deductions and assumptions about how things work. I'm not the world's laziest reader, mind you, but I do think that in complex fantasy worlds we need a bit more hand-holding.

The characters in this book were not very likable. BFFs we will not be. Calla seemed too willing to roll over and submit for being an Alpha, and neither of the love interests were that, well, interesting. Ren was overbearing but ultimately seemed to care for Calla, yet he kept doing such awful things that I couldn't really fall in love with him. Shay was just too boring. I felt like with such rich mythology and settings, this could have been a home run, but the lack of info and frustrating characters ruined this reading experience.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

7 comments:

Missie said...

I agree, a bit of hand holding definitely would have been appreciated! And YES, Shay was soo boring. I kept hoping Ren would rip his neck out. LOL

Haha on Vesper. I think I rated it the same, but I read it such a long time ago, I don't remember for sure.

Amanda @ On a Book Bender said...

It's funny you say that Nightshade feels like walking into the middle of a lecture, seeing as Andrea Cremer is actually a professor. Of history. I won Nightshade at a signing, so I'll read it eventually, but I have a feeling it may be a miss for me.

Jenny said...

Love how you described Vesper as the most exciting boring book ever:) It did feel like one long prologue didn't it? I kept waiting for things to happen and they just never quite did. Definitely an interesting read though! Awesome mini reviews Logan!

Gina @ My Precious said...

I haven't read either one of these two books. The mini-reviews are nice, they cut to the chase. Thanks for the insight.

BURIED IN BOOKS said...

Love the mini reviews! If I thought I could actually do one, I would. But I write too much. Anyway, I never got the feeling anyone liked Vesper. Yours is the best review of the blogs I read. Maybe I'll give it a try this coming year.

As for Nightshade, I don't even know if that's the first or second book. I know everyone was in love with it, but I have yet to read that series. If you can't fall in love with the love interests, kind of hard to care, especially with your love of werewolves!

Glad your slump didn't last long at all!

Heather

Small Review said...

Huh, I didn't know Vesper was about werewolves. I think I'll pass now. My only real interest was it sounded like a mystery to figure out what she was, but eh, even if there is an eventual payoff, I'm all about the instant gratification :P No slow boring books for me.

I'm torn on Nightshade. I think I'd be rooting for the guy on the losing side, and that's never fun.

Tina~ said...

I have not read Vesper but I really loved Nightshade...;)

I thought Vesper was about Ghosts...lol I guess Vesper doesn't mean misty fog ghost things!!!

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