An angel and a vampire … sounds doomed, doesn’t it?

TITLE = ETERNAL

AUTHOR = CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH

GENRE = SUPERNATURAL, FANTASY, ANGELS, VAMPIRES

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10

Another delicious supernatural love story told in a deliciously sardonic way by Cynthia Leitich Smith. The two lead characters take turns telling their version of events: Zachary (once Miranda’s guardian angel, now fallen angel) and Miranda (once shy, withdrawn human now vampire princess… oops, that should be, “Eternal princess”). As Zachary is partly to blame for Miranda’s conversion, he seeks to reclaim his wings and Miranda’s soul … but life is never easy when dealing with rich vampires (ummm, eternals),  werecreatures and the angel code of practice. Be sure there will be a few obstacles in the path of these young lovers…. And a bit of blood splatter as well.

Read a review of the graphic novel version here.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

 Why not check out this book trailer, too

(Note: all images in the book trailer courtesy of the Animoto site, music also provided from Animoto – Artist: Secrets in Stereo. Song: Happy. Text created by dma)

 And if you enjoy this novel, why not read Cynthia Leitich Smith’s other books set in a similar supernatural world of vamps, wereanimals and wisecracking humans: “Tantalize” (reviewed here) and its companion graphic novel, “Tantalize: Kieran’s story” (reviewed here on the Graphic Shelf blog).

A fresh twist to a werewolf love story

untitledTITLE = TANTALIZE

AUTHOR = CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH

GENRE = SUPERNATURAL, FANTASY, WEREWOLVES, VAMPIRES

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10

Quincie Morris has an unusual life. Despite being still in high school, she part-owns, part-runs a restaurant, one which has been in her family for years. Her parents have died so her guardian (who also helps her run the family restaurant) is her young uncle, barely out of college himself. Oh, and she is in love with Kieren, a werewolf hybrid, who seems to be keeping his distance from her. Does he not love her back??

Her life gets even more complicated when her beloved chef, Vaggio, is brutally murdered, and the prime suspect may well be her beloved Kieren. Then Quincie meets the new chef… and maybe, just maybe, she is falling for him? Is he just the person she needs to help her get over Kieren…or is her trust in him not only misplaced, but potentially dangerous??

Despite the central (forbidden) love triangle, this is not just another werewolf/vampire story. This is partly the location: Austin, Texas. It is also partly the structure – as befits a novel that is largely set inside a restaurant, the novel is divided into menu sections: antipasto, primo, secondo etc. It is also partly the inclusion of unusual supernatural shape shifters (such as werepossums and werearmadillos) as featured characters.

There are several twists and turns in the novel especially as it reaches its climax that will keep the reader eagerly turning the page, right up until the end. A fun read indeed.

And if you enjoy this novel, why not take a look at the story from a different angle: a graphic novel  which tells the story from Kieren’s point of view: “Tantalize: Kieren’s story” (written by the same author and illustrated by Mung Doyle). Read a review on The Graphic Shelf blog.

Recommended (dma) ****

What if you woke up in someone else’s body????

flipTITLE =FLIP

AUTHOR = MARTYN BEDFORD

GENRE = SUSPENSE, MYSTERY, SUPERNATURAL, GROWING UP

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10

Imagine you woke up one morning and discovered that you were inside someone else’s body! So the person in the kitchen cooking you breakfast must be your mum but you have never met her before. You put on a school uniform but you don’t know which school you go to or what subjects you study, let alone who your friends are. And to make matters worse, six months have elapsed and you don’t know why.

This is the dilemma which faces Alex one morning. So he spends the first part of the book trying desperately to work out what has happened to himself and his former family whilst trying to live the life of the boy whose body he now inhabits, a boy named Philip, or Flip to his friends (which gives a dark irony to the novel’s title).

Alex struggles to come to terms with his new self, let alone the reasons that lie behind the switch. Then he must decide what to do about it … because now it isn’t only himself that may be affected  – now he has to consider Philip’s future and the impact his actions may have on TWO families.

This is a compelling story which is made to seem quite credible. Alex’s story is grounded in real, everyday events (like walking the dog or trying to decide where to sit in the classroom) and sticky situations (when he gets arrested whilst trying to get in touch with a former friend). The ending is gripping and believable and should satisfy most readers. A great suspenseful read.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Can love truly conquer all??

afterlife_coverTITLE =AFTERLIFE

AUTHOR =CLAUDIA GRAY

GENRE =VAMPIRES, SUPERNATURAL

INTEREST LEVEL  = YEARS 9, 10

This is the fourth and final instalment in the Evernight series and readers of the third volume will know that it ended on a heartwrenching cliffhanger with Lucas being turned into a vampire, the one thing he hated most. Will he be able to handle this transition or will his self-loathing be the final nail in the coffin for any kind of future between Bianca and Lucas?

The action of this novel returns to the Evernight Academy where Lucas is surprisingly welcomed with open arms by Mrs Bethany. But despite the support of Vic, Ranulf and Balthazar, life is not easy for Lucas and Bianca. Lucas has a tough battle against his own vampirish hunger and is haunted in his dreams by Charity, his sire. Bianca yearns for an intimate relationship with Lucas but it seems that her wraith’s blood can  burn and harm him – so what hope for the future is there? Especially when fellow wraiths are demanding she turn more to them and break her ties with earth.

The action never slows down in this novel and readers will be on the edge of their seats as new plot twists arise bringing both complications and further torment for Lucas and Bianca. And the tortured love affair that began at the Academy seems destined to be resolved there – that is if a wraith and a vampire can ever have a meaningful future or does Bianca represent the greatest threat of all to Lucas??

This is a fitting conclusion to the Evernight series which began so brilliantlywith the first instalment: Evernight.

Readers will be delighted to realise the significance of the wonderful silver and red cover, too.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

The previous 3 novels in the series:

evernight_cover stargazer_cover hourglass_cover