Monday, May 25, 2009

Review – Vamped by Lucienne Diver

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.

I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.
Vamped by Lucienne Diver is a debut young adult urban fantasy. Clocking in at only 230 pages this is a fairly quick read. Gina Covello, the central character is one of those high maintenance, high school princesses with a snarky attitude that delivers a number of the usual laughs and chuckles, but underneath this familiar exterior lies a mind with a somewhat sharper interior wit -
I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland—with pointy teeth and bloodlust. Okay, so maybe as Quentin Tarantino would do Alice ...
and later...
He kissed me then and it was practically one of the great screen kisses of all time ... like MJ and Spiderman, only right side up.
As you can see Vamped does riff off of contemporary pop culture a good deal and the references work quite well. I particularly liked this scene towards the conclusion of the book –
Right there in the doorway was a man in a phat black suit—like midnight black, the best tailoring I'd ever seen. If he was armed, he kept his piece hidden and one hand casually in his right hip pocket. And, oh yeah, he wore his sunglasses at night.
"Holy crap," Bobby said in hushed reverence. "The Men in Black. They really do exist."
Vamped follows the trials and tribulations of a group of teens that have been turned and trained by Mellisande, a nefarious vampiress, who has plans to overthrow the local vampire council. Gina’s new boyfriend and sire, Bobby is the key to her success. Named in a prophecy and with untold powers, Bobby is the linchpin in the scheme.

I had a few reservations with Vamped. While the writing is quite polished and the dialogue sharp, I didn’t always buy into the characterization and there are a few hard to swallow plotting issues. Gina’s transition from self-involved fashionista to fearless leader and protector of the teens is perhaps a bit too abrupt and I would have liked to see more scenes building up to this. Which is not to say that Gina doesn't experience some traumatic moments that do contribute to her transformation, learning some hard realities -
"Get the hell out of my head!" I screamed, mentally and physically. Maybe I had some vain hope that our psychic connection ran both ways and I could somehow make him recoil, but mostly I just couldn't take it any more. I wanted to drown out the whispers, if only for a second.
Some of the plotting issues may in fact be explained in the next book, but I found the premise of so many supposedly dead/missing teens from a single high school and not raising a major furor in the community to be a bit unlikely and some of the changes in alliances that take place also seemed illogical. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

However, there is an innate energy to this book that made it a fun and rollicking read. Despite my few misgivings, Vamped is a strong set-up novel and promises a sequel and series with a really fresh premise that I am quite excited about. Vamped should prove popular with its intended audience and adults will find it an easy, uncomplicated diversion. ReVamped comes out in 2010. Oh and in case you hadn’t noticed, that is a really great cover design.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Lucienne Diver Website

Llewellyn Worldwide/Flux
Published: May 2009
ISBN #: 9780738714745
Format: Trade paperback
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 230

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Vamped Series:

  1. Vamped (2009)
  2. Revamped (2010)


3 comments:

  1. You've talked me into it. I'll make sure to pick this up once my library gets it.

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  2. I'm fifteen and just finished reading this book and was looking to see if it was a series. I can't wait until the next book comes out!

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  3. Ladytink wondered if you ever got a chance to pick that up? Sorry I missed your comment the first time around :(

    anastasia indeed it is a planned series with the next book due in 2010 - Revamped

    ReplyDelete

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