Author: Kiersten White
Evie is a “normal” teenager living in a paranormal world. When something is hunting paranormals, Evie ends up in the middle of their fight for survival.
I do not own the content taken from this novel. All rights belong to Kiersten White and HarperTeen.
Excerpt taken from Page 1:
“”Wait – did you – You just yawned!” The vampire’s arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips. “What, imminent death isn’t exciting enough for you?”
“Oh, stop pouting. But, really, the widow’s peak? The pale skin? The black cape? Where did you even get that thing, a costume store?”
“He raised himself to his full height and glared icily down at me. “I’m going to suck the life from your pretty white neck.”
I sighed. I hate the vamp jobs.”
The narration is on point and consistent. Evie is a relatable teenage girl that is funny and mirrors what it is to be a teenager (boy issues, what to wear, how she looks) but she’s more complex than that as the story of her origin unravels. We learn that she was an orphan; never knowing who her parents were. We begin to see how this affects her and how it affects the telling of her story. It also allows us to see the complexity and psychological workings of her character. When she is given the opportunity to discover where she came from, who her parents were, her vulnerability begins to filter through. I do worry though that though Evie is meant to be a sixteen-year old girl, her commentary can read a little younger and maybe even a bit generic in parts. Also, her narration tends to revolve around Lend a lot. She is like the Earth and Lend, the Sun, and she orbits him so that no matter what angle she is at, he is always in her view; always in her thoughts. This gets a little bit much after a while and though there is a romantic element in this story, it is, for me, first and foremost about Evie; her self-discovery and her survival. The paranormal should come first and the romance should be secondary.
We get an interesting array of characters. It’s difficult to do much with Lish’s character (in that she’s essentially trapped in an aquarium) but White manages to convey a humorous quality in her monotone voice through the use of the “bleeps” which replace her swear words. Raquel is great as the mother figure/authority figure at IPCA. It dichotomises her character and adds another layer of complexity. She really does care for Evie but at the same time, she does have her superiors to answer to. Evie is funny but we get to see a struggle accepting who she is and accepting how things operate around her, both in the IPCA and when she meets David. We get to see a hint of vulnerability and I would like to see her show a bit more pain.
I have a couple of issues with Evie’s character:
- She calls Lend her boyfriend quite early on and they don’t really know each other. It happens too fast in too short a time frame.
- Evie calls their get-together with Lend’s friends a date when a date should be more romantic and these feels more like friends meeting up for a catch-up.
- Evie tells Lend that Reth was the most gorgeous thing she had ever seen and even if this is true, she’s crushing on Lend so I don’t get why she would say this.
- Sometimes, she provides excessive detail that is unncessary and becomes a bit repetitive, and even redundant.
I love the plot because it opens in an in-the-moment/humorous scene that immediately draws in the reader. Information is slowly filtered into the story, leaving the reader wanting to know more and work to put that information together. There are obvious obstacles in the story for Evie and as events unfold, new problems come to light, making the story a more intriguing read.
White has a tough time creating worlds; we have IPCA, the outside world of both normality and paranormality and then, creating a world that the reader believes but that that the reader doesn’t actually get to see – Easton Heights. Creating a sitcom-style programme that we don’t really get a deep insight into is difficult enough but it works. If White immersed us in this world, it would take us away from the immediate environment in IPCA that she is trying to create. White is able to establish this world through mirroring it in conversation with other characters (namely Lish, Arianna and Lish). Her descriptions of place provide us with enough detail to visualise everything from IPCA to the pond where Lend’s mother lives.
The content is mirrored elsewhere in stories including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black and The Iron Fey series by Julia Kagawa. The faerie myhtology is mirrored in other books and there’s nothing really to suggest any new facet to their character. The narrative voice has been mirrored elsewhere (most notable in Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall trilogy). There is the idea of “The Empty Ones” which ties in with the faerie mythology. Lend’s “paranormality” is also something I haven’t quite seen in other books. I guess I just wanted to see White go further with some of the paranormals instead of dredging up traditionals views of what these creatures are. I know it was probably difficult with so much going on but I would have liked to see something new that would add a new element to these paranormals.
Summary: Funny, action-packed and full of gooey romance. Not the worst but certainly not the best. In-flight reading.
Books You May Like:
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
The Iron Fey Series by Julia Kagawa
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
The Infenal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater