Tag Archive | "vampires"

Check Out The Book Trailer For Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘The Last American Vampire’

Check Out The Book Trailer For Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘The Last American Vampire’

'The Last American Vampire'

‘The Last American Vampire’

Vampire Henry Sturges returns in the highly anticipated sequel to ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – a sweeping, alternate history of twentieth-century America by New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith. Check out the high-intensity book trailer for ‘The Last American Vampire’ and mark your calendar for it’s January 13th release!

‘THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE’ 

In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln’s shocking death. Henry’s will be an expansive journey that first sends him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash.

Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia’s October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination.

Expansive in scope and serious in execution, THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ a runaway success.

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‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ Motion Comic Episode One Now Live!

‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ Motion Comic Episode One Now Live!

History will never be the same!

Check out never-before-seen motion comic sequences from ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER to see Timur Bekmambetov’s story come to life in the first of three installments.

To view Episode 1 “Civil War,” visit: http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/tags/abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter

ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold history that shaped our nation. As a young boy, Abraham Lincoln witnesses the shocking death of his mother, leading him on a path to an ongoing war – and ultimately to the presidency – he chronicles in a hidden diary. The journal reveals the incredible story of a clandestine warrior who never stopped fighting for the country he led and the people he loved. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER hits theaters everywhere June 22nd. 

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‘True Blood’ Season 5: First of Three Fan Posters Revealed!

‘True Blood’ Season 5: First of Three Fan Posters Revealed!

A little something new for fans of HBO’s ‘True Blood’! The wildly popular series will return for Season 5 on Sunday, June 10th at 9pm, only on HBO! To promote the series,  the first of three fan posters have just hit the web! Check it out below and mark your calendars for the season premiere!

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Twelve New Character Posters For HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Unleashed!

Twelve New Character Posters For HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Unleashed!

The dedicated fans of HBO’s ‘True Blood’ have something sweet to sink their teeth into today! The wildly popular series will return for Season 5 on Sunday, June 10th at 9pm, only on HBO! To promote the series,  TWELVE new character posters have just hit the web! Check them out in the gallery below and mark your calendars for the season premiere!

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Kick-Ass New Trailer For ‘Underworld: Awakening’ Unleashed!

Kick-Ass New Trailer For ‘Underworld: Awakening’ Unleashed!

A brand new trailer for one of our most anticipated films of 2012, Underworld: Awakening, just got a brand new trailer! The flick stars Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley and Charles Dance. Check out the trailer and the official poster below!

The screenplay for Underworld: Awakening was written by Len Wiseman (Underworld, Underworld:Evolution), John Hlavin (“The Shield”), and Allison Burnett (Gone, Fame). Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein are directing and the film is slated to open on January 20th, 2012.

Synopsis: ‘Underworld: Awakening’ brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

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Three Clips From Vincent Lannoo’s Horror Satire ‘Vampires’

Three Clips From Vincent Lannoo’s Horror Satire ‘Vampires’

In Vincent Lannoo’s wonderfully twisted horror/satire VAMPIRES, the rituals and the strict codes of the undead are uncovered by a documentary film crew with the help of a family of vampires living in suburban Belgium.  Get an inside look at a family bored with immortality as they take every advantage they can suck out of the country’s social system in this believable mockumentary film that will make you wonder if this underground culture actually does exist.

Check out the three chilling clips from the film below to see a glimpse at the lengths these creatures of the night will go to in order to survive!

Recently called “a bloody good time”, VAMPIRES is now available to watch on demand from IFC Midnight, via Comcast, Cox, Cablevision, Time Warner, and Bright House.

Synopsis: They did it! They made a documentary on a bunch of vampires!

A family of vampires, bored with immortality, lives in Belgium, eats illegal immigrants, children, handicapped folk, and takes every advantage they can suck out of the country’s social system.

Samson, a seventies throwback, lives his 55th year like he’s forever 20. Grace, an eternal teenager bent on being human again, keeps committing suicide. George, the patriarch, manages as best he can, heading the eccentric family and its on-going squabbles with the neighboring vampires.

It turns out vampires must keep to a strict code. They are, for example, prohibited from sleeping with their leader’s wife. That’s where Samson went too far… Now he and his whole family are exiled to Quebec, where even vampires have to work for a living!

A fresh, biting comedy from Vincent Lannoo!

Get more ‘Vampires’…

IFC Films Official Site: http://www.ifcfilms.com/

IFC Midnight on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/IFC-Films/110646698964366?v=app_161166570562699

IFC Midnight on Twitter: @IFCFilms

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Book Review: Dark Days of The Supernatural – ‘Cryptic Cravings’ By Ellen Schreiber

Book Review: Dark Days of The Supernatural – ‘Cryptic Cravings’ By Ellen Schreiber

Cryptic Cravings is the eighth novel of the Vampires Kisses series by New York Times bestselling author Ellen Schreiber. It is also part of HarperTeen’s summer Dark Days of the Supernatural series, giving young minds and adults alike the paranormal romance and dark mystery they crave.

Raven Madison’s “morbidly monotonous” town of Dullsville has finally become the epicenter of excitement with the addition of her vampire boyfriend, Alexander Sterling, aka secret vampire-in-residence. Although concerned about when, or if, he will induct her into eternal vampire-hood, Raven is blissful as his mortal girlfriend. Her excitement is taken to the next level when the star-crossed lovers happen upon a group of vampires making residence in the town’s rundown old mill

Her bliss is mixed with woe when she learns the group of bloodsuckers not only includes friends of Alexander but also former-foe Jagger and his equally adversarial twin Luna. Jagger’s secret plans for a new club, the Crypt, in Dullsville are discovered by Raven and Alexander. With a checkered past, can Jagger be trusted to open a mortal-friendly dance club or does he have other plans?

Raven is torn between wanting a dance club in her boring town, a club that will meet her macabre desires, while also wanting to keep Alexander’s existence a secret and the town mortals safe. Her torment is further complicated by Alexander’s friend Sebastian and his fiery romantic relationship with Luna. Will Alexander ever give Raven the bite she craves?

I am familiar with Schreiber, having reviewed “Once In A Full Moon” earlier this year. I was drawn to the interesting werewolf love saga hidden within the pages of ho-hum storytelling. With that in mind, as well as her status as a New York Times bestselling author, I figure she has a significant fan base so there must be something to the Vampire Kisses series to keep readers coming back for more.

“Cryptic Cravings” begins with Raven admitting “Dullsville” was “no longer dull” because she’s madly in love with Alexander and witnessed a vampire bite for the first time in her “vampire-obsessed existence.” It took me a page or two to realize Raven wasn’t being sarcastic, her town really is named Dullsville. The town she wishes she lived in, several towns away, is Hipsterville. Schreiber should describe the towns, especially what makes them boring and hip, instead of simply calling them Dullsville and Hipsterville. Please, I can figure it out when you describe boring and hip aspects of the towns. I understand it’s meant to be humorous but I found it distracting.

Also, Raven’s been obsessed with vampires her entire life, yet, as I learn later on, has a normal family? How did this happen? Perhaps it was explained in a previous novel, since there are seven books filled with information about Raven, but instead of Wednesday Addams from “The Addams Family” I don’t see how Raven could be named Raven and be obsessed with vampires since birth (as she admits) with mom, dad and nerdy brother nuclear family unit. Also, she’s been living according to her own rules since she was born, which makes no sense and is a cliched phrase.

Obviously I’m over-analzying and should read on, enjoy the lighthearted fluff and relax, a la authors like Janet Evanovich or a theatrical romantic comedy.

So, I read on. I thought, perhaps this book would appeal to the goth/outsider crowd but then realized it’s somewhat demeaning. Insulting in its use of cliche after cliche and fumbling writing.
Trying to stay positive, I thought maybe as a teen I’d like to read this and went back and forth over this thought until I figured not so much.

Reading this story reminded me of when something trivial happens yet makes you crack. Maybe someone cuts you off in traffic or makes an offhand comment about your bad hair day. Whatever it is, it’s the cherry on top of countless things building up over time. With “Cryptic Cravings” I underlined and circled flaw after flaw, cliche after cliche, inconsistent and unlikely happenings and inconsistent characters to the point it became too much, taking it past the level of light, silly reading to ridiculousness.

Raven has pale skin, black fingernail polish, combat boots, lavender lipstick and uses corpse white cover-up. Fine. That’s information needed to develop a picture of her character. However, Schreiber took this to the next level, using terms such as a “morbidly monotonous town,” the smokestacks on the building resembling “grave markers,” Jagger driving a hearse and Scarlet a white Beetle painted to look like a skull, Raven listening to music by The Skeletons … there are morbid and wickedly cool outfits, wicked nail polish, morbid matchmaking, a haunting dance club … OK. I get it. She likes death and vampires. Stop suffocating me.

Other terms seemed out of place, like the use of soda jerk, as well as overly cutesy descriptions, including head-over-Doc-Martens, her house of Hello Kitty cards falling down, and blowing the coffin-lid off the secret identity of her vampire boyfriend. Overkill.

I get fluff. I love fluff. It’s fun, lighthearted and easy-to-read for teens and also for adults, who want to escape from serious adult-land for pages at a time. I understand. However, many things in “Cryptic Cravings” are absurd.

Raven and Alexander are peeking in on Jagger and Sebastian at night, trying to find out their plans, and Raven’s foot slips. The jig is up and the vampires hear but, luckily, a pigeon was walking along the window ledge so Alexander tosses a twig near the bird and it, in turn, is startled and flies away. Nocturnal pigeons in the country. Interesting.

Also, everything happens so fast. Raven goes back to investigate the club the next to day to see what’s been accomplished (in one night) and sneaks into a room filled with the vampires sleeping in coffins. When reaching Jagger’s coffin she hears the faint sounds of breathing? Breathing? Do they breathe? Schreiber used all the vampire cliches — turning into bats, nocturnal vision, sleeping in coffins, hanging out in cemeteries, inability to see their reflections or show up on film — but they breathe? They also seem to chew gum and drink strawberry shakes as shown by Luna, and Alexander and Jagger can flush red with anger. Hmm. Luckily Raven finds blueprints for the club so her secret mission wasn’t in vain. How convenient. She takes part of the sketching because Jagger “wouldn’t notice if one was missing.” Um, yeah he would.
More absurdness includes Raven’s friend Becky taking pictures of the vampires, who keep not turning up in the photos, but no one seems to show major concern when she whips out her camera, except for a few isolated times.

Also, Raven uses a flashlight on another secret fact-finding mission even though she’s with Alexander, who can see in the dark. Her flashlight must not work too well since she still manages to hit her head, which bleeds and fills the room with an intoxicating scent for the vampires they are trying to hide from.
Other absurdity includes Alexander parking his car a “safe distance” from the mill, so safe it never is seen by people or vampires driving by the abandoned building in a town known for wildfire gossip, must be some hiding spot! Alexander has an alter ego, Phoenix, which is basically him in a costume, yet no one knows. Must be some costume.

Also, Alexander and Raven know Jagger has a secret room to his club and they can’t get access. They confront him and he turns on “headbanging music” and they “all danced for a few hours.” What? New way to win arguments with my husband or friends, just turn on Megadeth mid-argument.

Also, I found Raven’s character confusing, especially how she went back and forth between obsessively wanting the dance club for the town but being concerned for Jagger’s secret plans, the safety of the mortals in the area and the safety of Alexander’s secret as a vampire. The dance club wins, which doesn’t make much sense.

The story is set in a cliche goth vs. prep town. Raven and her vampire friends look macabre, as is expressed through Schreiber’s dark-adjective heavy prose, and everyone else is cliche prep, going to the country club and described as Prada-bees wearing paisley and athletic boys who are secretly attracted to goth girls. Only Becky and her boyfriend seem to be between the black and white extremes, somewhat. Even Jagger, with his jagged and edgy white hair, mismatched eyes and “Possess” tattoo is mesmerizing to Raven. A cliche girl in a cliche world.

Also, the word nefarious was used more than 10 times (maybe 15 or 20 considering I lost count) in the 211 page easy-to-read book. It reminded me of Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” with his overuse of the word inconceivable. When used among a sea of simple terms, nefarious stands out. When used in excess, it becomes ridiculous. Another overused word is cryptic. Cryptic cravings, cryptic cage, cryptic of all clubs, cryptic clique, cryptic endeavor? In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Some of the cliches that stand out include: “It was as if he had touched my soul” (Alexander can touch and, also, see into her soul), “Adventure ran through my blood just as much as oxygen did,” and “His soulful eyes stared into mine and I kissed him with all my love.”

I know. I’m dissecting a book meant to be lighthearted. I should take Schreiber’s series for what it is, fluffy, silly, fun reading. The crop circles part was creative, as well as the underlying story. Also, Schreiber’s a bestselling author with a significant fan-base.

However, there is lighthearted reading and then there are books that make no sense, whether you are a young reader or an adult looking for fun supernatural romance. “Cryptic Cravings” is absurd. For all the Ellen Schreiber fans, keep reading, keep enjoying her books because absurd or not, reading is fun because it’s an escape from reality, an escape into another world.

To learn more about the summer supernatural series, visit www.harperteen.com/feature/darkdays/summer/

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Book Review: Dark Days of the Supernatural – Amy Plum’s ‘Die For Me’

Book Review: Dark Days of the Supernatural – Amy Plum’s ‘Die For Me’

“Die For Me” is the debut book by author Amy Plum and part of HarperTeen’s summer Dark Days of the Supernatural series. The story follows 16-year-old Kate Mercier who is uplifted from New York to leave her past, including memories of her recently deceased parents, behind for a new life with her grandparents in Paris. Although she has her sister, Georgia, for support, she finds the loss unbearable, spending most days indoors until getting the nerve to leave the dark shadows of her bedroom and sit alone in cafes, losing herself in classic literature while her sibling takes on a different therapy treatment, attempting to forget the loss by frequenting various Paris nightclubs.

One day, while lost in Edith Wharton’s “In The Age of Innocence,” Kate catches a young man watching her and an instant spark ignites. He is breathtaking, with longish black hair, olive skin and sea blue eyes complete with thick black lashes. Swoon-worthy. Kate soon learns his name is Vincent and the dance of romance begins, a romance not only hindered by Kate’s fear of loving and losing again but also Vincent’s mysterious, supernatural fate as a revenant — an undead being whose condition forces him to sacrifice his life for others forevermore. The drama is further complicated with a centuries-old battle between good and evil.

Should Kate risk everything for love?

The opening of the story, with Kate clinging to the past when her parents were still alive, creates a character forcing sympathy. Her parents died a week before Christmas and she describes herself as being too “shell-shocked” to put up a fight when her older sister decides the two of them will uproot to Paris. So sad. So instantly I like her, at least feel sorry for her, and form a bond. You can’t dislike a character whose parents just died! My bond deepened pages later upon learning she wears a size 10 shoe … as a fellow victim of larger feet, I couldn’t help but smile.

The reader is soon introduced to Vincent and his description, when Kate first locks eyes on him, is detailed enough to give an idea but leaves the reader open to imagination with terms like “young and beautiful” and “strikingly handsome.”

Although the book is criticized for Kate falling quickly in love with Vincent, I wasn’t so put out by it because, to me, it’s typical of teenage emotions. Kate’s first dates with Vincent are awkward, she spends countless hours thinking of him but is not sure of her feelings. She’s impulsive, rational and emotional. Typical teenage girl behavior if you ask me, especially when Vincent buys a beautiful necklace for a friend with Kate’s help. She quickly becomes jealous, figuring Vincent has a gorgeous girlfriend to match his gorgeousness. When Kate learns about the supernatural qualities of Vincent’s existence, her response is authentic. She doesn’t jump headfirst into the Twilight Zone but ponders various solutions to the dark magic before her eyes.

I also enjoyed the setting. As you read Kate and Vincent’s love story, you also get a view at the loveliness of Paris as they visit restaurants, museums, cafes and other sites. As a small-town American, everything seems more interesting when it’s taking place in Europe.

Although it may seem slow at the beginning and rushed at the end, I enjoyed the buildup to learn more about Vincent and his supernatural fate. Kate doesn’t know what’s going on and neither do I. The plot continues to thicken and become curiouser and curiouser, as I sit back and enjoy the ride … this is because when Kate happens upon some chance information about Vincent’s secret early in the book, it seemed too easy for a coincidence. I found myself thinking, well … maybe it’s fate and she was supposed to find it or maybe the author is just lazy. That’s when I decided reading is about fun and I’m going to go with it and this book, enjoy it for what it is — a fun, summer read. With most books it takes many pages to get into the story, get used to the author’s quirks, and finally get in the groove.

Although a fun read, the book also has negative aspects.

“Die For Me” reeked of the Twilight series with Kate’s introverted personality, unusual teenage sophistication and scholarly love for classic literature. Also stinking of Twilight-ness is her choice between a normal life and love, the quick path into obsessive, lost-without-each-other longing, Vincent’s impossible beauty and strength and his coven of revenants, their attempt at staying away from each other makes them both depressed and mentally unwell, Vincent is old fashioned and respectful towards the “main event.” Hmm … only thing missing was Kate wanting to become a revenant. Looks like Amy Plum should have also thanked Stephanie Meyer for inspiration in the Acknowledgements at the end of the book. However, don’t all books come from an author’s inspiration from other works?

A side note: In her Acknowledgements, as well as jokingly referenced in the story, Plum refers to the revenants as zombies and her book as a zombie love story. Huh. Zombies creep me out so I haven’t sat through many zombie films but, thanks to a fascination by the main man in my life, I am well versed in zombie.

Yes, the most celebrated zombie in literature and film is a dead person reanimated, not simply the Voodoo legend of a hypnotized person. These zombies are typically flesh-eating and are brought back to life after a pandemic disease.

So, revenants were once alive, died, and brought back to life with no real explanation. OK. Also, zombies serve the dead and revenants serve whoever brought them back to life by feeling a deep need to save people from death so, perhaps, that’s similar. However, that’s where the comparison ends.

Zombies are without consciousness and self-awareness. They respond to stimuli, i.e. brains, but definitely aren’t as human-like as the revenants, which resemble some sort of angel, being brought back to life to serve God. Revenants are gorgeous, strong and athletic, eat regular food and are mentally their former selves.

Another negative aspect is the story is ripe with cliches, including Kate feeling she knew Vincent as they gazed upon each other for the first time and “the world around” them froze when their “eyes first met.”

However, for all the cliches and ridiculous metaphors — especially the barf-worthy kind like “the warmth inside me transformed into a flow of lava” — Plum made up for these literary no-nos with the deep, insightful turmoil Kate undergoes, including her comment to Vincent, “If I were to end up loving you, I couldn’t live like that. In constant agony. Knowing that you were going to be resurrected, or whatever it is that you do afterward, wouldn’t be enough to make up for having to live through your death time and time again. You can’t ask me to do it. I can’t do it.” This, in addition to her inner turmoil (“And now I felt myself perched at the rim of the same black abyss I had finally managed to crawl out of a few months earlier. I felt the overwhelming temptation to lean forward, just an inch, and let myself fall headlong into its comforting darkness. The thought of letting my mind leave my body behind was tempting. I wouldn’t even need to be around to clean up the mess.”) helped me forget about the cliches and occasional cheesiness and focus on the best part of this story, Kate’s struggle with loss and love.

So, if you are looking for a fun summer book, read “Die For Me” by Amy Plum. Check out www.harperteen.com/feature/darkdays/summer to keep your summer reading supernatural!

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Book Review: Dark Days of the Supernatural – Aprilynne Pike’s ‘Illusions’

Book Review: Dark Days of the Supernatural – Aprilynne Pike’s ‘Illusions’

“Illusions” is the third book in the Wing series by New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike and part of HarperTeen’s summer Dark Days of the Supernatural series. Released May 3, 2011, the story follows Laurel Sewell, a faerie attempting to return to a normal life among humans in Crescent City, Calif. with her human boyfriend, David, and human parents after time away in Avalon, aka faerie-land.

The book opens with Laurel’s first day of 12th grade, as life becomes not-so-normal again with the return of her guardian/former love interest, faerie Tamani, who is posing as a transfer student from Scotland. Tamani returns to protect Laurel from trolls, an enemy of faeries, who came to Crescent City to torture Laurel for access into Avalon, where they will wreak havoc of epic proportions. Well, this is speculation since, although evidence of trolls was found, i.e. footprints and bloody animal corpses, the usual tracking serums and traps are not working. A new magic is afoot.

Further complicating the dire situation is Yuki, an unknown type of faerie posing as a Japanese exchange student under the watchful eye of troll hunter Klea. Tamani and Laurel aren’t sure if Yuki and Klea are working for good or evil so they must secretly learn more.

With the addition of a love triangle between Tamani, Laurel and David — reminiscent of Jacob, Edward and Bella in “Twilight” — this story is full of faerie lore, menacing trolls and big life decisions involving true love and choosing between two worlds.

I’ve never read “Wings” or “Spells” so by page 21 I put the book down and turned to Google searching some background because I was beyond lost. I recommend starting at the beginning of the series because Laurel’s plight gets confusing without the background — especially since Laurel, David, Tamini and Laurel’s best friend Chelsea are well developed returning characters — and the storyline is interesting and fun. It’s a welcome change from typical teen supernatural stories featuring vampires, werewolves and angels with ancient folklore, magic, trolls and faeries.

Even though I didn’t have the whole picture without the background provided in previous novels, the story is fun and intriguing. I looked forwarded to reading on and digging deeper into who is after Laurel, whether Yuki and Klea are bad news, why the faerie magic doesn’t work, and if Laurel was going to choose Tamani or David. I found myself wishing I’d read the previous novels so I would fully understand the drama. It was like Pike was speaking in a different language, a language I wasn’t fully fluent in but one I understood enough to get by. The faerie heirachy alone is enough to confuse.

Although I prefer a sparkly vampire with a dark side, aka Edward Cullen, for my fantasies, Tamani brings a romantic edge that even got my ole cynical self saying, “wow.” The story is void of any adult sexual situations, making it appropriate for teens of all ages.

At times I found some of it not entirely believable in regards to the main characters’ responses to drama with trolls and Yuki and Klea’s plans, but then again I don’t know what teeanger-me would have done in this situation. Tamani is guarding Laurel from danger with the help of other trained faeries so he’s doing his job and, since they didn’t have a full picture of the trolls, Yuki and Klea’s plans, they couldn’t do much because their magic wouldn’t work… obviously this book has me interested enough to defend the characters so it did its job.

My favorite part of the story is the tension and doubt Laurel expresses as she attempts to choose between David and Tamani — I won’t spoil it, let’s just say Laurel doesn’t run away with the idea of happily ever after forever. She struggles with her feelings, which is so authentic, feelings of love as well as wondering whether she wants to return to Avalon or go to college among humans. Life isn’t easy – faerie or not!

So, for teens looking for a unique supernatural series for fun summer reading (or adults needing a quick escape) check out Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series by HarperTeen as well as other books in the Dark Days of the Supernatural series. When I think summer, I think summer reading!
Check out www.harperteen.com/feature/darkdays/summer — Kate Vendetta

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Book Review: Trevor O. Munson’s “Angel of Vengeance”

Book Review: Trevor O. Munson’s “Angel of Vengeance”

“Angel of Vengeance” by Trevor O. Munson, the inspiration for CBS TV series “Moonlight,” features Los Angeles private investigator Mick Angel, who is hired by a seductive, figure-8 burlesque dancer to find her missing little sister. Did I mention Mick’s a vampire? Of course his investigation is not simple, as it soon is complicated by incessant cops (who he lovingly refers to as having “bacon-smelling aftershave”), murders and crimes, drug dealers, trampy romance and Mick’s checkered past. The drama is further complicated by Mick’s status as vampire, which has advantages and disadvantages.

Turned back in the ‘40s, Mick is like transporting Sam Spade from “The Maltese Falcon” — full of witty remarks about gals while drinking highballs of Scotch and wearing a tailored suit and fedora — to present day L.A., well … that is if Sam Spade was an addict whose drug of choice evolved from shooting up heroin to shooting up human blood after he became a vampire. So, perhaps a mix of a vampire Sam Spade with notorious trumpetier Miles Davis, especially since Mick played trumpet in a band before being turned and Davis was known for dabbling in heroin.

To further complicate the formula, Mick is a vampire with a conscience, seeking out rapists, murderers and overall bad dudes to feed on in an attempt to bring order to the chaotic, blood-thirsty monster he’s become. He keeps vials of their blood in his fridge but at least he’s riding the world, well L.A., of bad guys and leaving the women, children and innocents.

I’ll come clean and admit I’ve never seen “Moonlight,” so upon judging this book by its cover I was expecting something along the lines of the books flooding the teenage/young adult market in recent years about supernatural beings, particularly vampires. After a few dozen pages in, where I encountered sex, violence, drug addiction and other sinister topics, I figured this book wasn’t for teens. Don’t let the big print fool you. This ain’t a book for kiddies. Also, the combination of the classic vampire story with film noir added a unique twist to the tale.

Author Trevor O. Munson

Even further into the 239-pager, I found the combination of Mick’s past, presented in flashbacks, with the present day drama very interesting. At times, after a flashback, I paused a few seconds to remember what was happening in present day as if I was fuzzy headed from Mick’s dream too. However, this was eased by the back-story being almost more interesting than present day, which kept me reading on.

I also enjoyed Munson’s exploration of vampire lore, including bats, coffins, sucking blood and immortality, doling out information through Mick’s sarcastic thoughts and comments. It was fun as a reader to be in on the joke — Mick’s a vampire and most characters don’t know.

“Angel of Vengeance” was tasty as junk food for the mind. Just as you often yearn for something junkie to eat (I am a nachos zealot), the mind also needs to cheat on its steady diet of brain-food from time to time. Am I interested in watching “Moonlight”? No. However, this book gave me something to read while on the treadmill every day, something to distract me from the annoying fact I was exercising. I’ll stick with my Twilight and True Blood obsessions but did enjoy the junkie snack! Sookie! — Kate Vendetta

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