Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Book Review: Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater
Amaliya is just another college student until the night she is killed…and then turned into a vampire. Confused and filled with bloodlust, she seeks answers but her cruel creator abandons her to see how long she will survive. As she struggles with her new nature, she leaves a string of bodies across Texas before deciding to seek out others like herself for answers. She is picked up by Cian, the vampire ruler of Austin who shares the same creator she does. Vowing not to abandon her, Cian teaches Amaliya about her new dark nature and how to survive without detection. The two vampires share an undeniable attraction, yet Cian is engaged to be married to a perky human, one who is not too happy with Amaliya’s appearance.
Meanwhile, Amaliya is being watched by her creator, who is a powerful ancient necromancer that can command the dead. His new creation is but a plaything for him, and having his other child, Cian, involved only ups the ante for the cruel master.
Can Amaliya and Cian resist each other’s temptation? More importantly, can they finally defeat their elder creator?
I have to admit, when I received Pretty When She Dies I was expecting just another run-of-the-mill vampire novel. In a genre inundated with vampire stories, I wasn’t expecting much from Rhiannon Frater’s book. However, as soon as I began reading I just couldn’t put the book down!! Luckily, I was on vacation when I started reading and had plenty of leisure time to devote to Pretty When She Dies. I’m glad I did, because I did not want to stop reading the novel once I started! At the same time, the story was so delightfully dark and passionate I didn’t want it to end! Either way, I finished the novel in two days because it was so addicting.
I really don’t have anything bad to say about the book, just good things! First, I loved the character of Amaliya. She’s a mix of goth, punk and metal and from the very beginning I could empathize with her. She is very well-developed, and through her transformation you get to see the interaction with her family (her father is a prick, but her Grandmamma and cousin are very supportive). She is both vulnerable and tough, a combination that makes her that much more likable. And with her new vampire persona comes some neat-o powers. Seems that her creator passed on some of his necromancy skills to her, making things frightfully exciting! I also loved the other characters in the novel, from her wicked creator to the charming yet gruff Cian. Even Cian’s servant and his fiancé were well-developed and added more intrigue to the proceedings. Later in the novel, a vampire hunter becomes involved but ends up on a surprising side.
The book was chock full of tension and suspense. Amaliya’s violent and oftentimes messy adjustment to vampire life kept me on the edge of my seat. Her early kills seemed like they would be discovered by the police, but luckily they placed the blame on Satanists instead. And when she meets Cian the heat really gets turned up! This isn’t some cheesy and unbelievable Twatlight romance, but Amaliya and Cian’s attraction is raw and rough, exactly how it should be! I also enjoyed the interactions Amaliya had with other vampires, including a particularly sadistic fellow in San Antonio that didn’t like other vampires on his turf.
One small problem was that there were numerous typos in the book. The book is self-published (and otherwise looks great), but an editor could have done wonders. However, everything else that really matters (characters and story) were entirely enjoyable and thus the typos didn’t really detract too much from my adoration of Pretty When She Dies.
I could go on and on praising Pretty When She Dies, but honestly that would fill pages and pages and I don’t think you’d want to read all that. So, I will leave you with this: Pretty When She Dies is a bloody good time filled with violence, vampires, passion, Texans AND zombies…really, what else can you ask for?? Rhiannon Frater has crafted an engaging and addicting novel that I HIGHLY recommend! Word is that she has a sequel in the works, called Pretty When She Kills, and after her first vampire novel I am eagerly anticipating it!
Available on Amazon!