Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Review: The Turning

This book is a play on the popular trend in supernatural romances that are out in the market today.  There are some significant differences from the standard formula of the young woman falling in love with the vampire that make this an interesting variation.

Typical of the genre, the vampires in question are at least a moderate example of defectors from decadence.  They do not completely abstain from feeding from others, though mostly they limit themselves to feeding in situations such as when dealing with a threat.  They make attempts to explain the reality of people who are born and raised to serve as a food source for vampires and even attend restaurants that stock blood taken directly from humans.  However, they mostly feed on artificially produced or heavily processed blood packs.

Another change from the genre formula is that the main character is already in the process of becoming a vampire when she meets the vampire brothers, however, she isn't aware of it yet.  This fact makes a lot of the reasons why they interact with her more logical and rational.  There is an actual reason for these vampires to take an interest in her beyond just another human in this situation.

Then there is the fact that the main character is far from a passive girl waiting on her boyfriend and brothers to solve matters for her.  Most of the savagery seen in the pages is actually carried out by Marisa rather than any of the other vampires.  While she finds herself needing rescue more than once or twice, she is not content to settle into that position.

There are a number of grammatical or word choice errors throughout the story and it could do with a good editing.  Most of the errors will be passed without trouble but it is occasionally jarring.  This could be easily dealt with in the future, however.

One interesting thing is that the sense of continuity in the center of the story is somewhat difficult to follow.  It is a first person storyline and there is a section of story where Marisa's experiencing visions or hallucinations of some sort and these are not noted as such at first, making it difficult to suss out what is real and what is not.  This disorientation appears to be a deliberate choice and I am of mixed opinion about.  On the one hand, it puts us in a state of mind very much similar to that experienced by Marisa, on the other hand it occasionally leaves me honestly disoriented and, in one or two places, wondering if I'm reading a segment of story that was not intended to be part of the finished product.  I worry that it will throw a number of readers off their game.

Overall, it presents some intriguing shifts from the standard vampire romance along with an interesting mythology and it is really worth the read.

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