…and the book with too many plots

Betrayed is the second book in the House of Night series and, sadly, the author hasn’t learned from many of her mistakes. There’s a little scattering of character development but there’s too many plotlines and the whole book just feels messy as a result. Don’t even get me started on the love-square around the main character. I don’t know which boy is worse: the creep, the dumbass-in-distress or Mr-Too-Perfect.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

The book with an unfocused plot…

This is a nicely developed world with ‘animators’ (legally recognised necromancers) as well as vampires with a large variety of groups and opinions on them. The main character provides a good narrative voice too. Unfortunately, the book took way too long to explore this and lost track of the plot. Not to mention, the romances just felt plain uncomfortable.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

…and the book with three stories.

Sorry this one is late. I was away last weekend and didn’t get back until late on Monday so I decided to delay this review until this weekend.

These three stories, co-existing in the same universe, are love stories at heart but, to me, only one of the couples has a genuine connection. While the Night World is a fascinating world and the different cultures of different supernatural beings is interesting, the cliche and formulaic storylines really bring the book down and the copious happy endings make it boring by the third story.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

The book with two stories at once…

I picked this up in a charity shop without knowing anything about it and liked it a lot when I first read it. If you like books about Antarctic expeditions and the Crimean War, this is certainly a good book for you. It certainly presents a few unique ideas about vampires and how to cure it but, storywise, it falls a little flat. Trying to tell two stories at once does carry that risk.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

…and the YA vampire series all teens should avoid.

I wish I had some nicer things to say about this book. I liked it a lot when I first read it but, looking back, I realise just how childish and just badly written this book is with too-perfect characters and annoying romance subplots. The annoying narrative voice should have been a red flag from the start.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

The YA vampire series all teens should read…

Going into the Morganville Vampires, my expectations weren’t very high. After all, all the other YA vampire novels I’d read (naming no names) didn’t really make a good impression on me and I was ready for another badly written romance and pretty perfect vampires. To my pleasant surprise, I was completely wrong. The characters are well-developed, the threats are very real and Morganville is a very nicely built world.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

It’s George R. R. Martin. You know it’s going to be good.

When you see George R.R. Martin on the front of the book, you know you’re going to read something great. Fevre Dream is no exception. It takes vampires and puts them in a completely new setting (who would have thought vampires and paddlesteamers would go together?) with brilliant characters, a scary villain and an excellent story. It’s my second favourite modern vampire novel behind Anno Dracula.

That’s the short version. To read the long version, click here.

An overlooked gem…

We’ve had the best and the worst so, now, I’d like to draw attention to an overlooked vampire novel which deserves more credit than it gets.

The characters are allowed a lovely amount of development, the setting is appropriately desolate and, for once, the vampires aren’t the bad guys. There’s a much bigger monster in Penance, Ohio, and I won’t dare spoil it for you.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.

…and, now for a low note

Since I started off with my best review and I don’t want to feel like this is a countdown (since I’d like to do a lot more reviews), I’ve decided to post the worst-scoring book on the list (so far).

Like most books, this had a lot of potential: a female vampire hunter in Regency England having to balance her commitments to high society and to monster hunting. That potential was squandered with a lack of research, an unengaging storyline and a frustrating dumbass in distress.

That’s the short version. Here’s the long version.