* Provided by the publisher for review.
2 gnomes out of 5 gnomes
Well, I had to say this sooner or later, “I did not like this book.” Unlike the praise written on the book’s cover, I didn’t find it thrilling, compelling, satisfying, terrifying, or heartbreaking. Heck, I barely found it interesting.
There was no empathizing with the main character, Natalie. This could be because she and I have nothing in common. It could also be because the scenes with her and Sophie tended to leave me confused about which one wanted the most to feed, which one was going through more emotional turmoil, etc. In the beginning of the book, you get that Natalie is the alpha female, more in control of her urges to feed. But she still makes these split second decisions that the reader has no reason to be able to follow and is left with a feeling of confusion, rather than horror.
Yes, there is blood and I’m sure plenty of people have wondered about one vampire eating another, but it just seemed so out of place. I’m fairly certain that you could have the same story in a non-paranormal or horror setting and it might be even more interesting. The story of a stalker who drives a woman from her home with only her best friend as comfort; only to find out that the stalker’s own stalker is after them and all they hold dear. It really sounds like a better plot for a murder mystery/thriller than a paranormal horror.
Then there’s the entire chapter from The Whistler’s Mother’s perspective about Aunt Sally, who seems important in this chapter, but is never mentioned afterwards and plays no real role. I get that we’re supposed to be seeing how The Mother thinks, but there had to be a better way of doing this. Then we find out The Whistler and the woman he calls Mother were lovers. I’m sure it’s just a terminology thing, but if there’s a vampire order here, as implied by the introduction of Aunt Sally, I’m not seeing it.
I find that there’s also a plot hole in this book that, could just be me, but how did Natalie’s mother, Jess, know that her daughter was a monster? Her daughter comes in, looks at her mother and says “Don’t let me find you.” I get that Jess is a strong, no-nonsense woman. But she then spends the first chapter from her perspective knowing she’s never going to see her daughter again. Natalie had a considerable wild streak but for some reason Jess knows this time it’s real? Is it a mother-daughter bond that goes beyond what my own mother and I have? Is it a southern mother/daughter thing?
To be fair, it could just be me. I reacted the same to Twilight, so maybe I just have a problem with modern vampires. The Whistler using Twitter to find/follow Natalie across the south does make him an incredibly creepy figure. Any woman with a stalker will understand why he is creepy.
All in all, this book left me feeling more confused and unsatisfied than anything else. There was so much potential for world building, the actual playing with the moonlight, Aunt Sally, The Whistler’s groupies, but it was all left to the wayside for the sake of showing how confused and emotionally distraught the main character was. I’m afraid the most I can muster is 2 gnomes and I feel I’m being generous with that.