Bram Stoker Dracula fan here. Yes, I read all three Twilight books, but found sparkly vampires hard to love. I would fawn over Eric Northman, but run away with Bill Compton. Comfort Louis and live the high life with Lestat. Yes, of all the paranormal creatures, I love the vampires in literature. I am quite picky about my vampires though. I want them to have some substance, meat on their bones, brains in their head. I want them to be as close to human as a vampire can get, and still have the danger their bloodlust evokes.
My last encounter with young adult vampires was the Twilight series. Beloved by some, detested by others. I was somewhat trepidatious to tackle Orchard by Jed Quinn. There was something about Orchard, the newly turned vampire with just the snapshot of her last moments as a human, that pulled me in. With just enough mystery to keep you turning the pages, Orchard takes you on her journey to change the vampire world and discover who she was.
While many vampires in other novels long for their human lives, all of the vampires in Quinn’s world do not recall who they were before they were turned. Except for Orchard. She has flashes that haunt her and motivate her to discover who she was and what role she plays in this supposedly small community of vampires.
My one beef with the book is that the vampires apparently are charged with maintaining the balance of the world. Never once in 272 pages do they appear to do this. The book is focused solely on Orchard and the new dynamic she presents to her nest which is made up of Tortuga, Mouse, Knife and Violet. Other than Orchard, the reader learns the most about Violet, a vivacious heartbroken fashionista. Violet puts on a brave face, but like Orchard, I think she secretly wishes she to would remember who she was before she was turned. It doesn’t stop her, though, from living her undead life to the fullest. Violet was the brightest spot in the book and brought a smile to my face as often as she did Orchard’s.
There is definitely potential in Orchard’s story. The world of vampires isn’t as small as her nest believes and her turning definitely introduces a new dynamic which isn’t fully realized in this novel and will be continued in the next book in the series, Cove.
Stop back on Friday when Jed Quinn steps In the Spotlight to share how Orchard came to be!
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