Emma Gabor,
(Newmedia, 2009)

Emma is a typical Hungarian teenage girl. She lives at home with parents and has a few girlfriends she is really close to. While her pals are already interested in the opposite sex, Emma is more interested in her studies. Then one night she is awoken by a stranger in her room; he takes her blood and the life as she knows it and turns her into a Predatoress.

Emma reluctantly embraces her new lifestyle as a vampire and, although she wishes she were mortal, she selfishly turns her best friend Kati into a vampire, too, and then the two of them turn another two friends, Gizi and Eszti. Soon this foursome is terrorizing their hometown on their quest for blood to sustain a life none of them is completely comfortable with.

This book reads like a memoir told from the viewpoint of Emma, the friend that starts it all. The book summary promises an interesting and unusual vampire tale that pulled me in immediately. Unfortunately, the actual story fails to pick up speed until the book is about halfway through. The storyline gets bogged down with Emma's ramblings of genetics, DNA, Hungarian histories and delicacies, and the repetitious fights and feedings between the four friends. It makes it difficult to weed through the prose to get to the heart and vitality of the story, which ends up being Emma's quest for a cure for her, her friends and the other vampires out there.

The main problem I had was with Emma herself. She is not a likable heroine or villain. Her bossy, know-it-all and selfish behavior makes it really hard for the reader to care about what she has to say. She comes off as immature one moment and pompous the next. When Emma is only a few hours old in her new vampire persona, she begins to speak, act and dictate as though she is lifelong authority on vampire etiquette and ethics. If I had been one of the three friends she had turned, and then ordered about and lectured relentlessly, I would have staked her in the heart after about five minutes.

I was really looking forward to this tale, but ultimately found myself disappointed. The marketing campaign for this book is brilliant, and I have no doubt it will be a success because of it. Readers can also visit predatoress.com and purchase a bottle of Emma's own bloodwine; a luscious and fruity red zinfandel, with a bite. Perhaps I should have drunk the bottle of wine whilst I read?

[ visit the author's website ]

review by
Cherise Everhard

5 September 2009

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