Evernight by Claudia Gray
|Evernight by Claudia Gray|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Superb supernatural romance which initially appears to be a generic Twilight clone, but develops into much, much more.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: March 2010|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
I'm at a complete loss how to review this book. I'm very tempted to take a tip from my favourite movie critic Roger Ebert who, on occasion, has been known to suggest that you should watch a film then read his review if it's full of twists and hard to describe without spoilers. I'm actually thinking that's not a bad idea here – but will try my best to provide a review with as few clues as possible to the twists and turns, just in case two sentences aren't enough to convince you. This may not be easy, so bear with me!
The book's start is so Twilight-esque that it must be intentional. Just as in the four Stephenie Meyer novels, we get the two main characters facing mortal danger – in this case narrator Bianca and love interest Lucas are surrounded by vampires who've just set the building they're in on fire. From that prologue, we go into the main story, starting when the pair first meet at their new school, the magnificent but somewhat spooky Evernight Academy. Bianca's parents are new members of the faculty there, but she still feels like an outsider, along with Lucas, his zany friend Vic, and the rather scared Raquel. Other students, such as her roommate Patrice, handsome Balthazar, and the snobbish Courtney seem far more the 'usual Evernight type'.
So far, so standard. In a crowded field of this genre, coming up to the halfway point, I thought this had 'average' written all over it. Reasonable characters, fairly decent writing, and above average dialogue, but nothing to make it stand out.
Then… in the space of two pages, the book changes completely. It's not even a 'everything from there on is awesome' thing – it's a 'everything previously is actually, in retrospect, also awesome' moment, as I appreciated just how well-written the first part of the book was. The twist is huge, and had me hooked straight away. I've just reread the first hundred or so pages immediately after finishing, and now love the book right from the start. I don't want to say any more – I was a little uneasy about even mentioning the twist actually existed – but couldn't think of a way to recommend a book which really, really needs to be recommended without at least revealing there was one.
From there, it's great all the way. Characters are much more rounded than in most teen fiction of this type, Bianca's parents are a great couple, and the plot, once it gets moving properly after that first twist, is fast and furious. I'm now about to hunt down the sequel to read as soon as possible – I believe there's four planned all together, and I'm certainly looking forward to the rest.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further Reading: While you can barely move without falling over a teen supernatural romance these days, the two in the genre that – along with Evernight – stand out as far ahead of the rest of the pack for me are Lauren Kate's Fallen and the phenomenal Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
You can read more book reviews or buy Evernight by Claudia Gray at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Evernight by Claudia Gray at Amazon.com.
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