Twilight meets The Princess Diaries in the new series from the author of Honeymoon of the Dead
On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker learns that her so-called deadbeat dad is actually a vampire king. And he wants Ana to assume her rightful position at his side, in spite of the fact that she has witch’s blood running through her veins-from her mother’s side.
Too bad witches and vampires are mortal enemies. And now Ana’s parents are at each other’s throats over her future. It’s up to Ana to make a choice, but deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.
I honestly believe that the synopsis does the book a disservice by comparing it to Twilight. Indeed, there are some similarities but I think Ms. Hallaway has deviated from the whole vampire culture of glitter and glamour by presenting them in an interestingly…hmm, I wouldn’t say realistic but realer manner than other authors of the same genre do.
The book deals with issues that will be relatable to today’s teens, at least one issue that is more prevalent than others in some contexts: not being what your parents and your peers want you to be. In fact, “being unable to be what they want you to be.” Anastasija’s mother really, really wants her to be a witch. She wants it to the point that she willfully ignores the fact that Anastasija’s father being a vampire (and the king, at that) would probably change something in the genetics that allow the women in her family to handle magic and which logically enough leads to Anastasija being unable to do what is expected of her. There is a lot of pressure – kinda unhealthy, if you ask me. As if a monster mom is not enough, there’s her father – who has been absent for sixteen years and at this crucial moment, waltzes up and tries to lay claim on her – in fact, both parents fight over their child as though she is some prized Monet that both would kill to have.
And then there are the boys. Of course there are two of them. One of them is a vampire hunter and the other is a vampire. You can tell they won’t be sitting down to share their love woes with each other any time soon. But Ms. Hallaway twists the love triangle in a manner that will leave you feeling as confused as perhaps Ana. It’s not the usual A loves B but B is madly in love with C who loves B. Ana has feelings for both guys and I dare say that both are of the non-platonic variety. Both guys remain interesting － Ｉ want to know more about them. I liked how the relationship bit is quite clear if not simple. Pretty straight forward while retaining it’s chemistry. I won’t say more about it except that you have to read the book to find out what I’m saying.
The ending of the book does lay on the cheese a bit too thickly to my liking. It had held on to an almost breezy narrative until things got way too creepy, way too fast. How much will a parent do to keep their child? And if they go to those lengths, will they really give up just like that? The ending seemed a bit forced and contrived and it didn’t really persuade. However, the book in its entirety is entertaining and does leave you wanting more. As I implied before, it’s treatment of vampires as something other than undead Gods, all beautiful and all too tempting makes this series a very welcome addition to the genre.