Series: Vampire Queen #1
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on 3rd August 2010
Source: Bought Physical Copy
For 500 years Lenah Beaudonte has been a vampire. 500 years of seduction, blood and destruction. But she is sickened by her dark powers and longs to feel the sun on her skin, grass under her bare feet, and share the breath of a human kiss.
She wants to be mortal again.
But is she really capable of being human, after her long years of darkness? Waking up as a sixteen-year-old girl brings Lenah many things the life she has missed, taste, touch, love. But a vampire soul is not easily shed. And her coven of four vampires she led in decadence and thrilling destruction want their queen back...
I picked up this book knowing very little about it. It was a part of a ‘buy one, get one for £1’ offer at Waterstones, so I picked up this one along with Fallen by Lauren Kate. I skimmed over the blurb, and decided that the premise of a vampire turning back into a human sounded interesting enough for me to buy the book, and bought it. I then left it to gather dust (along with so many other of my books) before finally picking it up last week. And wow, am I so pleased I did! The book left me so hungry for the next in the series, I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until next year until it’s release!
I loved how real all the characters were, there were no ‘perfect’ characters, they were all flawed, which I feel is so important to all fiction. No-one is perfect, and sometimes I feel that authors try too hard to make their characters perfect. I particularly loved Tony, Lenah’s new best friend that she meets on her first outing outside her new room at the Wickham boarding school. Tony was an artist, a fact that is always noted upon throughout the story, as were tiny little details like ear gauges and mismatched boots. The writing really came alive for me in this book, and I felt as though I was right there at Wickham with all the characters.
I loved how Maizel incorporated flashbacks of Lenah’s vampire life, these in particular were vivid in their description, and I could easily imagine every place, person, noise, you name it, I imagined it. Sometimes I preferred the flashbacks to the present day scenes, probably because of the rich description they contained. I also grew strangely attached to Lenah’s coven, something which I didn’t think would happen, but considering these men were her family, it was difficult not to. I liked how each coven member had a different interest or culture, it added so much more depth to the characters.
Lenah herself was an exceptional character. She knew she had been a vicious, murderous vampire in her past life, and tried desperately to live her newly human life to the full. This included going snorkelling and bungee-jumping with Justin Enos and the Three-piece, and of course, Tony. I loved how Lenah lost no memory of her vampire life, as I felt this really helped her character develop. I felt I could easily connect with her character, and I think that was why I felt for Tony and Justin so much, I loved them just as much as Lenah did, and I could see why she loved them both.
Her relationship with Justin was the only tiny thing that really bothered me, it felt like he dropped his ex like a hot potato, then went straight to Lenah. That felt a little too rushed for me, which was a little disappointing.
And the ending! Seriously, I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Talk about a cliffhanger! I don’t want to talk about it too much, as I don’t want to spoil anything! But I desperately need the sequel to be released soon.
One of the best first books in a series I’ve read in a while.