Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Den of Shadows Quartet

The Den Of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Four Complete Vampire Novels
One Captivating world

Random House Australia 2010 / 595 pages / ISBN: 978-1-86471-861-4


So a few weeks ago Hay and I were doing our regular browsing of our local library’s young adult section and we suddenly came across a quartet vampire novel by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes titled The Den of Shadows. Although the novels inside sounded great, I have to admit I was intimidated by them as I was about to read four complete novels by an author I’d never heard of before but Hay convinced me to give them a go and for that I thank her for they were....incredible.

The quartet starts off with The Forests of Night- Risika being the main character but unlike some vampire stories out there, Risika is not a human in love with a vampire, oh no, Risika is a three hundred year old vampire and perhaps she could fall in love with a human...if she weren’t to busy hiding from her past. But when memories from her past start to resurface so does Aubrey, one of the most powerful vampires Risika has ever known and the same vampire who took away her innocence and her soul. How far will Risika go to try and save her life and maybe, just maybe, gain vengeance for her human life.

What I thought about this book: It was a fantastic read with a great narrative by a powerful female vampire who proves you don’t have to be a male vampire to throw a good punch in a fight. Written by the author when she was just thirteen years old, Risika’s story is one you’ll want to read again and again. Totally recommended.

Favourite character: Definitely Risika
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Demon in My View- the second story in the quartet; High school student Jessica is a novelist who specializes in vampire fiction- but when new student Alex arrives at her school, Jessica swears he is one of her novel characters- but he couldn’t be, Jessica’s characters only exist in her books- don’t they? And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Jessica also has to deal with the mysterious Caryn Smoke and her apparent hatred of Alex.

What I thought about this book: A great read with an interesting plot and awesome characters. The ending was a little disappointing for me but all and the entire book was great and I would read it again.

Favourite character: Caryn Smoke.
My rating: 3 out of 5

Shattered Mirror- Sarah Vida is a vampire hunting witch and she’s after Nikolas, one of the only vampires ever to kill a witch in the Vida line. Christopher Ravena is a vampire...who doesn’t drink human blood and his past just happens to be connected to Nikolas’s.

What I thought about this book: BRILLIANT! Although I was disappointed with the ending in this book as well, I have to say this is one of the best stories in this quartet!!!

Favourite Character: Adianna Vida
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (would have been 5 but the ending)

Midnight Predator- Turquoise Draka and Raven Aniketos have never been the best of friends but when they are partnered up for a vampire assassination, they’re going to have to put their difference’s aside for their assignment just happens to be Jeshickah- the one time ruler of midnight, a vampire realm where is your human you’re either dead or a slave.

What I thought about this book: The best book in the whole quartet-even though Miss Atwater-Rhodes continued to disappoint me with yet another ending. But despite the ending, there’s nothing in this book I would change.

Favourite character: It’s impossible to decide between Turquoise and Raven.
My Rating: 5 out 5



Maddie and I happened across this one in the library a week or so ago. It was displayed with the new books in the YA section, and immediately drew us in with it's glossy black cover (art by Miranda Adria), which I thought was brilliantly done, but Maddie felt was a little too like Becca Fitzpatrick's, Hush Hush (art by James Porto), which is probably a fair call.

Although four separate stories, they are linked to one another through common characters and settings, which as well as being unique, was also quite satisfying and comforting as a reader. Sometimes it is difficult to embrace a whole new set of characters so soon after you have finished reading another story, so having at least (barely) met the characters earlier was nice. The first story is centred around Risika, a three hundred year old vampire, the second Jessica, an 'average' high school student (although how many 'average' high school students have published novels?), the third Sarah, a vampire hunting witch, and the final story is about Turquoise Draka, a vampire hunter.

What I loved about all these characters, as the mother of four daughters, was their fierce independence and strength, these ladies weren't waiting around for prince charming, they were kicking his butt! It was refreshing that none of the endings were tied up in happily ever afters, firmly ensconced in the bosom of the immortal hero who had saved the day. However, if I had one criticism of the main female characters it would be how similar they are, but perhaps that is more noticeable because they were published in one anthology, rather than separately as they had been previously.

My favourite character was Jessica, from the story called Demon in My View, mostly because she reminds me so much of Maddie, (though Maddie would never fall for Aubrey, of course *wink*), but my favourite story was Midnight Predator, the story of Turquoise Draka, and the rather gorgeous vampire, Jaguar. I just wish that story hadn't ended!
Averaging out across the whole novel, I'd give this one a 4 out of 5


Rey said...

I enjoyed reading these reviews and as a fan of vampire stories by Anne Rice I must say these stories sound enticing, especially Midnight Predator.
Kudos to the both of you for such fine journalism....

rickypawl said...

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it. Like mother, like daughter... and reading and writing just seem to go together, don't they. I am well pleased to see this familial collaboration, and as always, amazed at the talent in that family.

I am very impressed with the depth and quality of these reviews, and as such, I would be very curious to have you both review Salem's Lot, a book by Stephen King. It was his first book and it is about a small town in Maine that is being taken over by vampires. It might not be found in the YA section so might not be appropriate for younger readers... I'm not sure. It is probably my favorite book by him except for The Stand.

I can't wait for the day when I have nothing else on my plate and can once again relax and get lost in a good book. So, keep those reviews coming. Maybe this is how Siskel and Ebert started out. :)

Sarah said...

As a parent, albeit to much younger children, I love feeling totally justified in spending hours reading. I love the trips down memory lane, reading the classics I read as a child; as well as the excitement of reading something new thanks to my child discovering a new author.

This cleverly titled blog is sure to have a great following and I shall be noting down some reads to share with my girls when they are older. In the meantime you are making me feel the urge to go out and read. I like the sound of these novels - perfect escapsism for me when my world starts feeling clouded in dirty nappies, milk stains and picking up after everyone else ;)

You guys rock!

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Well, Meredith took all of the good books. :P
I know that when Maddie moves out, she will leave Hay with a book or two. sniff.

I loved reading your reviews, guys. Can I change my name to Turquoise? Have you read Sunshine, by Robin McKinley? Vampires AND cinnamon rolls!

debra said...

Thanks for giving me more to put on my TBR list. I'm ALWAYS looking for something to read :-)

Hay said...

Hi Rey, thanks so much, you are always so awesome supporting our new adventures!

Thanks Rick, we got Salems Lot out today, will let you know.

Thanks Sarah, yes, get reading!

Lol Laura, Maddie will probably make me pay her to borrow them off her when she leaves ;). Just ordered that book, thanks for recommending it!

You're welcome Debra, thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

I just now stumbled across this, and would like to add my two cents to the matter.

I'm not sure if you were stating whether or not I was copying James Porto, but my work was created 3 years prior to his. Not only that, but it gained quite a bit of fame on the net after being stolen several times without permission for MySpace layouts and the like. Hence, I don't see how mine could be similar to his, when if anything, it is more likely to be the other way around.

Here is a link to when I first made my work, titled "Verwandlung", public:

Perhaps it would be prudent to discover all the facts before making assumptions next time.

Hay said...

Miranda, in no way shape or form were we suggesting you copied anyone, or that anyone copied you, so for the offence caused. The comment was merely made in regards to how similar the covers were. I'm sure you know that a lot of YA books now feature dark themes and a lot of covers are similar to each other.
Again, no offence was meant, I am completely in awe of your work, and you have my apology.

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