Review: Tantalize

Review: TantalizeTantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Series: Tantalize #1
Published by Candlewick on February 13, 2007
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 310
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
one-half-stars

Are you predator or prey?
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Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses -- or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who's playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith's delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

To get ready for Diabolical, I’m going through this series again. Actually, I’ve only read the first two. When I read Tantalize several years ago, I thought it was completely hilarious. I enjoyed all of the puns and silly things, like the various kinds of weres (were-armadillo, ha!). At that time, I did think the ending was pretty lame and awful.

Ironically, I’m now kind of going the other way. Whereas before I noticed the silly, light humor, the puns and such things, I now focus on the darkness and violence that I guess didn’t bother me before. From my research this is the beginning of Cynthia Leitich Smith’s gothic series, and I suppose I can see why. There are monsters lurking under the skin of just about everyone. Of course, the bit of humor on the top does help.

Quincie, aka Quince, does not make a great main character. She’s kind of a dope and she does not trust her best friend nearly enough. She is easily swayed by arguments and does not think to do any research on her own. Also, I could definitely have done with a few less mentions of her beige thong; I get it already. On a side note, if my parents named me Quincie, I would be so pissed. Pretty much the only thing consistent from my first read is that I still think Kieren’s the best character.

Ultimately, I was a little less into the book on this read-through, but I am still curious to find out what will happen in the later volumes. Although not perfect, Cynthia Leitich Smith does seem to be setting up an interesting world here.

2 responses to “Review: Tantalize”

  1. Nori says:

    I remember loving this one back in the day…But I think Abby read it in Pittsburgh and told me she hated it…or maybe I’m making that up, but someone definitely hated it. Maybe I need to re-read it too.

  2. Christina says:

    That was definitely Abby. I felt bad for recommending it. I just reviewed the second one. I’m going through all of them so I can read Diabolical from NetGalley.

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