I received this book for free from Xpresso Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater
Series: Pretty When She Dies #1
Published by Author on November 4, 2008
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Xpresso Blog Tours
Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry...
... in a new, horrific, unimaginable way...
Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.
All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.
But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation... or her death?
First Sentence: “When she began to stir from her deep slumber, she had no idea she was buried under several feet of moist, dark earth.”
Though this is technically my second Rhiannon Frater novel, it’s my first pure experience, since the first novel I read she coauthored with Kody Boye. Though The Midnight Spell was a cute, fun read, I was looking forward to the dark, creepy novels Giselle of Xpresso Reads made me so curious about when she fangirled all over them. With Pretty When She Dies, I got just what I was hoping for: a dark, sexy, creepy, comic read.
Pretty When She Dies opens with a bang as Amaliya digs herself out of her grave. Covered in dirt and weirdly hungry, she stumbles into her dorm room to take a shower. Once clean, she heads out in search of food, passing up a lone student for something more that she senses. More turns out to be a secret frat house orgy, where Amaliya proceeds to murder thirteen students, after which she has sex with her maker. Whoa, right?
Amaliya, though, isn’t really like that usually. She sort of is, in that she does love sex and she’s not opposed to killing as a vampire. However, she actually loathes her maker, who raped and killed her, but she didn’t remember that in the haze of being newly awoken. She hardly knew who she was at that point. In case the circumstances of her transition to vampirehood were not enough of a clue, turns out that her maker, Professer Sumner, is actually one of the most powerful vampires ever and a freaking sadist. This girl has fantastic luck.
While not really breaking any new ground with vampire lore, Frater does what she does well. The vampires aren’t sweet and innocent, though they can love. They murder. They’re violent and powerful. Pretty When She Dies is gory and has plenty of sexual content. Actually, it’s got a fairly similar vibe to True Blood, what with being set in the south (Texas, rather than Louisiana) and about intense, sexy vamps.
Of course, there’s a romance, which, for me, was the weak part. It was pretty hot, actually, but the infidelity and the fact that the couple “falls in love” in less than a week is disappointing. Now, I’m going to be totally honest and say that the infidelity didn’t bother me as much as it should have, because Cian’s fiancée Samantha is really annoying. She’s basically like Sookie, convinced she’s made the vampire Bill or Eric into a sweet fluffy human, when along comes Amaliya to prove that’s not true. However, Cian and Amaliya thinking they’re in love so fast? Blergh. Seems like they’ve both lived enough to know the difference between lust and love.
The supporting cast is delightful and brings a lot of humor into Pretty When She Dies. Though I hated Samantha when she was with Cian, she starts to be hilarious when she teams up with local vampire hunter, Jeff; she makes all sorts of Buffy comparisons, which amused me greatly. Plus, I freaking adore Amaliya’s cousin, Sergio, and grandmother, Innocente. As Amaliya says, “you shouldn’t fuck with little Mexican grandmas,” and boy is she right. Innocente is fantastic, and totally my favorite character. Not only is Amaliya a powerful female character, but Innocente is as well, and Samantha even shows some promise.
Rhiannon Frater’s vampires harken back to the classic vampire lore. Dark, comic and sexy, I highly recommend Pretty When She Dies to anyone looking for a quick, fun read that’s still not tired of vampire stories.
“‘I think happily ever after is bullshit.'”
As part of the tour, I can ofter up ebooks of the first three books in the Pretty When She Dies series! Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. This giveaway is international! If you want to enter to win the grand prize giveaway with jewelry, go here.
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