I haven’t read anything in book form recently, so I haven’t had any books to tell ya’ll about. I’m talking Texan in honor of this book set in my current stomping grounds, Austin. It was nice to read a book with lots of place names, and to not only recognize them, have them be somewhere other than New York. Read on now, y’hear?

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
Yesterday our store got in local author’s Cynthia Leitick Smith’s book. I checked it out, and last night I read it instead of the fascinating marketing book I had planned on reading instead. It was a tough decision. Before I go much farther, I must warn you that (Twilight and Undead and Unwed aside) I don’t generally like vampire novels. However, I did enjoy this one. It reminded me a lot of Sunshine(NOT a kid book) by Robin McKinley, an author I adore. In both books the characters live in a world populated with werecreatures and vampires. And that’s about where the similarities end. Smith’s main character Quince, named meta-textually after the Texan in Dracula — a nice touch I must say — lives for her family’s Italian restaurant. The place is more than just an income stream; it’s a link to Quince’s dead parents and a bond between her and her guardian, Uncle D. After the book opens with a brief passage where we learn that Quince’s psuedo-boyfriend is part werewolf, Quince and Uncle D are struggling to redefine their restaurant in a changing market place. They’ve decided to go campy and have a vampire theme. Then only 5 weeks before opening, the head cook is murdered in something resembling an animal savaging. Who done it? Quince’s werewolf? A human trying to make it look were related? Someone else? I won’t tell you anymore so that you can enjoy the suspense of the book itself. Although some of the plot and character developments are obvious (I spotted one of the vamps the moment it entered the page), others came out of nowhere. There were a couple of times, especially near the end, that I was just as shocked as Quince at the revelations. And let me tell you, these days it’s pretty darn hard to actually surprise me with a plot twist. Bravo! All in all, I would reccommend reading this book. I give it 4 out of 5 wax seals of approval.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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