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Posted December 11, 2010
With the death of her grandmother, the parents of teenage Catherine Taylor explain her heritage that they concealed from her. They and Cat are vampires, a species that lives in secret amidst the humans.
Her parents take the stunned Cat to Blacklune Castle since she is old enough for initiation into the species. They leave, while she and others her age receive ethics training as well as use of their powers. Cat is shocked to meet Morgan, who has starred in her dreams. They become close but they also struggle with their formal education as each feels the glamour of their powers and a thirst to taste human blood. Cat and Morgan flout adult authority including admonitions from their instructor River while paying no heed to what their actions do to others especially their classmates. When they go too far and harm another, the pair finally learns what others had been telling them, but it may be too late.
This exciting urban fantasy places a wonderful conceptual twist on the vampire sub-genre by having the lead teenage pair behaving as juvenile delinquents. That fresh approach comes across as a two edged sword; the pair causes all sorts of rule breaking havoc which gets increasingly worse and nastier while teachers and administrators do little even when a major violation that borders on criminal activity of assaulting a human donor of their blood occurs. Still this brisk updating of Evan Hunter's Blackboard Jungle into an urban fantasy landscape makes for a brisk unique thriller.
Posted January 30, 2010
My thoughts...Cat the Vamp is not your typical young adult vampire novel. This book reaches beyond sparkly vampires and romantic blood exchanges. It is dark and dangerous. Catherine, affectionately known as Cat, is a new vampire. She learns at the young age of 18 that she is being sent off to receive special training so she can learn to about her new life. While there, she makes some new friends, including a very handsome young man named Morgan. Morgan and Cat instantly bond, in a very erotic ceremony, and quickly discover that they crave each other and the very thing that gives them vitality,blood. The desire for blood becomes an addiction and they have to find a way to control themselves and try not to hurt anyone in the process.
The characters in the story were interesting. The author, Christina Martine, did a great job of evolving them through the stages of dependency. The story line kept me interested and turning pages. I found myself gasping on occasion, in complete disbelief at the actions of the characters. While the plot is similar to other YA vampire tales, it had several very unique twists. I enjoyed the setting of the story. The majority of the book takes place in an old castle full of secret passage ways, dark corridors and mysterious rooms. One of my favorite scenes is an initiation ceremony which takes place in the ballroom. The author did a brilliant job of describing the candlelit room full of mysterious people dressed in black capes. The dark side of the story really set it apart from others that I have read.
The cons...I enjoyed the story, but I do believe it should come with a warning. The characters in the story do use some strong language and there is a large amount of drug and alcohol use. Also, there are several graphic sex scenes. Parents of younger readers may want to review this book first or use it as an opportunity to discuss the pressures and issues teens face.