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Vesper (Deviants Series #1)
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Vesper (Deviants Series #1)

4.0 77
by Jeff Sampson

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Emily Webb is a geek.And she’s happy that way. Content hidingunder hoodies and curling up to watch oldhorror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girlwho sneaks out for midnight parties. Andshe’s definitely not the kind of girl who startsfights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends.Until one night Emily finds herself doingexactly


Emily Webb is a geek.And she’s happy that way. Content hidingunder hoodies and curling up to watch oldhorror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girlwho sneaks out for midnight parties. Andshe’s definitely not the kind of girl who startsfights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends.Until one night Emily finds herself doingexactly that . . . the same night one of herclassmates—also named Emily—is foundmysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know whyshe’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the sameold boring Emily, but by night, she turnsinto a thrill seeker. With every nightfall,Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just herpersonality that changes. Her body can dothings it never could before: Emily is nowstrong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soonEmily realizes that she’s not just comingout of her shell . . . there’s something muchbigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soulof the other, murdered Emily? Or is EmilyWebb becoming something else entirely—something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds outthat she’s not the only one this is happeningto—some of her classmates are changingas well. Who is turning these teens intomonsters—and how many people will theykill to get what they want?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Middle-grade author Sampson's (Monster Slayer) quick-paced YA debut, first in the Deviants series, gives werewolves an SF twist. Emily Webb is 16 when her subdued good-girl geek life takes an unexpected turn. On the night a classmate is murdered, Emily gets a strange urge to crawl out her bedroom window and get wild. That impulse is just the beginning: following nightly seizures, Emily's timid personality turns aggressive: she steals her stepsister's clubbing clothes for her late-night romps, and her physical abilities are way above the norm. In the space of a few days, Emily's out-of-control nocturnal behavior and her drive to track the source of a musky, masculine scent lead to her ostracization and alienation. Worse, another schoolmate is attacked, and Emily may be next. Sampson lets Emily's story unfold with small reveals, and intriguing details build this into a cohesive page-turner. Although very little of the mystery is resolved, enticing hints of a deeper backstory, combined with a cliffhanger ending, should leave readers eager for the next book. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Will have readers clamoring for the next book.”
"A smart and good-humored addition to the current werewolf wave."
Lauren Kate
"Addictive and suprising. I couldn’t wait for night to fall to see what Emily would do next!"
Michael Grant
"Jeff Sampson’s debut delivers the goods-it’s exciting, witty, and impossible to put down. The best kind of page-turner."
K.A. Applegate
"Emily is smart, funny, fierce, and just generally kicks ass. The otherworldly mysteries she uncovers will keep you guessing all the way to the final page."
VOYA - Heather Christensen
Sixteen-year-old Emily Webb is happiest wearing her most comfortable sweatshirt and curled up in a corner of her room with a pile of her favorite books. So how does she explain the sudden overwhelming urge that takes over every night to don sexy clothes and roam the streets looking for a party? Nor can she explain the abrupt enhancement of her sense of smell, causing her to drop everything to follow the enticing scent of an unknown boy who feels like "the one." Even more disturbing is the knowledge that a deranged killer is on the loose, picking off unsuspecting teens one by one. This first book in the Deviants series begins with the transcript of Emily's interrogation by an agent from the Vesper Company, a mysterious organization that appears to have something to do with her unusual transformation. Emily's first-person narrative is interspersed with portions of this transcript, which hint at a widespread scheme involving not only Emily but also a number of teens. Characters tend to be stereotypical—busy parents who are oblivious to Emily's plight, a jealous best friend, and a nerdy boy with a secret of his own. The plot takes a few pages to get started, but once it takes off, it is a pretty steady run to the end. The ending raises as many questions as it answers and will have readers clamoring for the next book. Fans of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series or readers not yet tired of the paranormal world of werewolves and psychic powers will enjoy this latest offering. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Geeky, introverted Emily Webb is terrified yet excited by the sudden onset of nighttime transformations that turn her into a bolder, more daring version of herself—a version with increased physical prowess, a taste for adventure, and on the scent of a boy who smells just right. When the nighttime changes fade, Emily is left shocked by her behavior; daytime Emily would never make a move on a cute cop, publicly lick another girl's boyfriend on the face, binge drink, or steal her best friend's car. The power and self-confidence that come with the change is alluring, but as the danger ous behavior of her nighttime persona escalates and the transformations become more wolfish, daytime Emily becomes determined to find out the cause and if it is affecting to other teens in town. The first-person narration gives the plot an immediacy that pulls readers in, and her self-deprecating observations are both charming and reflective of so many girls with low self-esteem. The story is framed by an interrogation-style interview that leaves room for additional books in a series and adds a layer of menace to the unfolding mystery. While the paranormal transformations will tempt fans of the genre and make a good hook for readers, it's Emily's transformation into a confident young woman who is more comfortable in her skin and willing to stick up for herself and others that makes this book a strong addition to most collections.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews

A shy, dorky 16-year-old transforms into a wild party girl at night in this effective supernatural thriller. How can a girl who hides in a hoodie all day suddenly change into a lusty seductress, prowling the party-and-club scene at night? How can clumsy Emily easily jump from a second-story window to the ground—in high heels? Emily struggles through the day to cope with her sudden transformations then at night eludes her best friend, assigned to guard her, and ignores being grounded. More mystery emerges when Emily transforms even further—into a wolf. She learns then that whoever murdered one of her classmates seems to be after her, too. Sampson delivers an almost believable scenario through Emily's chatty first-person narration. Meanwhile, other mysteries pop up as the story progresses, leaving readers with an ending that calls for a sequel—on order, as this is the first in the Deviants series. Emily's attractive personality, drab on the surface but with emerging panache, easily holds readers' attention, especially during her feral nighttime prowls. Intriguing. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Deviants Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years


What People are Saying About This

K.A. Applegate
“Emily is smart, funny, fierce, and just generally kicks ass. The otherworldly mysteries she uncovers will keep you guessing all the way to the final page.”
Michael Grant
“Jeff Sampson’s debut delivers the goods-it’s exciting, witty, and impossible to put down. The best kind of page-turner.”
Lauren Kate
“Addictive and suprising. I couldn’t wait for night to fall to see what Emily would do next!”

Meet the Author

Jeff Sampson is the author of the first two books in the Deviants series, Vesper and Havoc. He is also a pop-culture fanatic with an abiding love of TV and movies, much like his main character, Emily. Jeff lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Vesper 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Lindsey_Kirk More than 1 year ago
The beginning of this book sucks you in. It is not like your typical Young Adult paranormal fiction stories. You are not going to get romance, you are not going to get a love triangle, and you are not going to get the A typical formula. Apparently, some people that read this before claimed it has the same formula simply because it has supernatural creatures in it. Once I read it, dug in deep to this story I realized I was reading total perfection pretty much. Jeff Sampson has given us a deep, dark, and gritty young adult novel that not only seems to break all the rules, but totally takes us on a roller coaster ride with a girl named Emily Webb. The token geek at school, Emily pretty much keeps to herself till strange things start to happen with her, namely her suddenly risk taking and promiscuous behavior. To the dismay of her family and best friend they take it the wrong way and it soon becomes very apparent to Emily that she is all alone. or is she? I'm not going to bore you in this review with a synopsis of this story. I'm simply going to lay it all out for you. It is very rare that a book labeled Young Adult stretches the limits and dares to break free of the obvious formula that The Twilight series has token that genre of fiction. I not only was so refreshed, but I was up till 3AM reading this till I could no longer keep my eyes open. There was no whining where Emily was concerned. She knew that something was wrong and she stood up and it was either face it and figure it out. Or roll over and die, which seemed to be the running trend in the town with all sorts of random teens. It reminded me a lot of Disturbing Behavior a paranormal film that had Katie Holmes and James Marsten, but it was taken to such a higher level that I caught myself tearing up a little, and wanting to throw the book at the same time. If I had to rate the books in Young Adult Fiction today I would say this was up there on the top ten books for teens the ages of 16-19 to read. I even think adults will appreciate this amazing novel. For me it deserves so much more than to sit in the Young Adult section, I think if it was tagged as paranormal fiction for adults it would have done so much better. The story had excellent flow and rarely took a break. Just when we thought Emily would get some time to breath, a new challenge was thrown her way. She was a powerful figure for young teen girls. There was no whining female with a controlling older man that wanted to use her like a puppet. Not in this book. I think being that the series was written by a man, it takes on fresh new outlook that was very much needed. I can't tell you what supernatural element this book is about without giving away a major part of this story. All I will say is if you are looking for romance go elsewhere. This novel is a face paced Paranormal Suspense that leaves you breathless and biting for more at the end.
MissysReadsAndReviews More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books that I chose randomly from my reading pile, devoured in one sitting, then sat there staring at the novel for a while longer.. just thirsting for more. It's kind of like when you watch the season finale of your favorite TV show. They give you an ending, but they leave enough unanswered questions to keep you hooked for the next season. That's how this was. I read it, was perfectly satisfied with the ending because it ended at a good spot - but that didn't stop me from going, "Well, what's next? I want to know ... NOW!" I felt like Veruca Salt... I wanted to stomp over to my parents' house and scream, "Daddy, I want the second Deviants novel and I want it now," in a completely horrible fake English accent. Well played, Sampson. In all seriousness, I did love this novel. The interrogation transcripts placed between some of the chapters left you guessing about what was happening just as much as Emily's actions kept you guessing. It's a little confusing, but by the end it wraps up nicely. That's the easiest way for an author to win my heart with their novel: keep me guessing until the end! I don't like figuring things out too soon in the book... it makes the novel fall flat for me. Emily, oh Emily. I loved her willingness to accept her geekdom. She was completely wonderful and all of the pop culture references made me nerd out right along with her throughout the book. Actually, I was probably nerding out a little more. I tend to do that. She was also a strong character and didn't go completely head-over-heels for the romantic interest and spend the rest of book talking about how gloriously perfect he was. This also won me over - have a love interest, but don't make that the whole story! The other characters were pretty spiffy too, though the two characters that caught my eyes the most (Spencer and Amy) didn't take the spotlight as much as I'd like. For the story, you get enough of each character. For the series? I need more. Lots more! ;) And the twists on a certain friendship and romantic interest? My head was spinning because I did NOT see either coming. At all. Alright, so I'm sure that you've probably figured out that I'm in love with this book. I will sing its praises from the highest mountain tops.. well, if I could. The best way I can do this book justice is to just tell you that if you want a great YA paranormal read, you'll want to pick up this book. This is Jeff's debut novel and he definitely does not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was realy unique and i really enjoyed reading it. I definitely suggest reading Vesper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I finished it in two days and couldn't put it down. It really depends on your style of reading, this book was a little dark in some places and ockward. Other than that its an amazing book. I will be looking for more books by this uthor. Hopefully it will turn into a series. Anyways great author great book and i noticed a few mistakes and stuff. Definetly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a great book with a captivating story line. It grabbed my attention from the moment I began reading it. The main character is very relatable, except of course for the whole "changing" thing. It did contain quite the normal teenage high school experience with the wild rebel streaks and the partying, but it also confronted the issue of death and how it affects some people more than others. Overall it was quite the roller coaster ride and it was fun! I recomend it to anyone who enjoys a good thrill ride without too much romance. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just could not get into this book, took me forever to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My middle school librarian Mr. C reccomended this book to me. I thought it looked cool and I was about to be late for Language Arts class. I just said "What the hey." So, I went home and began reading it. It was REALLY, REALLY good. I couldn't stop reading it. I needed to find out what was happening to Emily and when I did (I'm not gonna say anything because some people who haven't finished it are reading this) I was on the edge of my seat. My twin sister Alanna would yell at me to go to bed because I was reading this for, like, two hours a night in a week. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. ^.^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finished it in one sitting. This book is amazing!!!!!"!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sampson to you i say job well done! I absolutely loved it! Had my hooked in the first couple pages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less than a day. That was how drawn in I was! Though the story gets alittle sloppy and unfinished at the end, I would recommend this to a friend. I'm going to start reading the next book ASAP!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Naj More than 1 year ago
Once again, I dove into a book without knowing its basic contents and I was thoroughly entertained! The book was a good Young Adult debut from Jeff Sampson. The book was written in Emily Webb's perspective. I didn't like how it was narrated when Nighttime Emily came into the story. Emily Webb is considered 'invisible' in her High School. She wears glasses and loves hiding her perfect body under a giant hoodie. She's average smart but sometimes lack common sense which was annoying especially coming from a girl like her. The main characters were weak and the secondary characters even weaker. Nobody particularly stood out and there wasn't much distinction between them besides the fact that Emily was the main character. The plot was present but it was very vague in the beginning especially when it came to what type of paranormal book this was. Lets just say its a mix of everything together with a contemporary twist. Overall, Vesper was a good read and it definitely kept me entertained but there wasn't much of a bang. The strong element that makes you want to read the next book wasn't there. There was just that passive peak that just shows you a quarter of what the whole series is all about. Lets just say its just the beginning after reading 288 pages waiting for something to happen. Hopefully, the next book will be better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not like this book at all. The charcters did not act like girls. Emily's sister called everyone dude and Emily was always so ashamed of her awsome body. It was Megan that I really hated the most though. She was so rude to Emily C's friends when they weren't even the ones who picked on her. She bossed Emily around and was not very concerned or supportive of her when she knew she was acting differently. Girls dont act like that. There was very little explanation as to what was going on and the romance in the story was bad. I couldn't even finish the book which is upsetting because the overview sounded really good. I don't recomend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago