The Year of Disappearances
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The Year of Disappearances

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by Susan Hubbard
     
 

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It was the year of disappearances. The honeybees were the first to go.

Ariella Montero is no stranger to the dark side of life. Half human, half vampire, she spent her first thirteen years in exile from both societies.

When her best friend was murdered, Ari ran away to begin a new life in Florida. But, one by one, the people and things she

Overview

It was the year of disappearances. The honeybees were the first to go.

Ariella Montero is no stranger to the dark side of life. Half human, half vampire, she spent her first thirteen years in exile from both societies.

When her best friend was murdered, Ari ran away to begin a new life in Florida. But, one by one, the people and things she cares most about keep disappearing. And Ari may be next.

She can hynotize, she can read minds, and she can make herself invisible, but can she escape her stalkers? Ari's special talents are severly tested as she moves on—from a vampire community in the Sunshine State to college in Georgia to the primeval maze of the Okefenokee Swamp. In contending with the politics of vampire and human cultures, Ari comes face to face with zombies that are infiltrating America, as well as demons and shadows that haunt us all.

The Year of Disappearances continues the most surprising vampire story you'll ever read.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Fourteen-year-old Ariella "Ari" Montero, who's half human and half vampire, wants to know why bees are vanishing as well as humans in Hubbard's smooth supernatural thriller, the sequel to The Society of S(2007). Ari has moved to Homosassa Springs, Fla., hoping for happiness with her reunited parents, but after a hurricane hits and a fire almost kills Ari and her scientist dad, he leaves. Ari is further upset when a new friend, Mysty, disappears. The precocious Ari enrolls in college, dates and gets a crush on a visiting (vampire?!) politician, but is horrified when Autumn, another new friend, is murdered. After Ari's father returns and becomes ill, she and her mom wind up fighting for her dad's survival. The ending promises greater challenges ahead. Though Ari sometimes sounds more like 40 than 14, Hubbard's intriguing tale poses a tantalizing question: will humans or vampires ultimately inherit Earth? (May)

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VOYA - Vikki Terrile
This sequel picks up soon after The Society of S (Simon & Schuster 2007/VOYA October 2007) leaves off. Fourteen-year-old Ari is living with her mother in Florida while her father looks for a new home in Ireland. Desperate for friends her own age, she begins spending time with two girls she meets in town, but when one of them vanishes, Ari's past comes back to haunt her, and she is sent away to college at her mother's alma mater in Georgia. Although a string of disappearances, the creepy "blind man" following Ari, her father's sudden and mysterious illness, and the introduction of a strange drug promising to turn young people into vampires should add up to an exciting read, something is missing. Part of the problem might be Ari herself-the repeated observation that she is "fourteen going on forty" only goes so far to explain her aloof narration. With no real climax or resolution to the story, readers get to the end wondering what they missed or whether the author deliberately left things hanging to guarantee a sequel. Although the publicity from the publisher hypes the novel to fans of Stephanie Meyer, this book has little of her series' romance and adventure. Ari's vampirism is treated as a mere medical condition, and the different factions of vampires are having a political rather than physical battle for supremacy. Teens looking for something to keep them in fangs until Breaking Dawn, Meyer's series conclusion, will be unlikely to find satisfaction here. Reviewer: Vikki Terrile
Library Journal

Though quotes from Hubbard's first book in this vampire series, The Society of S, suggest her writing might appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer, this slow-paced, eventually thoughtful but problematic novel indicates otherwise. Fourteen-year-old Ari, who in Society discovered she and her parents were vampires, is now living with her mother in a sleepy Florida town. When a new acquaintance of hers goes missing, Ari's "weirdness" makes her a suspect and brings the FBI back into her life. Her efforts to fit in are again derailed when another of her friends is murdered. Wise beyond her years, Ari makes for an appealing narrator, but in truth she doesn't have much to tell. The plot meanders, and the various mysteries it presents are never really resolved (possibly making room for another book in the series); in the end, Ari is in about the same place as when she started. Most puzzling is Ari's vampirism, which, excepting her powers of invisibility and capacity to heal quickly, seems to serve no purpose at all. For larger libraries with devoted paranormal fans. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/08.]
—Jane Jorgenson

From the Publisher
"Joyce Bean proves herself an excellent choice for this first-person narrative. She fully captures Ariella, projecting her point of view with all the emotion and attitude of the strong character she is." —AudioFile

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416552710
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
05/06/2008
Series:
Ethical Vampire Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt


The Year of Disappearances

A Novel

By Susan Hubbard Simon & Schuster
Copyright © 2008
Susan Hubbard
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9781416552710

Preface

Someone is standing in my bedroom doorway, watching me sleep, then watching my eyes open. In the dim light I can't see who stands there, looking at me.

But a moment later I am with the watcher, closing the door and moving down the corridor, toward my father's room. We don't open the door, but we know he's sleeping inside.

We smell the smoke. As we move toward the kitchen, the smoke becomes a presence, a gray mass spiraling down the corridor. Wan light spills from the kitchen, and now we see the fire -- white flames shooting through gray whorls -- and the shadowy forms of two men. At first they look as if they're embracing, but their embrace is really a struggle. They're fighting for something we can't see.

Then I am myself again.

The watcher leaves, followed by one of the men. They pause outside to lock the front door. I hear the click of the lock and lurch away, trying not to breathe. I'm on my hands and knees, crawling from the fire. I keep my mouth shut, but the smoke is already in me, burning my lungs. Then come words: Help me, trapped and strangled in my throat before they can be spoken.

As I wake from the dream, I hear guttural keening -- a primordial noise that predates language -- rising within me.

My mother's voice comes out of the dark. "Ariella? What's wrong?"

She sits on the edge of my bed, lifts and cradles me in her arms. "Tellme."

Why do we tell our dreams to those we love? Dreams are unintelligible even to the dreamer. The act of telling is a vain attempt to decode the indecipherable, to instill significance where likely there's none.

I tell my mother the dream.

"You were back in Sarasota," she says. Her voice is measured and calm. "On the night of the fire."

"Who were they?" I ask.

She knows I mean the shadow figures. "I don't know."

"Who locked the door?"

"I don't know." My mother holds me closer. "You had a bad dream, Ariella. It's over now."

Was it a dream? I wonder. Is it over?

A few days before my fourteenth birthday, I awoke in a glass coffin, a chamber used for oxygen therapy to treat smoke inhalation. On another floor of the hospital, my father recovered inside a similar device.

The third person rescued by the Sarasota firefighters was Malcolm Lynch, an old friend of my father's. The emergency medical technicians reported finding a driver's license in his wallet. But when their van reached the hospital, the stretcher was empty.

The investigators said the fire had been caused by ethyl ether, a highly flammable liquid. They found an empty canister in the kitchen, but they weren't able to trace its source.

Those are facts that others have told me. When I think about the fire, my recollections come out of order. I remember waking up in the hospital. Then I recall the day before the fire -- Malcolm, a tall blond man in a tailored suit, stood in the living room, telling my father without apology that he'd killed my best friend.

The experience of the fire itself? I don't know if what I recall is a memory, or only a bad dream.

Copyright 2008 by Blue Garage Co.

Continues...



Excerpted from The Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard Copyright © 2008 by Susan Hubbard. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Joyce Bean proves herself an excellent choice for this first-person narrative. She fully captures Ariella, projecting her point of view with all the emotion and attitude of the strong character she is." —-AudioFile

Meet the Author

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.

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Year of Disappearances 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
There is a secret society. They live in plain view. They seem very much like you and me. But, if you look very closely, you may notice that the person you're speaking to doesn't have a shadow.

There are vampires living amongst us. They are highly evolved; not at all like the vampires you've grown up with. They work and play in the daylight, they are friendly and educated, and a growing number of them have never tasted human blood and have no need for it.

Ariella Montero lives in the chasm between our two worlds. She is half-human, half-vampire and is struggling to find her place in both societies. She can read minds, hypnotize people, and make herself invisible. But can she establish real relationships in the human world and escape the dangers that threaten her in the vampire world?

Years ago Ari's best friend was murdered. Ari remembers the night. Her father was engaged in a battle with another man. And there was a fire.

Now, Ari is living a new life with her mother in Florida. But strange things are beginning to happen. It started when the honeybees began to die. Then Ari noticed a man in a van following her. A new friend was murdered and another friend disappeared. It is all too coincidental to ignore. Is Ari to blame or is she being preyed upon?

THE YEAR OF DISAPPEARANCES offers a unique concept of what it is like to be a vampire in modern society. It is a cleverly written story line that easily leaves the possibility for future books. Although this title follows THE SOCIETY OF S, it can easily stand alone. And, I can only hope that author Susan Hubbard decides to develop the story of Ari and her "kind" into a long-running series!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Teenage Ariella 'Ari' Montero is a half-breed vampire, who lives with her vampiric mother in Homosassa Springs, Florida which many vampires call home as they have their own shops, restaurants and other hangouts catering to the their needs. Ari is lonely as she has no friends so is elated to meet Autumn and Mysty. However, a van pulls up near where the three girls are walking together Ari senses evil from the driver whose eyes contain no pupils. When Mysty disappears, the police and the XBC suspect Ari as the last known person to have been with her.----------- To escape from the suspicious townsfolk, Ari goes to Hillhouse College in southern Georgia. A bored Autumn comes to visit her. When Ari and her classmates go on a field trip Autumn sneaks away to tour the campus. Ari and her classmates see a body in the swamp that turns out to be Autumn. She tells a powerful vampire leader that humans are taking pills that turn them into zombies like what happened to Mysty. Something must be done before vampire become the supreme species.------------ Even vampires are divided as to how they should relate to humans as some extremists believe mankind is cattle to their superior species using ruthless means to obtain easy sustenance. Politics and remorse are two lessons Ari receives at school, but she like her parents (her dad is a scientist) believes that peaceful co-existence between the species is possible and necessary. Although the heroine seems much more experienced than a young teen, vampire lovers will enjoy this cutting sequel to THE SOCIETY OF S.-------------- Harriet Klausner
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Unreadable, poorly written, with a shallow plot and unlikable characters. A waste of money.
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I am a vampire lover. Was confused in the beginning of the book. Realized there is a book before this one even though its not a series. Because of this, it was hard to understand the main character, who she was and what her background or how she became to be. The ending was also different. Have to look for the first book and see if it explains questions I have about the main character.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
to the The Society of S - I enjoyed both books.
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breid6925 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I had also read the first book, "The Society of S". The book left many unanswered questions which leaves me to believe/hope they author will write a 3rd book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys vampire-fiction.
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