Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Werewolves and Vampires

I've been reading paranormal books since before Twilight, and though the rage and demand for paranormal books is starting to die out, seemingly being replaced by dystopian, utopian, and post-apocalypse genre books, I still enjoy reading paranormal. I haven't read Twilight, nor am I planning on doing so, simply because I cannot read the book after seeing the movie, and though I haven't seen the movie, I've read enough reviews and seen enough posters to know roughly what happens. So, no Twilight. But Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (and her super awesome spin-off series, Bloodlines), Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa (of the Iron Fey Series), Evernight series by Claudia Gray, as well as others I can't remember off the top of my mind all have blood-suckers...main point, there are other good vampire books out there besides Twilight. And werewolves! My experience with werewolves is limited to The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (2.5/5 stars), Tales of Lunarmorte (3/5 stars) and the Nightshade series(4/5 stars), which were all lacking something, something I can't quite put my finger on. Thus, my experience with werewolves didn't exactly leave me thirsty for more. Yet just last week, I picked up the book Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock, having no clue what it was about, and picking it up more for the cover (and beautiful purple dress) than for the synopsis. A few days before, I had read Defiance, by C. J. Redwine, and that also has a girl with a purple dress on the cover, so, somehow, I had unintentionally connected the two, and thought that it was sure to be something similar. Wrong. Defiance is what can be considered a futuristic, utopian world kind of story, while Hemlock is about werewolves. And not secret, hidden, afraid to be found by humans, kind of werewolves, but werewolves being humans who contracted a lupine virus, and thus turn into werewolves. It's almost more of a mystery than a werewolf story, but because I suck at summaries, here's the synopsis (from Goodreads): 
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:
A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Personally, I love mysteries, and the Boxcar Children books were one of my favorites as a child. This book is a wonderful spin between mystery and werewolves, and the idea that werewolves are infected with a virus, and set to "correction centers" is something fresh; it was more than a pleasant surprise.
It's been quite some time since I've read a paranormal book, and so Hemlock pulled me right back in. The last Paranormal book I read was Masquerade, by Mellisa de la Cruz, the second book in her Blue Bloods series. It's about vampires (secret ones), and basically anything important was done or created by vampires. All famous historical figures? Blue Bloods or influenced by Blue Bloods. Basically, there are 400 vampires, and they just regenerate, die and get called upon once again, so that there are never any new vampires born. The series follow Schuyler Van Allen, born to a vampire mother and mortal father. It's one of the vampire rules to not reproduce with humans, basically because they cannot. Schuyler's mother is in comma, though, and nobody's sure what happened, or why it happened. Schuyler, though, is a half-vampire, and slowly discovers their world. The books are told from 3rd person POV, and the characters fail to impress. They don't really make me feel any emotion, and I think this is because of the POV it's told from. Yet, there are some many loose ends, that I can't help but want to know what happens. And so, after much internal conflict and debate, I'm continuing with the series, though the books aren't good enough for me to stay up late reading - they're just simply OK. I have a feeling I've read all the notable books in the YA paranormal genre there are, and so I'm settling for less than the best.