Are vampires, witches, werewolves, magic, and anything else that is paranormal really as cheesy as people make it seem? Did it have it’s glory days and is now just a tired out diva that only does shows at hole-in-the-wall joints (and I’m not talking about those hipster ones that are actually pretty cool)? I mean, even I have to admit I was slightly annoyed with the flood of angsty vampires that started to populate the shelves of the YA section at Borders (may it rest in peace) and Barnes and Noble when Twilight became a Thing. But, annoyed though I may have been, I still loved all of the books because I L-O-V-E vampires (sparkle not required), witches, and werewolves (woof woof grr). And I mention these three specifically because I feel that they are the holy trinity of the paranormal genre. But it’s getting harder and harder to find books that deal with these characters and themes – well, it’s getting harder to find quality ones.
And the ones that I do find that seem remotely interesting are paranormal romance books. Which are great. I love binge reading those books, but sometimes a desire for something other than intense sex scenes comes upon me. It’s at times like this that I wonder back to some of my favorite books about vampires. The most notable one is Demon in My View by Ameila Atwater-Rhodes.
[The cover has changed, but this one, the first one, will forever and always be my favorite.]
This woman was a hero to me when I was in middle and high school. Why? Because she wrote her first book when she was still in high school! And it was really well written, and engaging, and a perfectly rare balance of love and bad-assery. And all PG. She also wrote a really fantastic and original book series that I stopped reading because I had never read a book with lesbians in it before. But, now that I’m thinking about maybe I’ll go re-read the series and actually finish it this time. But, back to Demon in My View.
[She’s standing in a cemetery looking bad-ass as all get out. Role model? I think yes.]
There are multiple reasons that I love this book though. Here’s a list:
- It’s short – So short I can read it in a couple of hours and that’s if I’m being a distracted reader at the time. Short and oh … Oh so sweet.
- VAMPIRES – The vampires here are amazing. They can teleport, shape-shift (you have to build up to it though), and walk in sunlight without looking like a giant diamond. Also, they are perfectly moody/angry/despondent. What I mean by “perfectly” is that they are not too moody and broody, and the moodiness that is seen in them has a reason behind it besides, “Woe is me; my soul is damned” (sorry Edward, kiss kiss).
- The protagonist is one badass chica. – She is a teenager so there is quite a bit of angst – quite a bit. But she’s so relatable. Especially if you have ever considered yourself an “outsider.” And she’s not a fucking wimp! God. It was so refreshing even before the vampire craze to read a female character that wasn’t such a … Limp-noodled teenager that was all fuzzy -eyed by love. Plus she makes being pale as printer paper sound prrrrrfectly attractive. Lastly, she has one hell of a back story.
- WITCHES – ooowweeeee! These witches are feisty. Well, the older ones are. The younger one, is still kind of like a colt figuring out her legs, but she is sweet. And think she adds liberalist touch the who story. That is not to say she’s a limp-noodled teenager, but she very … Uncertain. Like a lot of us can be. So, ANOTHER relatable character. Always a good characteristic for a book to have.
- The world – What I mean by this is the world the book exist in. One of the fantastic traits of this author’s writing style – about the workings of her wonderful brain really – is that all of her books, outside of the series, are in the same world. And in each book there is a slight mention of another book that seems totally inconsequential till you read all of them, then re-read all of them. That second time around = MIND BLOWN. All the little comments just connect and you put a timeline together in your head and it’s just blood magical.
These are only five of the pros to this book, but I think they are the most important ones. The meat and bones of the book. And it’s traits like these that I want to find in many others. I’m not idealistic enough to think that there is going to be a book exactly like this one – and that’s honestly not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a book that has maybe one or two of these traits and four or five others that make it great. I guess, what I’m ranting about, is I want a book with cohesion and balance. And I just haven’t found it in recent years. But maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.
So, to finish all this (many blessings to those that have read this thing to the end) I want to reach out to y’all. Do you know of any paranormal books (the main focus does not have to be about vampires) that just SPARK for you? Do you think there are other qualities paranormal books have to possess in order to be “great”? Leave me your rave reviews on your favorite paranormal books and thoughts on what traits make it great.
** All the photos of this post were taken from Pinterest.