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The Turning (Blood Ties) Mass Market Paperback – 18 Jul 2008
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'Armintrout s bold debut...bares its fangs early, unafraid to spill blood and vital organs from its very first pages. This fast, furious novel is a squirm-inducing treat.' --Publisher's Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jennifer Armintrout has been obsessed with vampires ever since the age of four. Raised in an enormous Roman Catholic family, Jennifer attributes her interest in the macabre to viewing too many funerals at a formative age. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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So Carrie becomes a vampire after her attack by one. Not having a hand book on how to go along as a vampire she gets in contact with "Ziggy" through the internet, not realising she has actually made contact with a vampire hunter. Ziggy works with Nathan, a vampire who works to rid the world of all new vampires, and Nathan is all set to finish off Carrie if she doesn't agree to join the society but she gets a fortnight to choose. And in that fortnight she meets her vampire sire again and discovers the call that his blood in her holds.
On one level this is a basic "torn between two choices" book. Carrie is sired by Cyrus who is an evil and perverted vampire; Nathan is a good vampire but who has terrible memories from his past and who doesn't really seem to commit much to Carrie. Most of the book is Carrie's tug-of-love between her Sire and the man who wants to help her but ultimately may be forced to kill her. It's an interesting premise but Cyrus is portrayed as so evil I just can't work out why Carrie ever even considered hanging out with him - it's a pretty gory book with lots of people dying rather unpleasantly so don't read it if you're faint-of-heart.
There are some other characters involved including an evil witch, an über-evil master vampire and the aforementioned Ziggy who is like a foster son to Nathan and becomes so to Carrie. I enjoyed reading the book although I found Cyrus's machinations rather too distasteful, and the worldview Jennifer Armintrout has created was interesting, but I felt that after the strong beginning the book rather bogged itself down in Carrie's attempts to choose between the two men. Come on Carrie, it was a no-brainer from the start! Still I will be interested to see what else this young writer produces in this series and I certainly enjoyed her writing style.
This is perhaps one of the more realistic takes on vampirism I have read. And whilst it's probably not for those readers who prefer a more romantic story I found it a refreshing change to some of the defanged heroes around at the moment. From the horrific scene where Carrie is attacked, to the brutality she witnesses at Cyrus's mansion. It's a good job there are some lighter moments to balance the darkness. Indeed for a while we have an endearing dysfunctional vampire family.
The problem I think Jennifer Armintrout has is convincing the reader that Carrie is equally drawn to both Cyrus and Nathan. It's easy to accept she is attracted to Nathan - who wouldn't be. Cyrus is more problematic - given all that he is and does - and I don't think JA quite pulls it off. That magnetism almost has to be experienced rather than read about, and I didn't get far enough into Carrie's head to share it with her. In the end I just had to accept that the instinctive,animalistic pull towards Cyrus enhanced by the blood tie is as compelling as the pull towards Nathan.
As someone who is plunged into a world they don't understand Carrie inevitably makes mistakes - some with higher consequences than others. She is an independent heroine, determined to see shades of grey in a world where she is told there is only black and white. I'm looking forward to finding out what she does next.
Possession (Book 2) is available now.
Ashes to Ashes (Book 3) is released August 2007
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