Children’s books can be one of the most difficult areas to write in. Once you’ve picked your target ages group, you have to tailor your work accordingly, being careful not to sound patronising or confusing. Ms Mace manages this admirably, placing her aim squarely at the youngest end of the YA spectrum and producing a well written, high quality book. The whole product is then enhanced by Ellen Sallas’ illustrations and Elizabeth Little‘s cover.
The main story line follows the attempt to disinherit Vlad by his Aunt and Uncle after his parents go missing. The story has all the usual elements of a classical vampire story, including the enemies: werewolves, bounty hunters and pitchfork wielding villagers. There are a number of side plots which provide interesting insights into Vlad and his struggles to remain a Hupyre, rather than allowing his vampire instincts to take over. This all produces an exciting journey through Vlad’s small world, with a predictably thrilling ending that hints at further stories to come.
It was easy enough to read with no really challenging concepts to work the mind, and all plotlines neatly resolved. A sweet little adventure story to while away an hour or so for an adult; it received the thumbs up from my own children, prompting my son to ask if there was a second book in the pipeline.
To be completely honest though, the story somehow left me feeling a little unfulfilled. Vlad’s obsession with peaches proved to be a quirky and useful device at times and there were a fair few echoes of “The Little Vampire” and “Young Dracula” that I couldn’t shake. However, this is only a tiny niggle in what was, overall an excellent book.
A well written, high quality book, showcasing a sweet little adventure story to entertain the children.
I really enjoyed this book! It is great for 10-14 year olds as it is quite scary. I really like how Vlad has asthma and his cousins think it is horrible and that vampires DONT have asthma! Although I have recommended it for 10-14 yrs, I think adults would enjoy it as well. All round great book! :) - Zoe, age 12
This children’s adventure is an easy read, with a likeable half-breed vampire battling against evil.
Vlad is half-human and half-vampire, and all this means in practice is that most hate him for not belonging to either faction. But when his parents go missing and his nasty vampire relatives come to stay to “look after him” (i.e. torture him until he gives up the family secret treasure which he doesn’t know about), he sets off on an adventure of a lifetime…
Well-written, pacy, and fun, this is great children’s fiction. Be warned though – this is clearly the first book in a series and does not end in a clearly resolved storyline. But an enjoyable read, with the right doses of good-versus-evil and adventure. Recommended.
*Thank you to the author for my free review copy via TBC.