Archived Review: Vesper (Deviants, Book One)

Vesper (Deviants, #1)Vesper by Jeff Sampson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The start of VESPERS immediately caught my attention with the transcript of an interview with Emily Webb, the protagonist, and an agent of the mysterious Vesper Company. This led to the first chapter where no time is wasted getting straight to the story. Emily is every introverted, insecure, don’t-make-a-scene-or-stand-out girl out there, which made her very relatable to me; as a teen, I was just like her. Her transformations into Nighttime Emily, as she called herself, were well-done but I felt the author could have stretched a little further than the “wild child” persona he gave Emily during those times. I got a bit bored when she was in that stage and liked when she went back to Daytime Emily, her normal self, much better. At first, I was a little disappointed in where the story actually went, mainly what Emily ended up being (and that’s all I’m saying, no spoilers here), but I accepted and enjoyed it anyway. The middle of the book lagged and I was afraid it would end up an average read, with too much wild behavior and not as much development as I would have liked. However, toward the end the story picked up and kept me riveted; it’s always a good thing for an author to end his or her book on a high note. This isn’t a YA book with romance as its central focus, but it does have its place in the story and doesn’t overwhelm the main plot. The book as a whole could have been deeper than it was, but it’s still a good start to the Deviants series and opened up numerous possibilities, with many unanswered questions for future endeavors. The use of six or so transcripts interspersed throughout the book was a nice element and I quite enjoyed them; the entire book could have easily been written this way. This would probably appeal more to teenagers but some adults would enjoy it as well. I did. THE VESPERS is a breeze to read, briskly-paced, and has a few snicker-worthy moments; maybe it’s not perfect, but it’s far from bad and I had a good time reading it.
3.5 stars

Note: There is some graphic violence, only one scene really, but it’s there.

Originally reviewed: December 10, 2011
Received: Amazon Vine

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Archived Review: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1)Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

My rating: 4 of 5 *****

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick is a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish, never letting up for a moment. The tagline: “Ferris Bueller Meets La Femme Nikita in this funny, action-packed young adult novel” pretty much describes it to a T (though I’m sure there are other influences involved too), except in this case the main character, Perry, is closer to Alan Ruck‘s Cameron than Ferris himself. While reading, I couldn’t help but visualize this as a movie, as it’d work very well developed for the big screen. This is definitely a plot-driven book, with less characterization than action, though the author gives just enough to get a sense of who both Perry and the pseudo-foreign-exchange-student-but-in-reality-assassin, Gobi, are that goes beyond two-dimensional. If you’re looking for a realistic book, this isn’t it, but if you’re looking for a wild ride filled with death, violence, rock ‘n’ roll, humor, mystery, and a main character who grows as the night unfolds, give this a shot, it’s loads for fun. A very short book (190 pages), ARCEC is a fast, non-stop action read that would be perfect entertainment if your brain is overworked from work, school, or just every day worries and should appeal to both males and females who enjoy light YA novels.

Originally reviewed: November 7, 2011
Received: Amazon Vine