On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker's present winds up being the shock of a lifetime. When her mom referred to her absentee dad as a deadbeat...more
On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker's present winds up being the shock of a lifetime. When her mom referred to her absentee dad as a deadbeat it was actually half true -- he's a vampire. And a king, no less. A king who wants his daughter to assume her rightful position at his side. But, thanks to Ana's mother, the blood of a witch also runs through her veins....
Too bad vampires and witches are mortal enemies.
With her parents gearing up for an all out brawl over her destiny, Ana's about ready to scream. But things get even crazier when a male witch and a brooding bad boy vampire start vying for her affection. Then the barely leashed tension between the vampires and the witches starts to boil over, and Ana has to figure out once and for all if she wants to become heir to her dad's throne. And deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.
Series: Vampire Princess
1. Almost to Die For
ALMOST TO DIE FOR is the perfect title for this story. I read the book in one night, and I can attest that this story is to die for.
Our protagonist, Ana, has a spunky voice that remains constant throughout the entire novel, and I believe that she embodied a teenager perfectly. She was easy to relate to--especially when describing how she felt like an outcast--and I found myself wishing I could be her friend. It's always nice being able to connect with the protagonist of a story almost instantaneously. It's even better when that connection lasts from the first page all the way to the last.
Like most YAs, the start focuses on the heroine's sixteenth birthday and how crappy it is. Unlike most YAs, said heroine wasn't annoying, which says a lot, coming from me.
So we've got a hybrid protagonist: half vampire, half witch. Ana doesn't know about her vampire heritage due to her mother keeping it a secret for most of her life. This does not last, especially when Ana's father decides to stop by the witchy residence to say hello. The following confrontation was not only cool--Ana's mother sure knows how to cast a spell--but it was also kind of... strange. It left me with quite a few questions and complaints.
For instance, why oh why do witches have to say something in order to cast a spell? And why does it have to rhyme? That annoyed me, but it always has. Also, what happens if you're a mute, or someone gags you? Can you not cast a spell then? Why did Ana's father wait sixteen years to finally speak with his daughter? I understand the circumstances of the... family situation, however, Ramses did not have an aloof personality. He was involved. He was pleasant. It just didn't add up logically. He seems like the type who would fight tooth and nail to be included in his daughter's life.
The above paragraph was my only complaint about the book, and the two "complaints" didn't come to mind until I finally sat down to type up my review. This story is engaging and kept me glued to the pages. I was dying to find out what happened next. Especially since Hallaway has created such an interesting history betwixt the vampires and witches.
I adored Elias. He was not only polite and a sweetheart--oh my gosh, the way he speaks and treats Ana makes my insides melt--but he was also the character that intrigued me the most. I want to learn more about his past. I want to know how old he is. He's obviously attained a high social standing amongst his kin, and he has a reputation amongst the slayers as being a badass killer, but what makes him tick? How old is he if he can be out during the day when all the other vampires cannot? I have so many questions!
Oh, and the last part between him and Ana, and what happens after the showdown, pretty much made the book that more awesome for me. Elias > Nikolai for me. I think it's because Nikolai was just... not as convincing as a character. He's a college student, but he came off as too plain and unconvincing. I can't put my finger on what exactly bothered me, but there was something missing with his character.
ALMOST TO DIE FOR is one of those reads that redeems the YA genre for me. With so many books out there already, it's refreshing stumbling upon a new author (for me, yep, I need to read more works by Tate) who doesn't rely on a love triangle to keep the plot going.