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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

Nocturne, by Syrie James:
A Review

From the author's website: 

A Haunting Story of Forbidden Love

    "Lyrical, lush, and intensely romantic." —Library Journal
    Nicole Whitcomb is snowbound for days and falls in love with a fascinating, mysterious stranger—a profoundly meaningful experience that is destined to change both of their lives forever. But who is Michael Tyler and what dark secrets is he hiding?
    "Each incredible revelation kept me turning pages long into the night."A Simple Love of Reading

With praise like that, I delved into this book, eager to discover how a writer known for writing fictionalized biographies of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would interpret the whole vampire trope. I must warn you that, if you're hoping to read more about vampires that sparkle or engage in life and death battles with werewolves and their own kind, then this is not the book for you. This is more of a psychological take on the vampire tale. It deals more with the life - or lives - of the vampire hero rather than any earth-shattering scenario that finds him fighting for his life and that of his love. Personally, I found that rather refreshing.

In many of the other entries in this genre, the pace is fast, the action non-stop, and the focus on the beast the hero has become - and how that affects the heroine. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's very easy to feel like you've read that story somewhere else. There's also the tendency to feel as though something is missing and for me, that something is the reminder that the hero used to be human. What I liked best about James' book was that she highlighted the fact that Michael was once human - and in a very eloquent way. I will not give it away here, but I really enjoyed how she chose to portray Michael's life before he met Nicole. Very clever. It made me want to know everything about him, just like Nicole.

I felt like the characters were real people and I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Michael wasn't obsessed with the idea of someone trying to drive a stake through his heart (no such characters in this book) and Nicole, except for one flight of fancy once she realized what he was, wasn't obsessed with the idea that he was going to kill her or turn her into a vampire. In fact, if you took away the fact that he was a vampire, you would still have what this book essentially is: A love story between two lost souls. And as love stories go, it was a beautiful tale told in a wonderfully uncomplicated manner. I really appreciated the way the author allowed the story to unfold, the way she weaved in Michael and Nicole's backstories, and allowed them to grow as characters.

So the bottom line is: If you're looking for a fix for your vampire love and you want to read a different take on the genre, definitely pick this book up and give it a try. Hopefully, like me, you won't be disappointed. You will be swept away.

Author's website:

9 Moonbeams (comments):

Cheryl said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Vampires aren't always my thing, but that the author delves into Michael's world prior to being a vamp is neat.

Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like it deal with the universal aspects of loving someone and being loved, no matter what your differences. That's good. I'm not interested in emphasizing the gory differences between vampires and humans.

Morgan Mandel

Kate Dolan said...

I love that this book takes a more intellectual approach to the idea of a vampire as a main character. That's what appealed to me so much about Interview with a Vampire so many years ago

Turning the Clock Back said...

I must admit, I love a good vampire story! This sounds like a good read, thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

thanks! for sharing this.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Cheryl, I'm kind of weary of the whole vampire trend, too, but I like how this author interpreted the genre. It was a nice change.

Margay Leah Justice said...

That's exactly right, Morgan. And I'm with you on that!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Yes, Kate! In fact, if the author never mentioned the word vampire, you'd never know you were reading about one because Michael is very human, dealing with human problems. Just for a longer time than most of us!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Turning back the clock and Tribute, so glad you enjoyed the review.