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Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhoads

Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House) 2001
Genre: YA, paranormal
Hardback 240 pages
Book Source: book swap at work
My Rating: 90/100


It's not easy being a vampire-hunting witch, but Sarah Tigress Vida has learned from the best. The witches of the Vida family line have been successfully stalking and staking the undead for centuries, and Sarah is immensely proud of her ancestry. So, the last thing she would ever do is befriend one of the enemy. She has always faithfully followed the golden Vida rule of vampire hunting: "Knowing your prey can cause hesitation, and when one is a vampire hunter, hesitation ends in death." Then she meets artistic, sweet Christopher. A benign vampire, Christopher lives off of animal blood or the blood of willing human donors, and begins to gently woo Sarah with his poetry and drawings.

Completely against her slayer instincts, Sarah reluctantly begins to care for Christopher... until she discovers that his twin is the vampire Nikolas, infamous for his habit of carving his name into the flesh of his victims. Sarah has always sworn to be the Vida to take Nikolas out, but her feelings for Christopher have allowed her to hesitate--a hesitation that may cost her not only her family's sterling reputation, but her mortal soul.

My Thoughts:

"Haven't you ever once wanted someone you could talk to about something besides killing?  Someone who has no idea about your power and is simply a friend?" pg. 45

Vampire-hunting witch Sarah Vida is starting a new school, and struggling to deal with the myriad of complications her paranormal life throws at her.  She can only have certain types of friends and forget about being friends with vampires.  It's against the rules, which are some of the strictest ones I have heard of before.  Sarah's life is nothing but discipline, training and hunting and killing of vampires.  And then she meets one of the sweetest vampires ever, Christopher. 

Christopher and his just as sweet sister Nissa, are passive vamps in that they do not feed from humans.  A choice they made a long time ago.  Sound familiar?  Anyway, becoming friends with these two causes Sarah to think and question what her life has become.  Yes, she has an allegiance to her family, but as the quote above demonstrates, her family does not fill all of her needs, especially her need for friends and possibly a "normal" life that doesn't involve hunting.  Events happen and Sarah must soon make a choice between her friends and family.  A mistake she makes actually cause her path to be chosen for her, but I think in the long run it is for the best.

This was a super fast read.  I could have finished this in a day, but I have to work so it took me 2 days to finish.  The story is 240 pages, but the book is so small that it's a quick 240.  The story made me want to find out what happened next and now.  Some of the characters may not be as developed as some would like, but it's a YA book.  To me this is not unexpected.  Now that I think about it, some are developed more than others, like Nissa.  How she becomes a vampire is told in the story, and I have to admit, she is one tough cookie.  Family is everything to her.  Interesting theme there.  And the twins...Christopher and Nikolas well all of their issues would make for an interesting book.

Another interesting theme here, is how similar some of the scenes are to another infamous teen vampire story.  For example, Sarah enters one of  her classes and instantly recognizes a vampire there, and oh yeah, he is hot.  Then she has to sit next to him because it's the only open seat available.  He stares at her, and makes small conversation.  She flounces out of the room, tries to avoid him, but then meets his super sweet sister.  Look, all I'm saying is that I felt as though I read some of these scenes before.  I looked up the publishing date of Twilight.  It's 2005.  Shattered Mirror is 2001.  Not saying that someone plagiarized, however I just find it odd that they are so similar.  Sorry but I have to put it out there.

Oh yes, and Sarah is kissing cousins with the Buffy story, but it's differnet enough to not have the same coincidences.

The author Amelia Atwater-Rhoads received quite a bit of fan fare when this story was published.  She has two other books as well, and I will definitely be looking out for those.  Not sure if this story is picked up again, but Miss Amelia might want to consider continuing Sarah's story.  With today's thirst for all things paranormal, she may do well.

My Rating: 90/100

2010 Challenges Met: 100+, Read Your Own Books (RYOB)


I am an Amazon Associate.


Blodeuedd said...

That whole first meeting thing is also so very Roswell, also a pre twilight

Tales of Whimsy said...

Awesome review :) Positive, honest, and covered all the bases :)

Staci said...

If I'm not mistaken the author wrote her first book at 15...I've read almost all of her stuff and really enjoyed it. Interesting that her scene sounds so familiar huh?? Great review Jen!

bermudaonion said...

I haven't gotten into vampires yet, but this one does sound interesting.

Darlene said...

I've never read anything by this author bu this does sound good and I always like a quick read.

You know there are so many vampire/teen stories out there that I think it's hard for them not to be somewhat familiar to each other. How many different ways can you write a vampire story. lol.

Teddyree said...

This one sounds fun. After reading quite a few chunksters I'm up for some quick reads.

Hope you're face is healing and you're feeling better hun
{hugs} Sheree

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