3 out of 4 stars
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It's 1776, and Raven isn't a normal girl. Unlike most girls during that time period, she doesn't just want to learn sewing and singing. She loves mathematics and reading. On her thirteenth birthday, her family is attacked ... by a vampire. After being bitten, vampire hunters stumble upon her. They should kill her so that she doesn't turn into a vampire herself. Instead, James decides to keep her and use her to track down other vampires. Raven finds herself in the middle of a war that she has no stake in. Still only thirteen at heart, it's kill or be killed. Will Raven survive this deadly new existence?
Raven Book 1: Birth Into Darkness by WJR Parks is a science fiction/fantasy novel. There's a sprinkling of erotic scenes, some profanity, and quite a bit of violence and gore. Therefore, I would not recommend this for those under eighteen years of age. In addition, faith is mentioned here and there throughout the book. Though not specific to a certain faith, it does lean towards Christianity. If you are anti-religion, this isn't the novel for you.
As far as vampire fiction goes, there's nothing new under the sun. Indeed, most of what's written here is quite cliche. The vampires can't go out in the sun. They cannot enter without an invitation. The list goes on. However, that's not to say this wasn't an interesting read. I very much enjoyed it.
What did I most enjoy you ask? By far, the characters. Raven struggles with her new nature. Is her soul now damned? Is she evil? There are also those characters that you love to hate. Samuel, a vampire hunter, was - though supposedly doing the Lord's work - purely evil in my opinion. Each character had their own personality and motivation, the way all good characters should. It was the best part of the novel.
Furthermore, the author's writing style was descriptive and easy to read. It was easy to picture what was happening. "Ecstatic waves washed through every parched and hollow vein; shock, pleasure reverberated in my muscles as they breathed once more to life." Though graphic at times, how do you have a vampire story without gore?
The only issue with the book was the editing. Proofread well at the beginning, the further I went into the story the more errors I found. Mostly, these seemed to be typographical errors like "trial" instead of "trail." Not extremely plentiful, there were more than ten.
It's worth mentioning, also, that this is a book one. As such, not every aspect of the story is complete. There was a satisfying enough conclusion that I don't know if I would label this as a cliffhanger; still, I really must find out what happens next.
All said, this is a book I would recommend to those that enjoy a good vampire novel. As such, I rate Raven Book 1: Birth Into Darkness 3 out of 4 stars. I had to remove a star due to the errors I found. If gory, violent, vampire-filled novels don't excite you, this isn't the book for you. I can't wait to see what else Mr. Parks comes up with!
Raven Book 1 : Birth Into Darkness
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