Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Early Review - Vesper (Deviants, Book 1) by Jeff Sampson (4.5/5 stars)

Vesper: A Deviants NovelReading level: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 25, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0061992766
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in Deviants trilogy
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program.  This is the first book in the Deviants trilogy by Jeff Sampson.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I read this book, but I ended up liking it a lot.  It was a great read with some interesting plot twists and some interesting ideas.  Some of the concepts in this book are loosely related to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The night that Emily Cook dies weird things start happening to Emily Webb.  Emily Webb is a self-pronounced geek who prefers her books and her movies to any outside company but one night that all changes.  One night she changes into Nighttime Emily and sneaks out of her window and is running around town like a crazy woman.   This change becomes a nightly occurring leaving Daytime Emily confused and upset as Nighttime Emily slowly erodes Daytime Emily's relationships with her parents and friends.  Then things get weirded, Daytime Emily changes past Nighttime Emily into something other.  The thing is this is happening to other teens as well and on top of this there is a serial killer out there shooting teens in the head.  Could it all be tied together?  Can Emily figure out what is going on before Nighttime Emily either destroys Daytime Emily's life or is hunted and shot down by the killer?

I was surprised about how much I liked this book.  It was incredibly engaging and very easy to read.  Emily Webb is a very realistic and likable character.  The book is told from Emily's point of view but is broken up by interview bits taken at some lab where Emily is being held.  These interview clips give a glimpse into Emily's future and add mystery as she relates her story as her first week as a Deviant.

I really enjoyed the plot pace of this book, it starts out a bit slow and slowly builds tension...then the action comes at you non-stop.  I liked the ideas behind that book too, how Emily's personality changes but she is still Emily at the same time.

The only complaint I really have is that the side characters suffered from being underdeveloped.  Hopefully we will see more development in that area in the first book.

The story ties up well but really leaves you wanting to know more about the Deviants and what they are up to.  As a reader I really want to see the scope of the story broadened, it was pretty narrow in this book told strictly from Emily's point of view.

Overall and excellent book.  Creative and well-written and very engaging.  Emily was a very real character going through some crazy stuff, there is a lot of suspense and mystery that really keeps you hooked.  I am excited to read the next book in the series and see what happens with all of these Deviant characters.   This was one of the better young adult urban fantasy novels I have read in a while.

This goes towards the following reading challenges:

Vesper: A Deviants Novel

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