Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Published: September 8, 2008
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 Stars
Description from Amazon:
When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad’s new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda’s interest. At first, she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free herself-and her family-from Vincent’s power before it’s too late? Full-bodied characterizations and page-turning suspense ensure that this eerie, riveting novel will appeal to middle school fans of mystery and horror.
Ok, puff read!!! Seriously, this was nothing more than brain candy. This book was a place holder while I waited for another book to get here in the mail. Hahn is usually my go-to for a quick, scary read and most of her books are awesome. But this one was more cheesy than scary. Don’t take it too seriously, because you’ll be disappointed if you do. Just a fun little romance-y vampire story. If you want something light and fanciful to read, then I recommend this book.
Today’s First Line Friday is one I have heard about that sounds intriguing. I have heard good things about it, despite it’s 640+ page length in my hardback copy I own. and apparently vampires are involved somehow. Sign me up for this long roller coaster of a novel! This First Line comes from “A Note to the Reader“:
The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper.
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history….
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.
What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad’s ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.[Top]
Author: Dan Klefstad
Published: February 1, 2017 in issue 209 of Crack the Spine Literary Magazine
Date Read: January 9, 2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Short Story Summary:
Daniel is about to retire after decades of working for a vampire. He’s writing a letter to the applicant who wishes to succeed him; a letter that’s part memoir and part advice. We never hear regret in Daniel’s words, but we get a sense of the sacrifices he made to be able to spend his remaining years in peace and luxury.
The Caretaker is a short story and is written as a letter from Daniel to the applicant chosen to replace him, as a message and warning about the job. We are the applicant in this instance and we are warned if we continue reading the letter and don’t take the job it could prove very dangerous. Dan Klefstad pulls you in to this short story from the beginning. You can’t help but read on, despite Daniel’s warning… Do we read on fellow applicant? Yes, we do!
Daniel gives lots of advice on what to do and not to do with our new employer with great care otherwise we will meet disastrous results. Then he goes into part of his story as a caretaker giving us an idea what we are in for by taking this job. It is not an easy job or life that Daniel had working as a caretaker. He earned his money. But at what cost? We must continue reading The Caretaker to know everything…
I highly enjoyed The Caretaker. It is a short story that Dan Klefstad is working to expand into a full length novel. I find myself anticipating that future novel. Do yourself a favor and get this issue of Crack the Spine and read Dan Klefstad’s short story!
The Caretaker is recommend. Issue 209 of Crack the Spine will be out TOMORROW![Top]