PUBLISHER: CHOC LIT
PUBLICATION DATE: July 12, 2016
Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduced a whole new type of heroine to the vampire tradition. No longer were women damsels in distress, waiting for some hero to save them. They were saving themselves and kicking some butt in the process. Following Buffy, you had Sookie Stackhouse (the novel heroine, not the True Blood heroine), Jeaniene Frost’s Cat Crawfield from the Night Huntress series, and Chloe Neill’s Merit from The Chicagoland Vampires to name a few of the heroines who continued to “give rather than receive.” No damsels in distress were these ladies.
As such, I really was looking forward to Revenge is Sweet written by Berni Stevens, from my new favorite publisher, Choc Lit. Unfortunately, the heroine, who made her debut in Dance Until Dark, which I didn’t read, is a damsel in distress and what’s worse is that she is the type who makes really bad, impetuous decisions that cost others their lives.
Elinor is a new-ish vampire, made one after an accident a year ago from which she would have died if vampire Will, the Elder of London, hadn’t sealed the deal. Elinor and Will now have a romance. I will suggest that perhaps having read the first novel would allow one to think more favorably of this couple.
Someone is turning children into vampires and killing humans. It turns out to be a vampire, Thomas, and his gal pal, Sarah. Because the victims have had their blood drained, it sets about a media frenzy and Will and his associates know that they must eliminate Thomas if the vampire community is to stay secret and safe.
For me, there were several points of disconnect. First, Will’s dialogue sounds like it’s straight out of “Pride and Prejudice,” which is fine, but frankly if you’re a smart vampire, I think you would have adapted your manner of speaking to the time you were living in. What’s going to be more noticeable than a man who only comes out at night and speaks as if he were born a few hundred years ago? I would think that that would be enough to make his community vulnerable.
Next, I had a severe eye rolling moment when Elinor’s character states:
“But you married her–Emily–in a formal ceremony. She was your legal wife. I’m nothing–nobody–all we do is live together.”
“Every girl dreams of getting married and if they say otherwise, it’s a lie.”
Say what? This from a supposed 23-year-old? Please, please, please don’t tell me your self-worth is dependent on an entity outside of you! Yuck!
(I think you can probably get where I come from on this, but let me direct you to Jennifer Anniston’s wonderful essay in The Huffington Post from two days ago in which she tackles the subject of a woman’s worth not being based on whether she is married and/or has children.)
Elinor is whiny and clingy, two qualities which I intensely dislike in a heroine.
The third disconnect for me came during the height of the action. A conscientious man would have been worried about keeping his community safe. Will is worried about a wedding for Elinor.
Revenge is Sweet works if you want a sweet supernatural story in which the heroine is wishy-washy. It’s well-written and is steadily paced. Again, my review is based on this book as a standalone.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: Revenge Is Sweet
rating: (2 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5)