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5.03.2009

Review: Vamps by Nancy A. Collins

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Vamps (Vamps #1) by Nancy A. Collins
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (HARPERTEEN, 256 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 0061349178
When the sun goes down, New York's true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.
Bathory's reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn't want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.
Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.

Author Site:
Nancy A. Collins @ Wikipedia (unofficial)


Vampire American Princesses: A Franchise With Bite (4 stars)

Vamps, the first book in a new young adult series, introduces readers to a whole new take on the vampire mythos. A world where status and bloodlines are everything and to be born on the wrong side of them is far from pleasant. Where else could such a tale be set than New York? A city known for its own clashing social classes, fashion, fame and fortune.

Daughter of the vampire elite's Victor Todd, Lilith has been the reigning royalty at Bathory Academy. The prestigious all-girls school trains young women from Old Blood families how to shapeshift, practice scrivenery and other important vampire skills. But when school is out Lilith and friends prowl the night shopping at the chicest designer boutiques, slithering along the dance floor of their favorite night club and slumming amongst the dregs of human society in search of amusement.

When one of these slumming incidents leads Lilith and her friends into a pack of Van Helsings (vampire slayers) it is a New Blood she blames for the tragic results. Meanwhile, Cally Monture, a New Blood gifted with a rare vampire ability, has been quite content to live life just as she has. But when the mysterious father she has never met demands she begin attending Bathory all heck breaks loose. Lilith wants Cally dead and for more than one reason!

Vamps is definitely not a book without its flaws. I'm a notorious label-dropping hater. Anyone looking for a book to give a teen or tween this book should be aware that the 'teens' in this series do partake in alcohol, drugs and there are some subtle sexually suggestive references. But if you can get past those issues there is something a bit clandestine and charming about it. Conceptually, the vampire mythos is a little confusing in areas but opens up a world of possibilities. It's not often you see vampires who can shapeshift into a bat-like flying form!

This first installment by itself ends a little too abruptly for my tastes but did really tantalize my guilty-pleasures palate to read more. Definitely a fluffier bit of YA urban fantasy that isn't meant to be too emotionally deep or offer any moral message. It's just plain spoiled rich-girl fun set in the very popular realm of vampires. If you're looking for a nice (if a cheesy) change of pace from all the gloom-and-doom Romeo and Juliet-esque vampire novels give Vamps a try.

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