An urban fantasy/paranormal romance set during Prohibition in an America in which supernatural beings called “Others” exist and are known to the public, but lack civil rights. Thankfully, they are not just stand-ins for real-life oppressed groups, as those groups also exist (and are oppressed) in the world of the novel.

New York City teacher and full-time activist Zephyr Hollis, who becomes widely known during the book as “the singing vampire suffragette,” is the daughter of a demon-hunter, but unlike her bigoted father, she has never met a social justice cause she doesn’t like. Zephyr is a little over the top – she gives her rent money to the poor, she belongs to thirty-one separate political organizations, and at one point she forgets to eat because she was too busy feeding the hungry – but she’s definitely a unique heroine, and the sometimes absurd lengths to which she takes her convictions make her plausibly obsessive rather than obnoxiously self-righteous.

The book is fast-paced and fun. Within the first few chapters, Zephyr rescues a boy in the process of turning into a vampire, gives her rent money to a student with a hard-luck story, teaches a class to immigrants and Others, is hired by the handsome and mysterious djinn Amir to investigate a local crime lord, crushes on Amir, and attends a rally. I enjoyed the convincing grass-roots politics and the amusing takes on the various supernatural beings, from the disgusting way that vampires die to how Amir, the romantic lead, has ears that sometimes billow smoke and eyeballs that sometimes burst into flames. I repeat: the romantic lead has flaming eyeballs!

Amir, despite a rather more interesting dark side than is common in the genre, is not the alpha asshole who so often appears in romances, and Zephyr, while naïve in some ways, is completely capable of rescuing herself. Amir and Zephyr’s relationship, however, didn’t quite work for me – she was attracted to him so quickly that the relationship didn’t seem based on anything other than that she’s the heroine and he’s the romantic lead, especially since she had such strong feelings for him long before we’d seen enough of them interacting to justify them. I would have liked it better if the romance had developed more slowly, as they were both fun characters individually and had genuine conflicts based on opposing worldviews, which is always interesting in a romance.

I would be curious to hear from someone who actually knows something about the period how accurate the historic details are – the language and attitudes about sex often seemed anachronistically modern to me, but I might be projecting my own preconceptions on the time.

Overall, I enjoyed this. (My favorite bit, for those who have already read it, was the egg whites.) If you like paranormal romance but are tired of heroines who do nothing but have sex and the asshole men who dominate them, this is definitely the book for you.

Note that this is the same author as YA fantasy writer Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Moonshine: A Novel

From: [identity profile]

I really loved this.

The attitudes towards sex seemed plausible to me for the types of characters they were - I got the feeling Zephyr wasn't as experienced as she was hoping to become, though. I bet [ profile] oursin will be able to set us right, though!

The romance was a bit fast. I read it as more of a lustful crush than actual love, so I was okay with it. I really want there to be more books so I can see what happens after the various events at the book's end.
ext_6283: Brush the wandering hedgehog by the fire (Default)

From: [identity profile]

Aaaargh - it's not yet out in the UK! Will look out for it, though I know more about Britain at the period than US.

From: [identity profile]

At least we'd have something to start with for the time period, though.

It isn't out yet here, either. I read an ARC.
ext_7025: (Default)

From: [identity profile]

I keep reading about this one and thinking, "That sounds fun, but I did not love the author's first novel, even though I really wanted to." But I think the flaming eyeballs may tip me over into trying it out.

From: [identity profile]

This sounds like the antidote for the phase I have been going through lately, a phase which may be summarized as Oh God Why Can I Not Stop Reading Nalini Singh I Know Better By Now. (I have heard the sentence come out of my mouth four separate times recently: "I cannot in good conscious recommend these books, except that angels make vampires.")

From: [identity profile]

If you promise to review it (you don't have to like it) I'll mail you the ARC.

From: [identity profile]

Sure, that would be awesome.

I will also definitely write up the Nalini Singh, if it is indeed one of the ones that comes into the library-- I kind of can't tell her non-angel-book titles apart. (Though she's not as bad as Lydia Joyce, who has these wonderful books that I think of as The Insert Nouns Here of Night.)

From: [identity profile]

I am disturbed by how many Nalini Singh books I have read. Even the one with the line that goes something like, His cock had never been so hard. If she touched it, it would explode.

From: [identity profile]

I have not read that particular Nalini Singh!

It may be one of the ones coming in on reserve at the library.

From: [identity profile]

It's the one with Dev Santos, the guy who controls metal and smells like steel, cinnamon, chocolate, masculinity, and an exotic wind from Asia, and the amnesiac Psy assassin who has sex with him.

PLEASE write it up when you get to it! Or at least record the exploding cock line for posterity. I no longer possess it.

From: [identity profile]

I have read all of Nalini Singh's books. I don't even like Alpha Males but she sucks me in anyway. Maybe it's the telepath-angst. I've always been a sucker for that.

Plus I read a whole bunch of the J.R. Ward "Black Dagger Brotherhood" books, despite disliking dozens of aspects of the worldbuilding and prose. I read one of them twice.

I win.

Not sure WHAT I win...

From: [identity profile]

I just read the latest. When the six foot six tattooed leatherclad vampires joyfully carolled U2 as a wedding march, I knew I was some sort of text-based masochist. AND YET.

From: [identity profile]

you are making me want to read it.

This is the series with the enormous white hiphop vampires named stuff like Fhuree and Badasse, right?

From: [identity profile]

Yes, that's the one.

I've been told the series has very serious fans.

From: [identity profile]

Yes! Except the baby vampires (all vampires are puny pathetic creatures until they hit awakening age, when they wake up six foot six and allllllll muscles) - all the names like Vishous and Rhage (not kidding, actual names) - were taken so they ended up with names like Qhuinn and Blaylock and Tyhm.

I non-ironically enjoyed a baby vampire school bus scene where the school bully Lash teased the new Vampire Warriors' baby vampire ward about his name. (His name is John.)

I see what people mean about crack with this series - I bounced off Black Jewels and the Twilight saga, but this one, I CANNOT LOOK AWAY. And yet Rachel, I will not deceive you: the lady vampires go into heat.

From: [identity profile]

Should I read the new one?

Does it rise to new levels of Cracktastic Homosocial Bonding?

From: [identity profile]

Well, if you enjoyed the others, I actually have not-so-bad things to say about the new one. Because I very much like the centuries-older casual-sex-having saves-herself-at-all-times muscular bouncer vampire heroine of the new one

And no kidding, with two of the younger vampire generation, she seems to actually be going for an actual gay pairing (rather than 'I was just very confused! before I met my True Mate' and 'It's a manly warrior bond thing. Manly. Warriorly').

From: [identity profile]

Hmmm. I think I might give it a try. I didn't finish the last one I started, but this one sounds like amusing crack.

From: [identity profile]

This sounds sort of up my alley. Do the female vampires get misspelled cool names too?

From: [identity profile]

Muscular bouncer vampire heroine is called Xhex, short for Xhexania, and there is a nice vampire nurse called Ehlena. (Though most have more ordinary names, like Bella and Marissa, because they cannot be part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Of Dear God Twins Called Phury and Zsadist.)

From: [identity profile]




You can't make up stuff like that! Or, I guess you can if you're the author! Wow.

From: [identity profile]

I think this book is crazy awesome, and did totally believe in Zephyr as going through a young! fervent! activist! phase, while also totally getting her guilt and her good intentions.

Amir I did not like, but er. Er, that may be because I rather fancied the interaction between Zephyr and uh. The vampire she was teaching his letters to. You know the one. *hides face in shame*

From: [identity profile]

Oh, Sarah. The shaaaaaame!

They did have a lot of chemistry.

I knew a lot of people like Zephyr when I was an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, which is known for people like that. They were often vegans, which was why I laughed so much at Zephyr's sad attempts to convince waitresses that she really did want the sandwich without meat.
Edited Date: 2010-04-28 09:51 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile]

Oh That One.

Why, yes.

That is perverted and wrong Really, really hot.

*hides face in shame* *should not be ashamed because is erotica writer* *is ashamed to feel shame*

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags