Friday, January 23, 2009

Demon in my View

Demon in my View
© 2000 Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
176 pages

During my high school years, while roaming through a bookstore, my eyes fell upon a book titled Tiger, Tiger. That sounded similar to William Blakes' "The Tygre", which is one of my favorite poems, so I picked it up. Tiger, Tiger was a vampire novel, the first I had ever read, and I found its story to be incredibly interesting and well-written. Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire let me down compared to it. Although I'm not usually much for horror, Rhodes is so readable that I decided try another book by her -- albiet many years later.

Demon in my View, like Tiger, Tiger, is named after a line in a poem -- although this is not one I recognize. This book is the story of Jessica, the teen author of Tiger, Tiger and another vampire book, both of which she has penned under the name of Ash Night. Although she is becoming a literacy success, she is an outcast at school and most everywhere else. Then one day a new student arrives and seems remarkably familiar to her: it's as if a character from her novel has become alive. She is drawn to him -- both out of personal attraction or attraction to the character he reminds her of.

The explaination for this is interesting, and I'll leave it hidden for those who would be interested in reading the book. Jessica is drawn into the world of her own creation while witches attempt to protect her from the vampires and her own self. I predicted the conclusion, but not with any confidence. What I enjoy most about Atwater-Rhodes' books is that her world is different, and somewhat more believable. Her vampires do not scorn the sun, nor do they sleep in coffins or fear Christian symbols. They can change their form at will, generally live apart from humans in their own towns, and hunt humans as prey. Like predators, they all maintain a territory and conflicts arise between powerful vampires. Their predator/prey mindset dominates them to the point that vampires see one another as either their inferiors or their superiors. Only one vampire has even hinted that he has an equal in the two books I've read. Her witches are likewise different: two of the three witches in this book are "good" people, and all three are concerned with protecting humans from the vampires who hunt them.

Demon in my View was a quick and entrancing read, and I wouldn't mind continuuing with the rest of her stand-alone books. The only issue I would have with this book is its length: 176 pages goes by fairly quickly.

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