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Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

THE VAMPIRE STALKER by Allison van Diepen 
Reading level: Young Adult 
Hardcover: 272 pages 
Publisher: Point (June 1, 2011)

I glanced at him, and felt like the air had been sucked out of me. 
His profile was straight and chiseled. Dark brown hair curled slightly over the collar of his long, cape-like coat. A line from Otherworld came to mind: He would have been classically handsome were it not for the forbidding expression on his face.

I gave my head a shake. After all I’d just been through, I was still thinking of Alexander Banks. It must have been a mirage—my mind’s way of bringing me comfort after the terror.
What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

I'm a huge vampire junkie so this was such a treat. But even if you're not into vampires, chances are there's been a special book you've imagined certain characters coming to life at some time or other. (Barrons from Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series immediately comes to mind) But I think you don't have to be a huge vampire fan to enjoy The Vampire Stalker. It's so well-written with a thoughtful, entertaining story line and strong, likable characters that I think it will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

The Vampire Stalker exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. The premise, the characterization and the world building all came together for me in a delicious concoction that I devoured in a single evening. Allison van Diepen impressed me with how cleverly she constructed main protagonist Amy’s personality. She was a girl that could easily be any of us—she had normal features, a normal name, normal life, etc.  I think that crafting Amy's character as someone all women can identify with was a smart move. For with a book like this, part of the fun is putting yourself in Amy's shoes and wondering "what would I do if so-and-so came to life?!"  I also adored how she kept her head in this book—she was logical, confident and loyal to the people she cared about. She was the type of girl we'd all want to be or have for a best friend.

My hope is that Allison van Diepen will allow us to return to Alexander’s world. The entire time I was reading the The Vampire Stalker, I was itching to cross over into "Otherworld" and get a taste for what life was really like there. (Otherworld is both the name of a fictional vampire series that main character Amy is obsessed with and also it's a parallel world similar to ours). I loved this concept- the way it was explained made so much sense too- simple but full of possibilities.  Let's just say that if Otherworld was a real series out on the market right now, I would wait in line for the next installment just like Amy and her friends did! There’s so much that could be done if van Diepen did another book from that angle—a potential back story with Alexander and James as children in Otherworld or even something with the sinister Vigo would be fantastic. Whatever it is—I'm most enthusiastically interested in reading it. 

It’s very rare that I close a book and am tempted to flip it back open to page one and read again, but I can honestly tell you that’s how I felt about this one. I didn't want to leave The Vampire Stalker. It was pure entertainment through and through—a great escape on a gloomy Sunday afternoon. I hope Allison van Diepen is able to continue this series. She definitely got my attention with this one!

Allison van Diepen is the author of six teen novels: Street Pharm, Snitch, Raven, The Oracle of Dating, The Oracle Rebounds, and The Vampire Stalker. Her novels have been named ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and New York City Public Library Books for the Teen Age.

Allison holds degrees in History and Education. She is currently Head of English at an alternative high school, where her focus is on literacy. She lives with her husband and son in Ottawa, Canada. Official Website


BooksforCompany said...

This sounds as awesome as l have been hoping .. l so want to read this!
Thank you.

Tiffany said...

This one looks really good. I'll have to pick it up soon. Great review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

FAB review Kimmy! This sounds excellent. Like something I should break my vamp diet for :)

Fantastic Book Review said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this one! The premise sounds wonderful!

SN: Te-he...Barrons in real life, that would be one helluva fantasy come true.

Denise Z said...

I have been following this title for a short while now and the more I read about it the more I want to read it. Thank you so much for your wonderful review today.