Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Claudia Gray, Evernight

bland, vapid, tedious...

I bought this because Amazon kept suggesting it to me. After reading the first 15-20 pages, it was clear that Gray has no talent. I quickly skimmed the rest of the book and was annoyed that I had even wasted that much time on this utterly vapid fluff.

I am so tired of these authors who think all they have to do is describe one or two "intriguing" personality traits (in the case of Bianca, crippling shyness combined with just beneath the surface sassy rebelliousness), pair that with a slightly unusual, yet eerily attractive physical trait (red hair, pale), and believe that they've created a compelling character. In the same vein, creating chemistry between two characters requires more than simply describing them both as attractive, allowing them to brood a bit, and then claiming that fire goes off when they "finally" (read: after 30 pages of contrived angst) get around to kissing each other. I'm not asking for Jane Austen here, but please, put a little effort into it!

Just because this is a YA book, that's no excuse. Look at Vampire Academy. Rose is a complex, compelling and believable character. She has intense chemistry with Dimitry, and they don't even kiss until about 400 pages into the first book. So it's not the YA genre that is to be blamed for this. I blame lazy authors and lazy readers.

Evernight has a few original takes on the vamp legend. Rose being a "born" vampire is unusual; the fact that her parents had been around for centuries before giving birth to her is also kind of fascinating. But Gray doesn't take advantage of these unique twists; there are endless possibilities for the types of emotions, motivations, viewpoints, etc., that these twists could give her characters - but Gray doesn't explore these at all. She's far more interested in boring make-out scenes and predictable, yawning "action" sequences.

1 star

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