The Compulsive Reader: Books That Suck Month: Day One: Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Books That Suck Month: Day One: Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

No, I am not going to spend an entire month on books to avoid. Instead, this month is going to be devoted to an ever growing genre of YA—Vampire books.

I first got the idea back in April, when a friend of mine remarked on how now that she’s read the Twilight Saga, there aren’t any good vampire reads left. I was shocked that anyone could say such a thing! There are so many good YA vampire stories out there…the genre didn’t emerge with the publication of Twilight after all! And so this month is dedicated to those fantastic books to read while you wait for Untamed, Breaking Dawn, and Stargazer.

We’ll also have a few authors stopping by to answer some questions about the genre and why they chose to write about it, along with a few contests with chances to win copies of Tantalize, The Summoning, and lots of cool bookmarks and bookplates.

So stick around! We’ve got a lot books for you to sink your teeth into.

As I was thinking about which books to feature, I couldn’t help but remember an old favorite—my first encounter with vampires in literature, actually.

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

Kerry is packing in a late night cram session for a big test the next day when her little brother Ian wakes up and realizes that he left his stuffed bear in the Laundromat earlier that day. He begs Kerry to go and retrieve it for him. Reluctantly she agrees, and once she’s there, she stumbles into what she thinks is a gang war. But when she’s taken hostage, she soon realizes that her captors must be truly insane—they keep raving about killing a harmless guy, Ethan, claiming he’s a vampire.

Kerry helps him escape, and when Ethan promises not to tell the police about her involvement, she heads home. But the situation is far from resolving itself when later the next day Kerry comes home to find her home vandalized and her family missing. Ethan shows up again, bent on protecting her. It’s then she realizes that maybe their captors weren’t so crazy after all…

Companions of the Night is a very quick and fast paced read. Ethan’s unpredictability, Kerry’s tenuous grasp on her life, and their race against time to find Kerry’s family all make for a gripping and suspenseful read. Though readers today may feel that with the absence of many modern day technologies that the book is dated, the intrigue of Ethan’s past and mystery of what beings a vampire means more than makes up for it. Vande Velde creates a completely realistic atmosphere in a situation that is out of this world. Companions of the Night is one of those books that you will wish had no end.


Elainareads said...

Cool idea! Great review, I'll have to check this book out.


Anonymous said...

Awesome idea! I <3 vampire books

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love me some vampire books too...of course of course...but nice review. Never heard of this book but it does sound really good!

P.S. I posted a link to here on the Vampire Month post I made!

Anonymous said...

I read this book back when I was sixteen and I still enjoy it on a regular basis now that I am nineteen. It's the first vampire novel I encountered that I really liked.

Too bad Velde isn't very fond of writing sequels.