Monday, March 21, 2011

Ever Gone To Vampire Slayer School? Well, Now You Can (Vicariously)

Night School, A Blood Coven Vampire Novel, by Mari Mancusi 


This is the only book by Mari Mancus that I've read (and this is not the first in her Blood Coven series). Even still, Night School stood on its own quite effectively. I highly recommend it as an easy-to-consume humorous and extremely imaginative tale. The writing is not only charming and very fun, but it's completely appropriate for young adults and even the youngest among teenage readers. (While this book would fall in the same genre as Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead, there's no inappropriate guardian/student romance here in Night School and all sexual contact is limited to teenagers kissing or to a vampire drinking blood). 


Night school begins with a late teen/vampire who just discovered her biological family is faerie-blood (spelled "fairy" in the book). While Rayne drinks only synthetic blood, she's shipped away to boarding school where nobody knows she's vampire and because she would be slayed to expose her true identity, the unwilling student faces starvation. What happens after that is just a very exciting story filled with mystery, suspense and wonderful imagination.


EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK:
#1 - Amusing exaggeration, appropriate for story-telling:

"I stare at my stepmom, pretty sure my jaw has dropped to the floor at this point. Heather works for Slayer Inc.?  And here I thought she was a stripper or something. .." - page 10


#2 Humor and great quips:
(Describing an uppity and emotionally unavailable adult/guardian): "Headmistress Roberta sniffs again. I'm beginning to think she should have that nose of hers checked out. "You're welcome," she manages to spit out at last. Though I'm pretty sure she doesn't mean it." - page 42.


#3 Many excellent references to other literature, games and familiar media 
"No passing Go, no collecting $200. (Man, no one ever pays me for anything around here.)" - page 183.



RESERVATION:
My unimportant (extremely anal-retentive) observation: I wanted a better description for visualizing how a faerie with full-size wings could hide her huge feathered appendages under a simple T-shirt. Later (after I kept pondering this question - because one student had shown her newly forming and still small wings to her roommate and that horrified student scurried back and away, long before those wings continued to grow larger, and larger when still nobody at school seemed to notice them. Much later, the book described the huge feathers as being being folded under the T-shirt but with the way my mind works -- I kept thinking huge wings folded would make discernible lumps under a thin layer of cotton. If I were to rewrite this detail - I'd communicate that the faerie must have spoken some magical chant or something to make the wings temporarily disappear.  


CONCLUSION:
I strongly recommend this book. It thoroughly enjoyed the fanciful experience that Night School presented. I will definitely check out more books by the highly talented author, Mari Mancusi.


Reviewer's Admission:
I won this used paper-back in a wonderful blog contest. It was definitely a wonderful gift to receive in the mail.

4 comments:

  1. Well? That's just really nice of you to say. My goal is to simply write original content and hook the right readers up with the right sort of book.

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  2. Thanks for the great review. I love books like that! Must check it out.

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  3. I'm so happy to think you enjoyed the review JM. Thank you for the comment.

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