Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Finished: Overbite

Ah, vampires. Every few years it seems like they take over pop culture with their fangs and mysterious ways. To me, it seems as though the latest obsession has stemmed from Twilight and tons of teenagers are keeping the love alive for these creatures of the night. I've read Twilight and am not afraid to admit it but it wasn't the vampire storyline that really drew me to the series. (Actually, I read the series based on a ton of girls telling me that I needed to read it when I was still working at the bookstore) Anyway, vampires have never really done much for me so it may seem slightly surprising that I've Meg Cabot's vampire series. Insatiable, which came out in June 2010, was the first novel and Overbite, released just this past summer, was the second (and final) novel.

Here's the (long-ish) synopsis of Overbite  from Goodreads:

Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead.
Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good ... at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love.
Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, ├╝ber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy ... especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well.
But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case.
So why doesn't Meena — or Alaric — trust him?
As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare ... and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist.
This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.
Wondering why I've read these vampire stories if I'm not really a fan? Because I love Meg Cabot. Always have and likely always will. I love that she writes several kinds of books and for all age groups as well (check out this impressive list of novels!) I picked up Insatiable at the library one day and enjoyed it so when I saw Overbite (again at the library) I had to read it to find out what happened to Meena, Lucien, and Alaric, along with the large cast of supporting characters.

I absolutely devoured Overbite (Yes, pun intended. Though I admit it was a fairly bad pun...). It was one of those novels that had a lot of action going on but still managed to have a good story to it as well. What I really liked about it was the historical tidbits woven into the storyline. Cabot has an author's note at the end of the novel where she explains that some of the things in the novel (the river, Palentine Guard, and so on) were based on myths and actual historical reports. I really like when novels take bits of information from history and weaves it into the fictional plot.

Apparently these novels are a modern take on Dracula. Since I've never read Dracula I can't really comment on the connections but I'd be very interested in some insights. Can anyone help me out? Amusing aside - while I was reading Overbite last week, two people I follow on Twitter were reading Dracula. Quite the coincidence! Ah - some very scientific Wikipedia research has led me to discover that it's basically only the names (Mina Harker/Meena Harper) and the fact that Lucien is Dracula's son that connects Meg Cabot's novels to the classic. Huh. Well there you have it.

I don't think I liked Overbite as much as Insatiable (and judging by all of the less than stellar Goodreads reviews, I'm not the only one) but I would still recommend the series to anyone who is looking for a good book with drama, mystery, a love triangle, and a fantasy element. They also might be a good recommendation for those Twilight Moms out there. You know the ones - they've read all the books, seen the movies, and are just as obsessed with Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner as their daughters are. This is one of those books that, for me, was an easy read but wasn't as light as my normal go-to reading.

I'd love to hear from any others who have read these books - what did you think? What about those of you who've heard of them and aren't reading them - why not?

Happy Reading! :)

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