Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry…
… in a new, horrific, unimaginable way…
Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.
All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what’s worse is that he’s a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.
But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation… or her death?
Why I Read This Book
Normally, I’m not one to just jump out and read all the paranormal books I see, but this one has been catching my eye. Whenever any other blogger reviewed it, I would be dragged in by the cover, which I absolutely love. I mean, LOOK at it! Isn’t it the most gorgeous cover for a vampire book? Love how messy all the blood is. And then, of course, it was Giselle’s review about Rhiannon’s “crack-infused pages” that had me searching the Kobo bookstore for my own virtual copy.
Since I became a reader again, it seems like the only vampire tales I’ve read are in YA books. Those tend to be handsome vampires who go to school and become friends with humans, feed on animals, and fall in love. They’re usually pretty safe. But what I’ve wanted to read is a gritty vampire story that follows the ways of the old vampires in literature — they sleep during the day, they feed on human blood, and they’re VAMPIRES, not vampires-trying-to-be-humans.
I hadn’t read a lot of Rhiannon Frater’s books — only the companion books to her As the World Dies zombie trilogy — but I’ve loved what I read and knew I was making an awesome decision when I started to read Pretty When She Dies. The great thing about the book is that at first there are two seemingly different types of vampires — they’re Amaliya, who is a newbie vampire who wakes up buried in the ground as an almost plaything for her creature who’s pretty sure she’ll just go on a mass killing spree and wind up dead herself; and there’s Cian, the master vampire of Austin who is engaged to a human and has taken a pretty docile role in the vampire community, preferring his human tendencies over his vampire ones.
Instantly, I loved Amaliya’s character. Sure, she seemed like the type of girl who slept around to get what she needed in life, but she was still very smart. I mean, she already died once in the book when she became a vampire — she doesn’t want to die again! I also really loved Cian’s character, even if he wasn’t the vampire I wanted him to be. He took Amaliya under his wing and is helping her become the vampire she needs to be — while also rethinking his decision to become more human, when clearly he’s not.
I have to warn you — there are plenty of sex scenes in this book! It is NOT a YA read. This is definitely a gritty, dirty, and dark adult vampire book. Rhiannon Frater is such a brilliant writer that she gives you just enough and manages to balance out the slightly more adult scenes with plenty humour and self-discovery (that is, vampire-self-discovery).
AND just when you think that this is just a regular ol’ run of the mill vampire book, it so isn’t! There are monsters and necromancers in this book, as well as kick-ass grandmothers and lots of Mexican food. It was AWESOME to read and I couldn’t put it down. I was thankful that it was on my Kobo, which made it so easy to read over the course of the weekend.
I am so unbelievably excited for the sequel in this series, Pretty When She Kills — and I can’t wait to read more of what Rhiannon Frater has to offer. She really is a brilliant writer and is one that everyone should be reading. She will grab you from the first pages of her books and will not let go until the bitter end!
Who Should Read This Book
Well, obviously, if you LOVE vampires, you should give this one a shot! It’s not a YA book and there are plenty of sexy-times going on, so if you enjoy any of that, then YES! You should read this one!
I’m so happy to have Rhiannon Frater here to do a Q&A on the blog! Big thanks to Rhiannon for participating!
Q&A With Rhiannon Frater
Since I was a little girl, I have always told stories. It was a natural progression to writing those stories. I was obsessed with books even before I learned to read. The idea of a book containing a story full of characters and excitement enthralled me. I think I was born to be a writer.
What is the atmosphere like when you write – completely silent, or do you listen to music?
I have a playlist for each book I write. It changes from book to book. Sometimes I try to write without music (if I have a headache), but it’s usually much harder to immerse myself into the world of the novel. Music definitely helps.
I’m a musician and I feel most inspired to write in the springtime. Is there a certain season when you feel most compelled to put pen to paper?
I write all year round, but I love rainy days. Those are the days I always want to write. Since I live in Texas, those are rare nowadays with the drought. I also like to write the Vampire Bride series in the fall. It just suits the mood better.
What book are you reading right now? Do you have a guilty pleasure genre you like to read?
I’m reading the first pass of the mass-market paperback of THE FIRST DAYS. I have to watch out for any typesetting issues and this is my last chance to make any changes to something we may have missed in the trade paperback version.
I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately, but I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure. A guilty pleasure would probably be rereading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, or Sheridan LaFanu’s Carmilla.
Out of all of the books you’ve written, who are some of your favourite characters?
Lady Glynis Wright of the Vampire Bride series is my absolute all-time favorite character. I adore her. Also, it’s a little more intimate writing her because the books are in first person. She always surprises me.
I also really like Christy in the YA paranormal book I’m writing with my good friend, Kody Boye. Christy is hilarious. The stuff that comes out of her mouth makes me laugh out loud.
When you’re not writing, what do you do in your spare time?
I like to bake, play video games like Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas, shop, chat with friends, go out with my hubby, watch movies, etc. I’m pretty boring.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just write. The amount of people who actually finish writing a novel is quite small. Writing is the trick to becoming a writer. I have talked to so many people who tell me they want to be a writer, but have yet to write a single word.
Can you share any details on what you might be working on next? Any exciting projects in the works?
I’m just finishing up PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS, the sequel to PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES. Then I will most likely be working on a contracted novel for a publisher. After that, I hope to finish up THE MIDNIGHT SPELL (my YA) and put out the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES VOL 3 and another short story collection.
Also, the Vampire Bride series is relaunching with all new covers, so I’m pretty busy!
About The Author
Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.
During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title AS THE WORLD DIES, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, THE FIRST DAYS, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.
The AS THE WORLD DIES books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, THE FIRST DAYS, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, SIEGE, will be released in April 2012.
She is also the author of THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES: A Vampire Novel and two novels in the Vampire Bride Series (THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE). All her works have been optioned for either TV or film.
Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer.
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