I have this little black book I carry everywhere in my purse, it’s small, tattered and to most people looks like it is filled with junk, but to me it’s important. See…a few years ago (ok…like 15) when I wrote my first book I strived to be just like everyone else. I thought conformity is what the world wanted, (an a-typical 3 part story with exactly 2 upsets and 1 very dramatic ending.) Then one day when I was curled up in a chair in the library I spotted (laying on the floor in a corner) this beautifully bound book with gold inlays and pages so old they looked as though they would crack when turning them. Curiosity obviously getting the best of me I picked it up. On the first page I saw this:
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville
That one phrase changed my life, AND my perception of what people expected. So I wrote it down, in a little black book, and put it in my purse.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly how many times I have read that 1 phrase since I wrote it down, but every time I read a book, and then bask in the brilliance of it’s originality I think of Herman and his wise advice. THEN…I think of the authors that exude this quality more than most.
Imogen Rose is one of these authors.
“Set in the foothills of the alpine mountains in St.Moritz, this exclusive private school caters to a special kind of student. Enter at your own risk… but if you are human, you may not want to enter at all.”
There are, (and quite frankly always have been) a few prominent characteristics to Imogen’s writing that I go gaga over.
1. She (like I stated above) has this uncanny ability to create unique and often action packed plot lines. Yes, there are a fair share of paranormal “private school” series out there (For example the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) but Imogen always manages to find a way to make her’s stand out. This time (as with it’s predecessor Faustine) the school does not limit itself to paranormal “standards,” (1 race, 1 book) instead her world is as wide open as her imagination will allow; drawing from all aspects of the paranormal/occult world and mingling them into 1 very seamless thought.
2. She can write emotional entanglements like she herself is currently engaged in one. While most people focus solely on one angle of teenage “lust” or rather “angst,” Imogen explores the more rational side of the relationships as well (aka allowing her cast to admit their reservations and overall a-moral inhibitions and grow from them.) This alone enables us as readers to connect to the characters on a more personal level, AND do all of this while enjoying the push and pull of the always present teenage love triangle.
3. Though she may not realize it herself she is funny. Not slap stick, of course, (unless you consider a very nervous demon upchucking on a hot boy funny) but in more of a “wow…she is so totally cute with her wanna-be homespun slang” type of funny; other wise known as the word “hoot” (which for the record I think she uses about 400 times in this book.)
What about the concept of the book overall? Well…as per usual (because at this point if she writes “crap” I would be stunned and disappointed) it was spot on. (<– God I love that ridiculous British phrase.) I will be honest though, when I first heard that Imogen had opted for a “prequel” instead of a book 2 (Faustine being the 1st.) for her Bonfire Chronicles, I was a tad bit apprehensive. While I enjoy going back to the “roots” of a story and learning about a charachter’s past I was a tad concerned that she may have jumped the gun (considering most prequels don’t appear until several books into a series AFTER all of the characters have been feted out.) Again (which is becoming a horrible habit by the way) I was wrong and Imogen’s choice to show her “lady balls” and gamble with her timeline paid off. As a matter of fact, (though I thoroughly enjoy Faustine) I have to say I am much more excited about “Integration” (which is the NEXT book in this series) than I was about this one.
There is 1 thing however that I did NOT like (drum roll please cause you knew it was coming) the cover art. Though it makes sense (the emo black eye liner and the mountains in the background) there is just something about it that tickles the wrong toe. Is this a deal breaker? No, Imogen’s writing could stand up against a paper-bag, but that’s not to say that she won’t loose a few readers because of it. (Let’s just say it’s a good damn thing we all know how experienced of a writer she is.)
So do I think you should run right out and snag you a copy of this little ditty?
If you are a lover of YA, or any type of paranormal fantasy then yes, you will love it.
Do you have to read Faustine first to understand it?
No, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it as well. The two are very obviously meant to be read together so just save yourself the trouble and pick up both of them.
Well done Ms. Rose and congrats on another fantastic job.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: when in doubt, shout it out.
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Click HERE to read an excerpt of Initiation