Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

About the book:

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.

Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die. (Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.)

But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets- then makes the mistake of falling in love with- Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able to look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future...if she even has one.

My spoiler free review:

Usually when I sit down to review a book I get out all my supplies (notebook, sticky notes, and pen) in preparation for all the really memorable lines, favorite passages, and character descriptions. I like to keep track ahead of time so that I'm not scrambling to find things later and I confess to not having the best memory when it comes to revisiting text. I treat each review in the same manner. The downfall is that I can sometimes remain removed from the story and it is more difficult to immerse myself in the characters or plot- the world is tackled almost like a research paper.

I've never questioned my method until now. When I got Insatiable in the mail I set out with my usual routine, only to toss it all aside by about page 70. At that point, the cast had been introduced, the backstory was all laid out, Meena and Lucien had accidentally met and Alaric was on the hunt... I simply did not want to stop and take notes anymore. I was so caught up in the zany, madcap world that Meena lives in that I forgot about my review and simply read the book for pure enjoyment. My usual notes were a skeleton of initial impressions and nothing more, something I do not regret in the slightest.

Insatiable may deal with supernatural elements, but balance is achieved with a colorful cast of characters that are believable and authentic. Who hasn't worked with a blood sucking co-worker before (Shoshana)? How many of us have met the overzealous and too-friendly neighbor (Mary Lou)? And who doesn't love a good love triangle (Lucien, Meena and Alaric)?

Meena is a strong heroine, without being in your face, and will appeal to fans of Buffy. She's smart, capable and tough- but she's also compassionate and kind. Her gift of seeing death has caused personal heartaches but she hasn't given up, instead offering advice to friends and strangers alike in the hopes that they will somehow cheat fate.

Lucien is an insanely hot professor that happens to be the Prince of Darkness. He is trying to overcome the terror caused by his father, the legendary Vlad Dracul, by forbidding his people to kill when feeding, but his plan faces serious opposition by those following his half brother, Dimitri. Lucien is a connoisseur of fine wines, a man that takes his responsibility seriously and he is not to be trifled with- failure of any kind is not an option. He falls in love with Meena and wants her for eternity.

Alaric is part of the Palatine Guard, a group of vampire hunters employed by Rome, whose partner was horribly maimed and almost killed by vampires. He is obsessed with destroying all vampires and will do what it takes to win. He reveals the truth to Meena and disrupts her budding romance but his interest isn't purely platonic either- she turns his orderly world upside down and he secretly likes it, and her.

One of my favorite scenes takes place fairly early on in the book, when Lucien brings Meena to the Metropolitan Museum of Art after everyone has gone home for the evening and they are all alone. While roaming the Great Hall, Lucien opens himself up to Meena and tells her the tragic story of Vlad and his young bride, only she doesn't realize that the story is part of his heritage. To cheer him, Meena shares her love of a particular painting of Joan Of Arc.
"Isn't she beautiful?" she breathed, marveling at the painting's details.
"She is," Lucien agreed somberly.
With a turn of her head, Meena was unnerved to discover that Lucien was standing much closer than she'd realized...
...less than two feet away from her. He hadn't eve been looking at the painting when he'd agreed that it was beautiful.

Another favorite scene takes place towards the end when Alaric is leaving to rescue Meena's tiny dog, Jack Bauer, from her apartment which is being watched by very angry vampires. She gives him a kiss on the cheek for luck and...
He was gone.
Meena examined what Alaric Wulf had placed into her hand.
It was a pointed wooden stake.
She couldn't help smiling to herself.
He was just so...annoying.

This was my first Meg Cabot novel, although I had heard of her work before...Princess Diaries are required reading for anyone that has a daughter under the age of 15, at least in my house! But I will admit to being skeptical that she could put a new spin on the classic Stoker novel, a book filled with characters that I adore. I shouldn't have doubted her for a second because Meg Cabot's
Insatiable has surpassed all my expectations and successfully brings Dracula to the modern age.

Highly recommend!!
*reviewed by Anna Dougherty for VampChix

1 comment:

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I am reading this book right now and LOVING it! :D