Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Monday, February 28, 2011

author’s website: website / blog
release date: January 25, 2011
appeals to: Young Adult
genre: Paranormal
*2011 Debut Author*
: 304 pages
publisher: Balzer + Bray
overall rating: 4.5 stars

*the inside flap*
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates – also named Emily – is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely – something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to – some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters – and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

*my thoughts *
The story begins with a transcript of an interview that is being conducted at The Vesper Company. It is clear from the transcript that Emily (our main character) is being interviewed, and that she’s not exceptionally happy about it. The interviewer refers to Emily’s documentation of “the incident” and asks her to explain. That basic introduction leads into a more traditional format, in which Emily tells about how her life changed the night “the other Emily” was murdered. Initially, this seems like a Jekyll and Hyde type of scenario with Emily exhibiting two completely different personalities by day and by night. A strange ingredient in this transformation comes in the form of enhanced abilities that Emily has during her night time changes. She can see more clearly, run quickly, jump great distances, and she has incredibly increased strength. Even more interesting is the acknowledgement that each of Emily’s personalities gives the other. The confident nighttime Emily is annoyed by daytime Emily’s insecurities. And daytime Emily is often envious of the confidence she is able to exhibit at night. As the story continues, Emily becomes more conscious of when and how she will be changing, and she starts to look for answers.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I picked up this book. I hadn’t read any reviews, so my only knowledge of it was the title, author, and the snippet from the inside cover. But I must say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by this story. The combination of murder, suspense, paranormal transformations, and an incredibly well planned plot, came together to create a story that kept me intrigued to the final page (which, I must say, contains a fabulous cliffhanger that makes me want the next book even more!)


Khadija said...

I just got this one for review. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it :) Nice review!

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