Friday, March 18, 2016

THE SILVER KISS


Review of THE SILVER KISS by ANNETTE CURTIS KLAUSE

Klause has been one of my favorite authors since I read BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, a unique and compelling werewolf novel also made into an equally addictive movie of the same title. Though I heard she’s better known for her vampire works, I avoided those stories for a while since I usually dislike vampire stories. Klause proves once again that it’s the individual author’s style more than the themes that defines a book.

THE SILVER KISS consists of a very short novel sandwiched between two short stories. In the main tale, the vampire Simon finds himself intrigued by teenager Zoe, who is more preoccupied with her dying mother. I will admit that my least favorite part of this vampire story was the vampire, but overall I greatly enjoyed the character complexity and Klause’s take on vampires.

In terms of what bothers me, many vampire books skip over the courting phase of a relationship. It’s meet, make out. THE SILVER KISS does this, too. One minute Simon is a stranger on Zoe’s doorstep and the same evening they engage in a bloody necking session. Another common pitfall is the “why this girl?” question. If Simon is about 300 years old, I don’t understand why he’s falling for a teenager or what about this specific teenager seems exceptional to his centuries of experience.

As for the good, though, Zoe isn’t a blind follower. She questions her attraction to Simon and contemplates literally stabbing him in the back - with a stake - when she thinks about how many people he’s probably killed. Her coping, or lack of coping, with her mother’s death also ties in nicely with the themes about death and control that Simon introduces into her life.

However, my favorite tale is probably the very first short story about Simon’s relationship with a stray cat. So many vampire novels are about overwrought, lustful, doomed romance that it’s refreshing to read a tale about the affection between animal beast and supernatural beast. It’s a different take on the loneliness theme commonly explored with vampires and does add another layer to Simon’s relationship with Zoe since the cat story carries a subtext that Simon wasn’t ready to let himself feel anything for a human until he let himself feel something for this little cat.

At least from the two books I’ve read so far by Klause, I really enjoy her take on the supernatural. I’ll be on the lookout for her other work.

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