Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication date: March 2011
ISBN: 9780547482477
Source: e-book provided by NetGalley

The Vespertine 

Amelia van den Broek is visiting Baltimore for the first time - leaving behind her small town secluded life to find a suitable match.  But when she starts seeing the future in the twilight, things become a lot more complicated than she expected.  Especially when she sees something horrible in the future that just might change all their lives.

Things I Liked:
I really enjoyed the interesting and unique nearly-paranormal mixed with historical fiction details.  I liked the way Mitchell described things so vividly.  The somewhat spooky, gothic and historical feel of the setting and atmosphere were my favorite things.  The relationship between Amelia and Zora was fun and I loved how they interacted and had so much fun together.  I felt like there was something missing from it at the end that should have been there (yeah, trying to be vague and avoid spoilers).  I also really liked the ending, since it was pretty unflinching and different.  Definitely not what I expected in a historical fiction or even a historical fantasy.

Things I Didn't Like:
I wish there was a little more historical detail.  It felt like there wasn't quite enough to make me feel like I was there.  At the beginning I really had a hard time following what was happening - it jumped around a lot from one thing to another.  Once I adjusted, it was easier to follow.  I wasn't too impressed with the romantic element either.  Definitely was too much like love at first sight.  Amelia acted a bit nauseating at times, but they did have some interesting interactions - up and down.

Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox

Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Everlasting by Angie Frazier

s-factor: !
a very few

mrg-factor: X
a little sensuality

v-factor: ->
not much

Overall rating: ***

I do wonder if my discontent at the beginning was a result of reading the ARC - anyone read the published edition and found the same thing?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. As a Marylander, I have one question:

    Did they eat any crabcakes?


  2. Lauren, I don't think so - but don't quote me on it. :) I did love the setting - not many books I've read are set in Baltimore.


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