Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Social Commentary, Historical Mythology Merges into Extraordinary Vampire Novel...

I saw little difference between my human classmates and myself. I was a little faster, a little stronger, but that seemed pretty normal to me. I was a fifteen-year-old Black girl, and I didn't have my vampire abilities yet. I live with my father in Beverly Hills, California. I was insulated from the outside world, from the breezes, the scents, the sounds. My father was a hard man with few regrets, and I adored him.
In less civilized times, he would be in charge of our coven, the alpha vampire. In those days, vampires allowed what was known as The Thirst to rule them. It was simple arrogance that prevented the vampire from living longer than forty years. In that time, vampires had no desire to fit in; they wanted to run things. The word 'Integration' for the vampire, for my father, had the same meaning as suppression. He didn't believe in killing humans, only because that could start a war.
I was born in deep vampire country, Savannah, Georgia to be exact. I was born in a simple house that my parents shared. They separated five years before we all moved west to Southern California. I had no reaction to the shake-up; I guess I was too young to even notice. My father and I moved into a plush Beverly Hills condominium. My mother moved to a modest three-room, one-story home in Angel Beach, California. I hadn't spoken to my mother in years because it was agreed that my father would provide all of my needs. Big cities and vampires didn't mix, so my father spent half a decade hovering over me...
The repeated clicking of the turn signal pulled me from the isolated region of my mind. Here I am in the passenger seat of a chrome black-walled Porsche Panamera. It sped along at seventy miles per hour; its soft leather seats swallowed my small body.
As I eyed my father from the corner for my eye; the corners of my mind neatly hid the bad dream. It was my nightly screams that alerted him. The only thing I was sure of was that something had gone wrong,
"You're going to love your new school," the volume of my dad's voice slowly increased. I was lost in thought the whole time he had been talking. We slowed as the traffic congested the freeway. I could tell that the weight of the occasion unnerved him.
The plan was for me to stay with dad until a certain age. As I stared out the window into the deep blackness, I realize that certain age was about three nights ago. "Dad, you sound just like a TV commercial," I retorted.
"What's wrong with a father wanting his daughter to love her new school?"
"How do you know I am going to love it? I just don't understand why I have to move, and here of all places. I mean, why can't I just stay in Beverly Hills with you, like I've been doing? Why can't I just keep going to the same school?" "Because... it's just that your mother is more..." "More what?" I interrupted. "She's more stable than I am. Look, I have my own issues, and now you're having these nightmares... so your mom and I..." "...decided that I should move without asking for my opinion. Well, it's my life. Isn't it? I'm fifteen years old. I'm practically an adult. I already know what's best for me." I could tell that my father read my thoughts and had saw remnants of what I had hidden.
"And what, may I ask, is best for you?" he looked over at me through his jet-black sunglasses.
I paused as I looked away from my father to gaze out the window. We passed thousands of lighted billboards and dozens of car dealerships as we speed south on the 405 freeway. My father effortlessly moved the steering wheel, gently coaxing the vehicle from lane to lane. My dad's familiar scent of red grapefruit, saffron, and wood filled the vehicle. We were insulated from the night. Angel Beach was a large city along the California coastline. Its port was the accompaniment to Los Angeles.
By accompaniment, Angel Beach was one of the busiest port centers in the world. Angel Beach High School had five thousand students, and there would be fifteen hundred students in my sophomore class. That's a lot of humans. The thought of it was nauseating. If I were hardly noticed before, I really wouldn't be noticed there.
"I just wish you and Mom had talked to me before making a life altering decision that will ruin my social life," I let that linger for a minute. I didn't remember much about my mother. My father said when they met she needed him; she made him want to be a better vampire. "How can living with your mother ruin your social life? You're not being reasonable. There are more things in life, more things to your life, than being social..." he said, looking at his diamond-encrusted watch.
It was exactly 11 p.m.

Amber had been living with her father in California for most of her life and had a good life. But at 15, she was informed that she would be now moving to live with her mother--that it was time for her to begin to learn new things and be taught how to handle what would be happening to her.  It all ways, Amber looked like a typical African-American teen, but she was more than that. She was only half human and her body would be accommodating to changes brought forth as her non-human side blossomed...

"Ambrosia Wharton!" he said. He quickly pulled the car over to the freeway's shoulder. "How dare you raise your voice to me?" His fangs bared, a faint yellow glow circled his pupils as the sound of his voice rattled the rear view mirror. "You may be a young woman, but I am still your father. You won't be just another girl on the beach. You must always remember your legacy. You were born where you were born, and you face the future that you face because you are what you are and for no other reason. "
"The limits of your ambition are set. You were born into a world that has spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, what you are. You are not expected to aspire, to excel. You are expected to make peace with being invisible. Never forget who you are and what we are. We are the Uhura coven. We are the elite. We are vampires!" 
"I know." 
"Then, act like it! As a female vampire, it's crucial for you to be around..." "Another female vampire," I interrupted my father's lecture. "You've told me this a half a dozen times. I get it; I don't have to like it." I sat uncomfortably silent in my seat. The car's chassis subtlety vibrated from the still running engine. "Dad...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have raised my voice."

Amber didn't care and she was upset nobody had discussed with her the need to move away from her home and friends... Besides, she hadn't seen her mother for years, would have to go to a new school and would again have no friends...

Still, she knew why the change had to be made and she really was happy to be with her mother again... And, once she her new school, she was quite willing to wait and see how things would go... But there was already a problem... He was human; he was a Christian. Both were trouble.

She didn't care... He was a star basketball player and she was going to try out for the team and was soon accepted and leading the team with her skill. Adrian and Amber soon became friends and Amber also developed a small group of additional friends...Things at the school seemed to be doing well...only disrupted when Adrian had pulled Amber close in a hug and Amber sharply pulled away--Adrian's cross around his neck had burned her... Quickly making an excuse to leave, she left him standing, confused...

The school activities are somewhat typical for the most part, except that Amber spends most nights out on the roofs of buildings in town... preparing her body for the future...

I talked to the author about the number of small typographical errors and discovered that he'd paid three different editors to work on his book. You, the potential buyer will have to decide about this issue. Given what I learned, I decided to point the problem out via a downgrade of ranking, but am quite willing to also recommend it highly for many of you who have the desire to read it based upon the cover and book description. 

There are also a couple of other issues to be spotlighted...The book contains a number of picture collages of the events happening in the book. They were exceptionally well done, but needed to be bigger for me to totally enjoy them and would have made perfect whole-page additions to the novel. Nevertheless the idea is very cool and the author should be commended... Also the author has used another method for helping to teach reading and color identification...Great idea... I read the book in a non-color application and didn't see the effect until I checked it out online... Nice...

Throughout the book, Hardie has presented considerable social commentary about the life of Blacks interacting in today's world, and with other races. It is definitely a learning experience, including the use of historical mythology to explain the heritage of the vampire. I was impressed... with the continuity and integration of this broader scope of the book beyond the typical vampire life...

And yet, the ending felt like it could also be the beginning...perhaps a sequel or a series? I've been reading Hardie since his first book and have seen continued improvement in his writing... In this book, which I would place in the literary drama genre rather than horror, which is normally expected for vampires, there is a element of  life participation that pulls individuals into what the author wishes to share with his readers. In fact, I was so involved that with the ending, I was totally shocked... Do Check it out!


An average guy making his way in the world. Speaking and writing are my contribution to make the world a better place.
What are the names of your titles?
My works include Every Day Life, It Ain't Just The Size, Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires and the science fiction THEM title.
Each time I am told not to do motivates me to break the rules and to push limits...

1 comment:

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