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I Belong

Review: Dead of Night by Lynn Viehl

Title: Dead of Night

Author: Lynn Viehl

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: The Youngbloods (Book 2)

Publication Date: July 8, 2012

Format: Paperback, 312 Pages

ISBN-10: 073872646X (Llewellyn)

ISBN-13: 978-0738726465 (Llewellyn)

Reviewed by: Emmy


True love . . . and an undying obsession

Catlyn Youngblood has a secret life. Despite being a natural-born vampire hunter like her two older brothers, Cat has fallen for Jesse–an ageless boy from a centuries-old vampire clan.

Cat’s job cataloguing rare, mystical texts at a bookstore allows her to meet with Jesse alone every evening. But when girls who look disturbingly similar to Cat start disappearing from town, Cat and Jesse discover frightening clues to their whereabouts within the book collection. Together, they must stop a crazed man from realizing his dark scheme– one that would claim Cat’s life.

Quick & Dirty: While I had some problems with the family and romance dynamics, all in all it’s a predictable plot with unique (if sometimes unlikable) characters.

Opening Sentence: Most people have two lives.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Remember Van Helsing? Well, turns out dusting vampires is a family business of sorts — kind of like the Italian Mob. You don’t get to leave the family business, yet somehow that’s exactly what the Youngbloods have managed to do. Staying one step ahead of vampires and their extended family, the Youngbloods are living in secret in Lost Lake.

And Cat’s living super secret. Lying to her brothers about remembering a solid two months of her life — everything from the first day of school to that fateful Halloween in After Midnight — Cat’s spending this holiday season trying to make her relationship with Jesse work and her brothers from wiping her memories again. Jesse’s parents, the wealthy Ravens of Lost Lake, don’t want a Van Helsing and their son together any more than her brothers do, which might be the only thing they’ll ever agree on.

In this novel, the plot’s rather simple, which makes sense because it’s a rather short book. Girls who look like Cat are going missing from Lost Lake. While she and Jesse are pretty certain they know who’s behind it, they can’t figure out the why or the where. If they want any chance at finding those girls alive, they need to work fast — and they’ll probably need her still-mysterious Van Helsing skills to do it. (And the ending—ah, suspense! Yet not a cliffhanger…)

I love the Van Helsing concept, but the way Viehl introduces it only at moments of convenience is really off-putting. The Youngbloods have a family dynamic that at times is forced, most of the time is cliché, and the rest of the time is spot on. They banter, they made me laugh, but sometimes I didn’t believe them and wanted to chuck my nook at the wall. They were over-protective to such an extreme that I couldn’t believe Cat wouldn’t be mad or annoyed about it. As individual characters I loved Grayson and Patrick — but as brothers? I didn’t like them.

Cat and Jesse’s relationship is healthier than most YA relationships I’ve read recently, but it felt shallow. They love each other to the moon and back, but I couldn’t figure out why. I’m a huge romance junkie, but it’s as if once they got together, Viehl decided to stop their relationship from changing, growing, or doing anything except letting our hero and heroine say they love each other. The same is true for their character development. Cat is a strong, kick-ass heroine who’s not afraid to go after the bad guy — but we know that already from the first book in the Youngbloods series. I had hoped to see more character growth.

Let’s take a moment to judge a book by its cover: Jesse looks like one of the Greased Lightning gang and Cat looks…like a cat. The fact is, nothing about this book is stellar. If you read the first of the series, this one’s a short, easy read, but as a whole I don’t recommend the series. There are other, stronger paranormal YAs out there.

Notable Scene:

A blur rushed at me from one side, and as I saw the hands reaching for my neck something hot and angry billowed up inside me. I brought up my arm and knocked away the hands before I grabbed my attacker’s upper arms and shoved as hard as I could.

Mrs. Johnson went down on her backside and slid four feet down the sidewalk. She scrambled back up and shrieked, “Where is Sunny? Tell me!”

“I don’t know.” As she came at me again, I made a gliding movement to one side, circling around her. How I did that, I didn’t know—my body was calling the shots, not me. “Mrs. Johnson, please, stop.”

She turned around, panting now. “I’ll make you tell me.” Her hands curled into fists. “I’ll beat it out of you.”

The Youngbloods Series:

 1. After Midnight

 2. Dead of Night

FTC Advisory: Llewellyn provided me with a copy of Dead of Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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