Title: The Season of Risks
Author: Susan Hubbard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Ethical Vampire (Book 3)
Publication Date: June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback, 286 Pages
ISBN-10: 1439183422 (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN-13: 978-1439183427 (Simon & Schuster)
Reviewed by: Kayla
The vampire sects are at war—and war among vampires is fought not with weapons, but with minds.
My name is Ariella Montero, and I know a secret. Telling it will change everything.
Half-human and half-vampire, Ari confronts the darker sides of vampirism, and herself, as the sects deploy new technologies to battle for influence and power.
But beyond these challenges lie greater risks: Ari’s relationship with Neil Cameron, the first vampire to run for the U.S. presidency, must be kept under wraps from even those she trusts most. When scandal inevitably erupts, Ari is forced to face the consequences of her actions, learning the hard way that love demands delicate negotiations between memory and desire.
Quick & Dirty: The book centers around the confused mind of a 15-year-old girl. Being so young her ignorance makes her believe that the impossible could be obtained.
Opening Sentence: There are some things I know for certain.
This book is about a young vampire who tries to the best of her ability to retain the relationship she holds no matter what the costs may be. Ariella Montero fancies herself in love with Neil Cameron and is desperate to continue their relationship and possibly spend the rest of her eternal life with this man. Keeping secrets from her parents and closest friends, Ari even distances herself from the world and misses great chances in order to maintain this relationship.
The relationship however is quite disturbing. In the beginning of the book Ari is only a girl of 15. Her lover however is over a century old. Ari ends up staging her age and pretends she is much older and Cameron claims to the humans that he is only 30; either way an 18-year-old teenager dating a man who is 30 is still quite disturbing. Both characters know each other’s real age but neither seems to really be bothered by the fact.
The actual plot itself is better than the other books in the series. It is obvious what is trying to be accomplished by the main character. She is trying to escape life and continue her relationship with Neil Cameron. Although it is still set up around the life of a pretty ignorant girl, it is nice to see Ari grow up into the lady she becomes by the end.
Ari of course is the main character. She gets stuck in this world where everything must turn out perfectly. Obviously this world is non-existent but it takes a matter of time for Ari to figure that out.
Neil Cameron is a fellow vampire who also happens to be running for the presidency. He doesn’t work as hard as Ari to maintain the relationship but shows interest in their possible future. He is classy and extremely convincing, which makes him a great candidate for the presidential elections.
Sloan is another vampire who soon becomes friends with Ari. He goes to school with her and spends a lot of time with her. By the end they get very close.
Malcolm is a very convincing man who likes to use his tactics for bad reasons. Also, being a scientist he is interested in Ari because she is only half vampire. There are very few half vampires in the world and Malcolm would love the opportunity to experiment on this young girl. There are many struggles with Ari and Malcolm as they argue about this experimentation. Malcolm also gives the book a nice twist.
The book however ends a little bluntly. The ending is as if there should have been more. Being the last book of the series, I am left with unanswered questions about the future of Ariella Montero. But besides the unsatisfying ending, I will admit that this book was a lot better than the two preceding it. There was more of a plot line and I was actually curious to what would happen next.
“It’s a story song. One of the ways vampires passed on their folklore.” He said the lyrics were based on an old vampire tale called “Winter Woman.” “Two soldiers lose their way in a snowstorm and take refuge in an abandoned barn,” he said. “While they’re sleeping, a woman enters the barn. She’s draining the blood from one when the other man weakens, terrified. She says she’ll let him live, but only if he never tells a soul that he saw her.”
He recited the lyrics in English: “‘if you ever tell anyone, even your own mother, what you saw tonight, I’ll know. I’ll know, and I’ll come and kill you.'”
I saw the words, icy blue, quiver in the air above us, struggling against the wind.
“Years later he marries a beautiful woman. They have two children and live together happily. One cold might the memory of the snowstorm returns to him, and he tells his wife the story of how his life was saved. In an instant, she transforms herself into the Winter Woman, and she kills him. Then she disappears in a cloud of ice.”
It took me a second or two to react. “She kills him?”
He smiled. “No happy endings in vampire tales.”
Ethical Vampire Series:
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Season of Risks. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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