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I Belong

Review: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

Title: The Society of S

Author: Susan Hubbard

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Ethical Vampire Series (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 1, 2007

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

ISBN-10: 1416534571 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1416534570  (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Kayla


“If you ever want to hide from the world, live in a small city, where everyone seems anonymous.”

That’s the advice of twelve-year-old Ariella Montero, who lives with her father in Saratoga Springs, New York, in a house haunted more by secrets than by memories. The Society of S traces her journey south, to Asheville and Savannah, and on to Florida, as she learns that everything she knows about her family is a lie.

When she finds her mother, she learns the truth: Ariella is a fledgling member of the Society of S.

S stands for Sanguinists: a sect of environmentalists concerned with ethics and human rights — although they happen to be vampires. S also stands for synesthete: a person able to see words and letters in colors. The letter S is lucky for Sara, Ariella’s mother, who gravitates to cities such as Savannah and Sarasota. But will it be lucky for Ariella?

Susan Hubbard’s novel is an intricate literary mystery that raises provocative questions about the way we live now. Ariella’s voice will lure you into a world where you’ll meet the others among us: vampires who cope with their special nature and need for blood in a variety of ways, ranging from the savage to the mundane to the scientific.

Quick & Dirty: The book is about a young girl who tries to discover who she really is (cough, vampire.)

Opening Sentence: I stood alone outside our house in deep blue twilight.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

The story of this girl is based on her trying to find her own identity because her father has sheltered her from so much throughout her life. She works on trying to ease as much information from her father that she possibly can. With the help of her friend Kathleen, Ari is pushed out of her shell and is given enough strength to get the truth from her father in little tidbits.

But overall the plot of the book itself is very confusing from the beginning and as I started to read more I realized it was non-existent. When reading there was not much lead about what was going on. The book was simply about the life of a confused little girl who is slowly being exposed to the outside world.

When first reading the book the syntax used by the author is also utterly confusing and definitely unnecessary. It seems as if she tries to write as a sophisticated young lady who has been raised reading Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. In this case, it would make sense with the personality Ari was given but in reality she falls extremely short and instead simply makes the book dull. However, it is quite interesting how the writing style changes. When speaking to her father, Ari speaks in a that sophisticated manner using a wide variety of advanced words. But when speaking with her friend Kathleen, Ari becomes more relaxed and she speaks like any other young teenager.

Ari is the main character of the book but her intentions are not entirely well known. She is eager to discover who she is and enjoy life but the extent that she will go to achieve these goals are unknown.

Kathleen McGarritt is Ari’s first true friend. She pushes Ari to do things she would not have otherwise done. She is daring and bold; just the kind of friend Ari needs to escape her ignorant life. Kathleen is indeed an enjoyable character.

Raphael Montero is Ari’s father. He is the typical over protective father but with a cold breeze. He is unemotional with Ari and from a young age started to home school her himself. Being an extremely successful independent researcher, he teaches his very young daughter subjects only taught in college level courses. His treatment of her is what makes Ari such a mature and adultlike figure.

Malcolm Lynch is a so called friend of Raphael Montero. Ari doesn’t know this man but soon he makes an appearance in her life to make things more complicated than they already are. He is a poised gentleman at first look but his dark interior motives are mostly unknown by many non vampires.

The book itself is slow and without direction. The only interesting thing in the book is the change of writing style which shadows Ari’s changing personality. There really isn’t any lead that there would be not only a sequel but two books to follow this one. The ending is quite bland. I wouldn’t recommend to read this vampire book.

Notable Scene:

They moved through the alleyways of an imaginary city, picking up cards representing coins and special tools and weapons,feigning at fighting and biting while barely touching. In fact, all five of the boys struck me as shy by nature, overacting in their attempts to socialize. Besides me, Kathleen was the only other woman present,and she moved around the room aggressively, as if she owned it. At times the others tried to gang up on her, and she fended them off effortlessly. She knew the most spells, and apparently she had the most detailed notebook.

Occasionally the players robbed one another and deposited their stolen coins in imaginary banks-ever the good capitalist, I thought. The game centered less on fantasy  than on greed and domination.

Ethical Vampire Series:

1. The Society of S

2. The Year of Disappearances

3. The Season of Risks

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Society of S. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

  1. Freda MansNo Gravatar

    I appreciate your review but disagree wholeheartedly. I actually loved the whole series and have it in my personal favorites collection. I think this might be a case of to each his own, and people should check it out for themselves.

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