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Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Evermore' & 'Blue Moon' by Alyson Noël

From the BLURB: ‘Evermore – Immortals #1’

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school - but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she's thinking - and he's the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn't know who he really is - or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

This one’s a little tricky to review. The first book was only so-so for me. The one redeeming feature of ‘Evermore’ was that I could see potential for a very interesting series, but then I went ahead and read book #2 ‘Blue Moon’ and lost all hope in the entire ‘Immortals’ series.

‘Evermore’ tends to drag in the beginning, but mostly because the story reads so familiar. Girl meets boy, boy acts mysterious and girl starts piecing the puzzle that he is together… it reminded me of Meyer’s ‘Twilight’, Melissa Marr’s ‘Wicked, Lovely’ and LJ Smith’s ‘Vampire Diaries’.

‘Evermore’ goes through the motions in the beginning – Ever (protagonist’s name, not the adverb) notices that new boy in school, Damen, occasionally talks in oldey timey language. He appears to have warp-speed, can make flowers appear out of thin air and is constantly guzzling a weird red energy drink. All signs initially point to vampire (as has been the recent YA literary trend), and the fact that Damen isn’t a bloodsucker is what actually makes Alyson Noel’s series stand out from the rest.
I can’t give anything away without major spoilers, but Noel has taken a very different story route and it turns ‘Evermore’ into a refreshing read.

Damen is a very interesting male lead – in the beginning I had my doubts about him, since he appeared to be just another Edward Cullen/Keenan Summer King wannabe. But when his true identity is revealed toward the end it turns him into a hero of his own calibre. The really fascinating thing about this book is Ever and Damen’s romance. Noel has done a good job at setting these two lovebirds apart from other YA couples, mostly by giving them an intriguing back-story and plenty of potential for further exploration of their steamy romance in future books.

But that’s what’s so great about Damen. He’s like an off switch. He’s the only one I can’t read, the only one who can silence the sound of everyone else. And even though he makes me feel wonderful and warm and as close to normal as I’ll ever get to be, I can’t help but think that there’s nothing normal about it.

Noel does fall into a few writing pitfalls. For one thing the books ‘villain’ does the typical bad guy monologue when their evilness is uncovered. And considering how well Noel sets up Damen’s mystery angle (with a small dose of creepiness) Ever’s falling for him so quickly is a little concerning.

‘Evermore’ was quite bland and underwhelming to me. Things picked up toward the end, and I thought the second book would improve my outlook on the series…. So I went ahead and dived straight into #2 ‘Blue Moon’.

In her second book Alyson Noel reminded me of P.C Cast and the dud ‘House of Night’ series. Both series being mediocre YA drivel. Noel really doesn’t stand out from the plethora of YA Urban Fantasy authors currently dominating the market. She doesn’t have the same writing grace as Melissa Marr, instead Noel has her characters based in Laguna Beach California, and they talk like all those MTV kids. Noel isn’t as talented at writing action scenes as Rachel Caine in her ‘Morganville Vampire’ books – Noel drags scenes out, weighted down with too much description and too much whining from protagonist, Ever.

And whereas someone like Richelle Mead wrote a fresh vampire YA series by putting her own spin on the vampire mythology and daring to write about very adult relationships for her teens – Damen and Ever are the quintessential squeaky-clean PG13 YA couple with gag-inducing cheesiness. Still, their romance is unique and had plenty of potential – I can’t help but think that the series would have been better suited to Adult’s than Young Adult’s, where Noel could have made up for poor plot action with steamy sex scenes?

I had high hopes for this series after reading ‘Evermore’, but by ‘Blue Moon’ I was thoroughly disappointed and actually ended up skimming the last couple of chapters.

2/5

4 comments:

  1. I didnt have that much of a negative reaction to this series, I actually enjoyed it quite much. Though when I read it, I hadnt started reviewing yet and I have noticed that, that makes a lot of difference =))

    Loved the review!

    I just got Book 3 in the mail and \I'll let you know what I think hehe =)))

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  2. Ruh-Roh!! I just bought Evermore yesterday! I'm with you on the House of Night series and Richelle Mead's VA series too, so now I'm nervous about this one!! I haven't read the Wicked Lovely books yet, but just won Ink Exchange and so am off to buy WL to read first.

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  3. Oh - I see you're reading The Bride - loved that one! I'm reading Saving Grace, I hope it's as good as The Bride and The Secret!

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  4. Does any one know what the name of the poem in evermore is?

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