Friday, October 7, 2011

A Vintage Reads Review: In the Forests of the Night

In the Forests of the Night (Den of Shadows, 1) by Amelia Atwater- Rhodes, 1999. 147 pages. Published by Laurel Leaf. Source: Bought/Own.
By day, Risika sleeps in shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.
But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she was a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her
First Sentence:

A cage of steel.

In the Forests of the Night is unarguably one of my absolute favorite books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and has been from the first time I borrowed it from the library and still remains that way 10 or so reads later.
I really feel that In the Forests of the Night was quite a strong debut book, especially given the fact that the author, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, was in her early teens when it was first published. I loved the world that she built and the characters that occupied it, and have re-visted the Den of Shadows books on numerous occasions.

One of the reasons Inthe Forests of the Night stands out to me is the vampire lore that Amelia Atwater-Rhodes created for the Den of Shadows series, as well as her writing that absolutely pulls me each and every time I read this book.
I liked that her vampire could go out in the daylight and not burst into flames, which frankly is kind of silly. While I really like her vampires, I especially like the fact that she gave them their own place (I cannot recall the name of it and am too tired to get the book).

Rachel/Risika, I thought she was a fascinating character because she was both storing and weak (yes, all at the same time). She was a strong character in that she was flawed, but in a good way. She wasn't perfect she was just real in the fact that she was still (after nearly 300 hundred years) coming to terms with being a vampire, although it was definitely interesting to see how in the end she managed to be both the hunter that she now is and continue to keep a little of the humanity that she had left.
    Aubrey, is perhaps my favorite vampire in the Den of Shadows. I don't usually like the "bad boy" type characters since I find them to be entirely too cliche, but Aubrey was just one of those characters that I couldn't help but like, especially after I read Demon in My View.
I cannot really describe why I find Aubrey to be such an interesting character, but I do. So I'll leave it at that for now (maybe one day I'll review the rest of her books).

So my favorite part of In the Forests of the Night, is also my favorite scene to re-read even if I don't sit down and read the whole book, and that would have to be when Risika decided to take the fight to Aubrey. I really enjoyed the scenes were Risika and Aubrey are fighting because they are a) well written and b) the absolute best part of the book because of the clash of wills between the two characters.
  The one and only thing I did not like about In the Forests of the Night is that I wish there had been a little more about Alexander, Rachel's brother. Even though he's not really a key player in the book I would have liked to have seen a little more on what happened to him (or maybe even see more about him in another book).

Content (may contain spoilers): One of the best things about In the Forests of the Night is that there is no swearing or indecent content within it. I would definitely have no problem about recommending this book to reader 13 and older.

Final Verdict: In the Forests of the Night one of the most original/interesting takes on vampiric lore, and a fascinating debut.

In the Forests of the Night earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

1 comment:

  1. 1) I love that you use pineapples! (I use smiley pumpkins for mine!)

    2) I believe Alexander comes back briefly in one of the newer books? Either Token of Darkness or Persistence of Memory... He either is actively involved or mentioned more. :)


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