Thursday, April 12, 2012

Twin Souls by K.A. Poe

Title: Twin Souls
Series: Nevermore
Author: K.A. Poe
Length: 3336 Kindle units
Rating: 2.5 stars

The Plot

Alexis thought she had a pretty normal life for a teenage girl. Then one morning, she wakes to some astonishing news: her mother is not her mother and has moved out of town with her new boyfriend. A mysterious new boy named Salem approaches her at school and gives her even more surprising information: he is a vampire, and Alex is both his soulmate and a hereditary vampire hunter. Suddenly Alex needs to juggle her relationships with an uncle-turned-father who wants to kill her new boyfriend, said boyfriend and his potential desire to drink from her jugular, and her old friend Jason who may want to be something more. Add to that a new mandatory hobby of staking vampires, and Alex’s life just got a lot more exciting than she ever imagined it could.

The Good

I find the concept of using the works of Edgar Allen Poe as a theme for a paranormal adventure a very interesting one. It’s not completely original – and if you haven’t read Nevermore by Kelly Creagh, you really need to, even if it is traditionally published – but it also hasn’t been really done. Poe wrote a lot of seriously creepy stuff that is sufficiently vague to allow for a mythology to be built up around it. K.A. Poe, who wrote Twin Souls, chose to mix Edgar Allen Poe’s imagery with a more traditional vampire mythology, which certainly opens the door for many interesting happenings.

The Bad

Okay, so, go back and read the first two sentences of my plot description. That is what happens in the first five pages of this novel. I rebel against the system that says a novel must grip you in the first five pages, and I would never review a book without reading the entire thing. But in this case, I was pretty sure that Twin Souls was not going to go anywhere good after that initial impression.

After the initial shock, there actually wasn’t too much going on that had me going “wtf?” after the note from her mother. Other than the fact that she decided she could skip school as much as she wanted once she had a rich boyfriend and became a vampire hunter. I thought we all learned from season 6 of Buffy that slaying the undead does not pay the bills, even if you already own a house. And relying on a man for your income is totally passé. I feel like Alex definitely needed an 80’s public service announcement to tell her to “Be cool. Stay in school.”

The bigger problem with Twin Souls was that it contained every YA vampire story cliché. And I know that I say that I like a somewhat predictable plot, and God help the person who fails to end with a happily ever after. But if you’re telling the same old story over again, it needs to be done well. This book? Not so much.

The Romance

My biggest problem with the romance was again the issue of it being a not-particularly-well-done compilation of everything we expect from a YA romance. Girl meets mysterious boy who has supernatural powers and is also her soulmate. But, of course, her parents do not understand their love, while best-friend-turned-love-interest is also trying to steal her heart. I’ve read it before, and I don’t want to read it again unless you can make me believe it.

It’s actually a common problem I run into among YA paranormal romance where I just don’t believe that two people are really in love. I think anyone trying to write one should implement a three day rule. That is to say, you need to look at your characters and what they are doing on the third day after they meet. If your answer is “They are going out on their second date” or “They are sneaking out of their houses at midnight to kiss and/or save the world from supernatural evil,” then you’re probably on safe ground. If, on the other hand, after three days your characters are moving in together and pledging their eternal love, you probably need to back off and reconsider your time frame.

“But, Elizabeth,” you may say, “My characters are moving in together on the second day after they met, and it’s totally believable.” My first reaction will be to disagree with you, but if you insist that you have a special case, ask yourself what makes it special. If the answer is that they just knew from the moment they met that they were meant to be together, then you’re going to need to back up and give me a better reason. Or at least give me some concrete evidence, like a really good dialogue scene where they have similar interests and tragic backgrounds. If you do these things, you will hopefully prevent readers like me from wanting to shake your character and yell, “You’ve only known each other for THREE DAYS!”

Will I read more?

At the risk of sounding too droll for my own good, I’m going to have to say that I’m taking the name of this series to heart and will be reading it nevermore.

See Details for Book on    Amazon


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