by Cynthia Leitich Smith
I have a few books going at the same time and they have all been “going” for over a month now. I just can’t seem to get in to any of them. Although last night between 2AM and 3:45AM while I couldn’t sleep, I picked up Tantalize from next to the bathtub and finished it.
I love the cover. I love the font used for the title. I love the size and feel of the book. But did I love, or even like, the story? I don’t know. I don’t think so.
It started off well, I was intrigued and into the flow of narration. I do like the way the book was written, but just when things started to pick up and the mystery was unfolding in the middle, the story just sort of took a turn I wasn’t expecting and I honestly don’t think I like where it went. You can imagine my surprise last night (or, rather, early this morning?) when I read the chapter that sort of changed everything and went, “Um, WHAT?”
The story in a nutshell – Quincie Morris is 17 and after he parents died, they left her the restaurant and in the care of her Uncle Davidson. It’s decided to change the theme of the restaurant to a vampiric one and with her close friend and the master chef of the restaurant (Vaggio), Quincie helps try and plan a menu for the new theme. Until the chef is murdered and then the only person Quincie has is her Uncle D, who doesn’t seem to pay much attention to her at all because he’s fawning over his vampire-wannabe girlfriend Ruby. Quincie’s best friend Kieren is a werewolf hybrid and though she loves him, he’s keeping her away from him because he’s about to go off and find a wolf pack that will accept him. So as Kieren pushes Quincie away she spends more and more time with the new chef Bradley and starts drinking a heck of a lot of wine. It seems as though in every scene she’s wine-ing it up.
People are dying. Police are trying to find Vaggio’s murders, and everyone is pointing at Kieren.
And then? Everything just flips. And I was confused and I wondered where the hell did this come from? How did this person end up here? I don’t get it??
I don’t like the author’s take on vampires – how they are created and so on. I know that people get bored of the same old mythology, but it’s tried, tested and true. I don’t always have problems with deviations from the original myth, but somehow this one seemed a) out of nowhere and b) flat.
And come to think of it, I don’t think Vaggio’s murder was ever solved. I don’t think anyone admitted to it.
And also? Werearmadillos? Werepossums? I find that idea funny, don’t get me wrong, but it just seemed to be thrown in there randomly. Though it made me smile.
I thought the flow of the writing and narration was wonderful. It lulled me into this content reading space. But I think the end of the book was disappointing and out of the blue. Rushed, even.
I thought Eternal was a sequel to this one, but upon reading the description on amazon.ca it does not appear to be so. I will likely read it when it’s in paperback because I did enjoy Smith’s writing style.