Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One Last Kiss, or “Another Generic Vampire Love Story Have We Not Have Enough Of These Yet”

Let’s take a look to analyze this cover, shall we? I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume this book is about VAMPIRES. I’m comfortable with this assumption. What I can’t get over is what is going on with this girl’s teeth? Girl is probably Eleanor Rawlin, who (according to backflap) just wants an ordinary life but is pulled into a life of vengeance against all vampires. Has Eleanor been eating dirt? Why are her teeth all grey and nasty. She makes me kinda queasy, and her necklace does not go with her dress. I don’t like her.

Shadow Glen, Colony of Virginia, 1730

Poor Eleanor, life is very hard for her. Her mother was murdered by vampires when she was very young, she doesn’t even remember her. Now her and her father flee vampires, moving often, never long enough for Eleanor to make a friend. And her father makes her wear a necklace of garlic, to boot. To top it all off, Eleanor doesn’t even believe in vampires – she thinks her father was driven mad with grief after his wife’s murder, and now thinks monsters were behind it.

Shadow Glen is where Eleanor was born and her mother was killed. Eleanor has made a friend, Annie, and has been invited to a ball at the Fier Manor, so she’s pretty unhappy when her father forbids her to go, and tells her they have to move once again. Poor Cinderella, cries herself to sleep because she can’t go to the ball.

She is woken by a carriage pulling up to their house, and a strange man slipping into their garden. She sneaks into her father’s study to eavesdrop. The man tells her father he’s not safe, there’s no way he can take on the vampires. Eleanor is shocked this man believes in vampires and seems to hate them more than her father. The man sees Eleanor and their eyes lock. The handsome young stranger decides Eleanor is too pretty, the vampires will be after her for sure.

Eleanor scoffs at him, until strange man is introduced as Trevor Fier. Eleanor then hopes her invitation to his ball won’t be taken away. But, he thinks she’s cute, and they (obviously) fall in love. After Trevor leaves, her father warns her to stay the hell away from Trevor.

Eleanor intrigued that someone other than her father believes in vampires, so she reads the journal Trevor left behind, supposedly containing everything he knows about vampires in it – The Journal of Richard Fier, an ancestor of Trevor’s.

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1624

Richard Fier has just become a vampire, and is writing about the experience. He met a beautiful woman last night, and she ate him up. It’s an age old story.

Eleanor wakes up, having fallen asleep over the journal. Her father comes in, shouts a bit, then tells her he’s inviting Trevor over for dinner. So Eleanor pops into town to pick up a turkey, where she runs into her friend Annie, an indentured servant from Ireland. Annie tells her she believes in vampires, and Eleanor does some more scoffing. Until she’s walking home at dusk, and the wind starts whispering her name. Actually, the “wind” calls out: Eleanor Rawlins, you cannot escape us. So, probs not the wind, Eleanor, just a heads up. Once again that night she sneaks into her father’s study to read more of Richard Fier’s journal:

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1625

Richard finally gives in and feeds on another man. His beautiful vampire lady friend, Gwendolyn, serves up a terrified miller for him to snack on. But Richard refuses to take his life, and runs for it. He comes upon a wild board and drinks that instead. He cries at his fate, even if vampires have no tears to shed. Wah wah wah, whiny vampire.

Eleanor falls for it, feels she is falling in love with the sensitive vampire who refuses to eat humans. Swoon, how romantic … wait, have I read this somewhere else? Hmmm. Also, isn’t in convenient that she is falling in love with the man who wrote the journal, an immortal, while also feeling naughty feelings for this immortal’s “descendant” of 100 years later?

Trevor Fier comes to dinner and asks her to invite him in. Yup, Trevor is totally the vampire. Also, he won’t eat the dinner she prepared. Because he wants to snack at her neck, I’m gonna guess. Trevor and Eleanor’s father get to business about vampires. Dad wants to know how to kill them. He realizes his daughter is miserable, and just wants the vampires dead and be done with it so they can lead normal lives. Trevor says there is no way, that Eleanor will die if she stays in Shadow Glen, just like her mother, then storms out of the house.

Eleanor rushes out after Trevor, only to immediately get lost in mist. So, Eleanor is fairly useless. Someone grabs her, but it is only Trevor. He is all brooding and lonely, then starts making out with her, then runs away. Sigh, how romantic. No, wait, actually who would want a boyfriend like that? Eleanor goes home all hot and bothered, only to find her father had been staked and lies bleeding to death on the floor. His last word is “Trevor…”

Trevor runs into the room, and Eleanor assumes he killed her father – no more of this vampire crap. Somehow, within a page, Trevor convinces her vampires are real, they killed her father, that they had been after her since her mother died, and were waiting for her to grow up. Basically, she’s screwed. That’s a lot to take in in one page, but Eleanor does remarkably well. It only helps that Trevor spends the night to protect her (ooh la la!).

She’s woken the next day by the Reverend – Trevor took care of all the funeral arrangements for that afternoon. Only her friend Annie shows up for the funeral, and most of the town makes it clear they’re happy the crazy man is gone, suggesting it would be better for her if she were to disappear too. Pretty callous bunch in Shadow Glen. Also of note: Trevor does not show up for the daytime funeral he arranged.

That night a devastatingly beautiful woman breaks into Eleanor’s house. She’s Priscilla Fier, the hostess of the Fier ball. Priscilla brought Eleanor some food stuff to help her get by. In the middle of the night, like a normal person. Priscilla is very sweet, and insists that Eleanor, little pauper that she is, move to Fier Manor. Ooh, nothing’s going to go wrong THERE.

Eleanor moves in that night, to the palatial manor that is more like a prison. There’s tons of servants around, and Eleanor’s poor head is turned by all the luxury. Once settled in her room, she feels safe for the first time in the long time. She doesn’t wake up until mid-afternoon. Trevor is shut up in his study and can’t be disturbed until dusk. “Study” totes means “coffin.” She is given breakfast at dinnertime, which is really the best dinner ever anyways. Mmm, breakfast for dinner. She passes the time reading Richard’s diary.

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1627

Richard is needing more and more blood, as Gwendolyn brings over more people to the darker side of night. Richard continues to kill only animals, although he is mocked for it. Richard tries to kill himself by staying out in the morning sunlight, but is too much of a pussy for that. So instead he gets up in the middle of the day and stakes Gwendolyn. Oops, I totally thought Gwendolyn was Priscilla now, guess I was wrong about that. Anyways, Richard is all torn up about murdering someone, vampire or not.

Eleanor is saddened by what she reads and runs to find Trevor in his study. She finds the room dark and empty, but she also finds a mysterious secret passageway behind the bookshelves. So cool, I’ve always wanted one of those. The hallway is narrow, dark, and covered with slime and foul odours. It leads underground the manor, to a small chamber with one coffin in it. Guesses as to who’s in it?

Poor little Eleanor is shocked, shocked, when Trevor wakes up in his coffin and pronounces he is actually Richard Fier. But we already knew that, so no surprises for the reader. Eleanor’s candle goes out, and she’s left in the darkness with a monstrous (but hot) vampire. Richard/Trevor gets all sexy with Eleanor’s neck, and asks her if she wants to join him … in immortality.

She freaks, and he jumps away, lighting a candle. He tells her he only got all sexy with her to prove he could hurt her – but never would. Oh, swoon. Who doesn’t want a potentially abusive boyfriend? Eleanor, walk the hell away. Of course Eleanor doesn’t walk away, but tells him he’s so sensitive and wonderful. I wonder if he sparkles? Eleanor then tells him she’s going to find her father’s murderer and kill them. Trevor lunges for her and starts shaking the hit out of her. Then he proclaims his love for her. Jesus, it didn’t take long for that abusive behaviour to start, did it? He tells her he didn’t kill her parents, and they make out for awhile.

They get back up to the study eventually, and Priscilla interrupts them. She realizes Trevor is in love with Eleanor, so they must marry immediately. Priscilla decides to throw them an engagement party. Eleanor’s kind of like – wait, what? I’m marrying a vampire? Oh, but I luuurve him, and he’s sooo wonderful, this will be fine!

At her engagement party, everyone comes dresses as a vampire, because they are “all the rage in Paris.” Priscilla claims she doesn’t believe in actual vampires, despite living with one. It’s all just a masque. The punch is blood-flavoured, which is nasty. Maybe that’s how her teeth got all stained and gross on the front cover. Eleanor is creeped out by everyone there, sensible girl. She goes outside to find Trevor, who confesses his eternal love, then goes to hunt. Eleanor goes into the hall, and stumbles over the body of a heartless man. As in, someone has removed his heart.

Trevor and Priscilla get really mad, demanding their vampire-obsessed guests to leave. I mean, don’t they know how rude it is to gore up the help? Trevor picks Eleanor up, claiming he’ll do anything to protect her, although admits it looks like the Fier Manor might have some security issues. She gets a little freaked by him, but he assures her he didn’t kill the man, and she would have to trust him. So she does, la la la. He brings her into the kitchen and leaves her again. Eleanor finds the heart roasting in the coals of the oven.

She finally flees the manor in the daylight to find her friend Annie. Unfortunately, she finds Annie under a bridge, frozen in the river, as a storm blows up. Trevor finds Eleanor as night falls, and gets them, and the corpse, to shelter, then heads out into the winter storm to get help – leaving Eleanor alone with Annie’s corpse. Not for long, though. Annie wakes up.

Annie the vampire tried to drink Eleanor’s blood, claiming immortality is awesome. Eleanor pushes her into the sunlight, and Annie finds immortality to be very quick indeed. The Fier’s driver comes to rescue Eleanor. She realizes she must see Trevor again, and goes down to his coffin room to visit his corpse. Only, the coffin is empty! Priscilla finds her there, and is all – what the fuck is this place? Getting over that pretty quick, Priscilla asks Eleanor to help fix the hem of her dress, but when they go to the mirror, Eleanor sees only her reflection.

Priscilla the vampire gets all seductive, and tries to turn Eleanor. She runs away, only to be grabbed by a massive bird who takes her to the roof. Only the bird is actually Trevor. Eleanor gets all mad at Trevor for bringing her close to another vampire, but then she learns the truth … Priscilla is her mother! Priscilla loved being a vampire, and was in charge of this whole operation. She had been waiting for her little girl to grow up to turn her. Trevor was the lucky vampire with the mission to turn her, but he fell in love with her instead. Priscilla is more powerful than him, and she joins them on the roof. She goes to drink Eleanor’s blood, but Eleanor fights her off and pushes her off the roof – to be staked on an iron stake. That just makes her kind of mad, and slows her down some.

Trevor wakes up, but is weak. He tells her to kill Priscilla, and takes her to her mother. His last message to her is: I have always hated what I became and I will always love you. They try to force Priscilla into the sunlight, but she manages to stake Trevor. Eleanor goes into mad rage and tackles her vampire mother, who tries to drink her blood again. Trevor gets up enough strength to take down Priscilla, as they both burn up in the morning sun. As Trevor’s flesh is burned away, he pulls Eleanor in for one last kiss. Hot.

Kind of a gag-worthy romance, wasn’t it? Eternal love, blah blah, I’ll die for you, blah blah. I kind of love that Priscilla was Eleanor’s mother, and was a bad ass vampire the whole time. And it was good that Trevor died in the end, big heroic sacrifice, these eternal love stories are always better with poignant endings, dontcha think? 10 flesh-decayed kisses out of 14.


Anonymous said...

Guessed the twist in the first paragraph of the recap. If not the first sentence. I think I've read too many of these now...

marcelrochester said...

Abusive “vegetarian” vampire bf in a really badly-written book. Indeed that sounds familiar.
I too liked that her mother was a vampire, though in a better book that would be angsty.

Speaking of Stine & vampires, I read the sequel to Dangerous Girls. It is so badly-written and its version of vampires is so stupid. I mean, I've read a lot of bad Stine books, but it's one of the worst.

LAK said...

If only there was a baby named Eleaovor or Annover or some other horrible mash up of names at the end. (the mom's name wasn't given so please forgive me; I work with what I am given)

L. K. Stine said...

I am totally just doing the recap of Taste of Night - the sequel to Dangerous Girls! I agree with you, marcelrochester, it really is that bad.

Karmyn said...

I know I read this book, but I honestly have no real memory of reading it. Says a lot, doesn't it?

Kienew said...

A kiss while burning up in the sun? That must be the ultimate, and therefore the most sexy, hot and dry kiss.

Tayyab said...

You said that you are doing reviews on Taste of Night? If so, I'll ask you one thing:Do you know about The Raven Woman? Please review that Fear Street Sagas book after Taste of Night. And have you read Fear Street Seniors and the Fear Street Nights trilogy? Please review those also. Fear Street Nights series was the latest fear Street, as it was released in 2005.

L. K. Stine said...

Tayyab - we are definitely going to review Fear Street Nights, and Fear Street Seniors. The Raven Woman is one book that we have been unable to find, and I was unsure whether it was ever published. Maybe somebody knows better than I do?

Anonymous said...

I think we decided quite some time ago that The Raven Woman had never been published? The conversation might've been on the other blog, though. ...Yeah, I'm Googling, and the consensus seems to be that it was never released, just like the Goosebumps Gold books.

Tayyab said...

OK. I think I know what you should do about The Raven Woman. I've found that somehow it was never released. So, there's nothing we can do, except seeing the preview given in The Hand of Power. Have you seen that? So now, you can post the cover of The Raven Woman (which you can find anywhere on the Internet) and the description provided in The Hand of Power. What do you think of this?

Broken1again said...

I looked for Raven Woman to and found that it was never published. That kind of sucks. So does anyone know why this book goes for 30 dollars and up? I finished my collection of Fear Street books...everyone cost not more then 4-5 dollars but this book was 30 dollars and up every where I looked. I ended up paying it because I wanted to finish my collection, all in all I really like this book a lot, but what is so special about it for it to be worth this much? and all I can think is Twilight when I finished it?!