****TOMORROW, I will be interviewing Tami Jackson on R&R, writing, art and more! *****
Title: Ravena & the Ressurected
Author:Tami Jayne Jackson
Published in:October 2010
Category: Urban fantasy
Life has never been smooth for Ravena Doomlah. Yet when she admits her fascination with Seattle's vampires to her coworkers, she feels all the more dejected. Not only do her coworkers shuffle away quickly anytime she approaches the company water cooler, but Ravena hears colleagues talking about her behind her back.
Once bitten, she tries to hide her new "condition" and wants to keep her job but quickly learns lessons in self reliance when she discovers highly motivated Assassins are actively pursuing her trail.
I've been on a self-published, Indie-run and am actually quite liking some of the books I've read. Now, I know that following Twilight, a lot of vampire books have come into fray, and if you're tired of glittery pretty vampires and their strangely syrupy romances with mortals (aw,come on!) and if you truly want to read one vampire book that's not pretentious (I exempt True Blood, Anne Rice's series and the Anita Blake series from this, as they were pre-Twilight and much more dark.) to the point that they make you want to scream and holler 'Take these eternal beautiful things and their eternal inner conflicts and their eternal gooey romances with mortals away!!!!', then read Ravena and the Resurrected by Tami Jackson.
First thing about this book: It was amazingly well-written with none of the usual unsparkly fare we get from independant publishing. Editing is a really important part for me. This book was edited well, the writing was fun and fresh, and not pretentious. The fact that this book didn't need over-the-top "awesome" vampires (picture those noble-hearted and always-gorgeous types that make me sick these days) and a super-pretty heroine to make it work. Actually, Ravena's character was enough to make it work.
She's a truly amazing character. I felt myself laughing at some of her eccentricities and getting this warm fuzzy feeling towards her because of her various little quirks and sense of humor. Come on: how many books have you read about vampires where the heroine actually wants to become one? Where her very surname comes from her passion for vampires, the dark side and music? Where she is not some runway model but a (lol) "pastrarian"? (read the book to find what that's about).
Ravena is a normal (if slightly eccentric) character with a huge love for sweet food (although she is diabetic), vampires and her virtual life. (wouldn't you be, if your real life pretty much sucked?) Her life takes a turn for the better or the worse (honestly, I think for the better) when she's actually turned by a vampire and starts living life as a Resurrected person. Things are not going to be smooth for her like she might have once believed though. There are some things to adjust to: there are some super bad guys after all vampires, there are 'the Elders', there are egotistic vampires and ones with no manners at all...then there's the coven, a werewolf who could seriously take over her (undead?) heart and a musician to share with...
I thought this was a rollicking fun read, and liked the fun parts as well as the slightly darker parts. Some of the ideas Tami uses for her vampires and werewolves were new to me (maybe they aren't to you, I grew sick of vampires too fast after Twilight, House of Night, the My Blood Approves series and Vampire Academy) but R&R is definitely more True Blood than Twilight (a good thing according to me, always been a Sookie-fan) and will tickle your funny bone.
The only things I can really wish away in this book was the little lag in the middle where things just went into a slump and seemed to drag a little. Some parts I felt could have been sped up a little. Then there were some bits of the book where the humor seemed forced (most of the humor is really funny though), some characters too strange for me to take them seriously at all. Also, I usually dislike references to other characters or books as I find it to be dating the work somehow.(a lot of people like this though, so it could just be a personal bias) Another thing I felt was a lack in direction of plot somewhere to the middle. Thankfully, that picks up a little later and gathers momentum too.
I really read this book because I loved the character (despite her strangeness) and the fact that I needed something fun after all the angst filled stuff I've read recently.
You can buy the book here
Check out the author's site (she's a cartoonist too) here
As this is an author-made cover, I'm not going to be hard on it. It's really saying something when a writer can both write and make art, and although some reviewers would call this cover and the girl a little off I don't think so. I think the cover rather suits the book and keeps up the unpretentious nature of it well. Although of course I have a deeply ingrained hatred of drippy fonts.
I'd give the book 3.5 on 5 stars.
The cover I'd give 3 on 5.