Sunday, October 9, 2011
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Tantalize, book three
Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul? (description from Amazon.com)
I thought this was a great wrap-up to the Tantalize storyline. It brought the characters from both Tantalize and Eternal together in a very well done way. I had actually forgotten how much I enjoyed Quincie as a character. She's tough, tough enough that you almost forget how young she is...until she does something that only a teenager would do. It usually ends up working out in her favor, though!
Her relationship with Kieren, muddled by what they each are, is heartwarming. They are beyond devoted to one another. Even when Quincie is presented with a very yummy Guardian Angel, she is never tempted to stray. Speaking of Zachary...his goodness is just so believable. He's not perfect, but he's determined to do the best he can, for himself and everyone around him.
I loved how Smith combined their two destinies. It was really well done. Without getting too spoilery, all I can really say is that they both had their faiths tested and each taught each other quite a bit about life...and death. Their sacrifices were thoughtful and never over the top.
I also just want to mention that it had never occurred to me that in a world of shape-shifters that there would be such a creature as a WerePossum, but apparently there can be...and he was hilarious. Poor guy steps out of his nature to be one brave little Possum and his heroism was truly inspiring!
Full disclosure: ARC received from publisher, audio book received to review for SLJ
2011 Shifter Reading Challenge title