Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: "Rising Tide: Dark Innocence" (Claudette Melanson)

Teenager Maura DeLuca would rather be like everybody else, with friends, interests, places to go and people to support her.

What she has, instead, is a secretive mother who shelters Maura, her only child, to the point of claustrophobia; an entire popular clique at school who love nothing more than faking her out; an unexpectedly nice classmate who comes to her rescue when she doesn't expect it; and, oddly enough, a whole bunch of weird physical symptoms.

Those symptoms are worrying her the most. Who cries blood? Who craves raw meat? Whose dentist fears that her canines are rotting from the inside out? Whose ability to accumulate and retain knowledge has burgeoned lately?

Maura's. And she has no idea why, or what's going on. But she suspects there are people in her life who do know, and are trying to keep her from finding out.


Author Claudette Melanson begins her paranormal YA trilogy with Rising Tide: Dark Innocence.

It's a challenge, in writing as a profession, to make the old and familiar seem new and exciting. It's an even greater challenge to ensure that the new, exciting spin on that old material is new enough and intriguing enough to capture and hold the attention of our youth, who simply don't have the patience or desire, these days, to slog through a boring or predictable work.

Melanson has clearly studied her target audience with great care, given the success of her work. Her vampires are different than the norm --- not Twilight, not Anita Blake, and not Bela Lugosi, but her own creation ... the old and familiar made new.

The perspective is different, too: Maura is a scattered, hormonal, insecure, unsettled, slightly rebellious teenage girl, with an appealing sweet voice (the story is told in her perspective, first-person) and conflicted desires: for her mother, for her cute classmate Ron, for popularity or at least to belong somewhere, for answers.

Especially answers.

Who among us can't relate to that? Something strange starts happening; we want to know why, and how, and when and where we can find a cure or solution or resolution, whatever it may be, because it's in not knowing that fear is born and takes over.

There's also nothing like mystery to keep a reader turning pages, and the pacing in this novel is such that I read it in just a couple of sittings, intrigued and curious to find out (as soon as possible!) what was going on with Maura, though I had my suspicions by about a third of the way through the work.

A future edition of the work would benefit from a close proofread, and more fully developed subplots and characters to add depth and interest to other aspects of the book than just Maura's romance with Ron and her out-of-control body.

A unique work, "different" in every good sense of the word, Rising Tide: Dark Innocence will no doubt fascinate the young adult reader in your life.

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Author: Claudette Melanson
Title: Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (#1)
Series: The Maura DeLuca Trilogy
ASIN: B00IHN4S00
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1HjwXz6

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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