Intellectual, playful prose cannot save this vampire epic from soaking too long in a broth of Rice and Meyer.

I, MARCUS

GOD OF ALL THE VAMPIRE ROYALS

Vampiric gods, wolves and human frailty round out Koppenhagen’s story of timeless love.

Marcus is a member of a very exclusive vampire fraternity and parlays his once-boring existence into an adventurous tale that bounds continents and defies the laws of nature—all in the name of true love. Marcus, who has the ability to bend others to his 6,000-year-old will and even change their very thoughts, discovers that not even the allure of immortality can hold a light to the power of the heart. Vampire romance, werewolves, a dangerous pregnancy, high-seas antics and more fill the pages of this lengthy tome. Fans of vampire literature, who are legion, will tread common territory in Koppenhagen’s novel. Well-plotted and richly crafted, the novel explores the immortal life of a vampire in great detail but with little in originality, save for the history of the vampires themselves. Too often the tale is simply too familiar. Anne Rice fans will find similarities to her seminal Vampire Chronicles series starring the vampire Lestat. More recently, however, Rice's enduring series has been overshadowed by the Twilight series penned by Stephenie Meyer. Koppenhagen’s story contains strong elements of both series, if not mirror images in some cases. Most striking is Koppenhagen’s use of Washington state's Forks and La Push in the novel, locales that feature heavily in Meyer's young-adult novels. Vampire flesh that glitters like diamonds in direct sunlight, the Hooded Claw or “Vulturos,” which sound quite similar to the super-powered “Vulturi” in Meyer's work, have been done before, though the author does add an ingenious twist to the “Push” portion of the name. Unrequited love, a common theme in Gothic fiction, runs like a well-tuned engine under Koppenhagen’s deft guidance. Lacking, however, is a vehicle made from a fresh, impressive idea.

Intellectual, playful prose cannot save this vampire epic from soaking too long in a broth of Rice and Meyer.

Pub Date: May 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1461158868

Page Count: 550

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2012

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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