A teenage girl with special abilities uncovers disturbing family secrets and a possible conspiracy while spending the summer in New Orleans in this debut novel.
On the surface, Cheyenne Lane appears to be a typical teenager, living with her parents in Winmore, Virginia. Cheyenne and her family, however, are anything but typical. They are Deuxsang, a hybrid of human and vampire. When she turned 13, Cheyenne had her Ascension, a ceremony intended to awaken her vampire nature. The ceremony took an unexpected turn, and now, at 17, she wonders whether she will ever reveal her vampire side or discover her special powers. When her older sister, Kara, and her husband, Thomas, invite her to spend the summer with them in New Orleans, Cheyenne is eager to explore the city. She befriends Anne Lacroix, a fellow Deuxsang, and embarks on a romance with Eli Ashford, a witch. This liaison is strictly forbidden because, according to family lore, witches were responsible for a massacre that nearly destroyed the Deuxsang. When Cheyenne’s cousin, Rove, comes to visit, Thomas’ behavior grows more sinister and controlling, and Cheyenne learns her family may be harboring dark secrets. She becomes locked in a race to learn the truth behind her visit to New Orleans. Rials’ tale is an exciting and fast-paced YA paranormal romance with an intriguing plot, well-drawn settings, and solid character development. The prologue and opening chapters effectively establish the world of the Deuxsang and the peculiar rituals and strict code of conduct that define them. These chapters also offer a glimpse into the expectations Cheyenne’s family has for her and her concerns that she may not become a true Deuxsang. The primary action takes place in New Orleans, and these sections are replete with lively descriptions of the city, especially the thriving culinary and music scenes. Cheyenne is an engaging and resourceful heroine whose budding romance with Eli parallels nicely with her discovery of her vampire nature and should appeal to fans of Twilight. Their love story anchors the novel, the first installment of a series, and sets the stage for the cliffhanger ending.
An entertaining and promising series opener about an appealing human and vampire hybrid.