Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Friday, August 3, 2012

Plot Summary:
It all started centuries ago. In Sixth century China, a scholar spots an eagle carrying something extraordinary in its beak...a white snake. Instead of witnessing this creature's death, the scholar raises his bow and shoots an arrow at the eagle, forcing it to release the. After seeing this magnificent creature fall, the scholar rushes to its aide. After gently washing and bandaging its wounds, the scholar makes a promise: if this beautiful snake were a princess in its past life, he would find her and marry her. Centuries later, the snake would appear, but this time, she is in another form that not even the scholar could have known. Meanwhile, after taking some time off from his mundane life in Australia, Charlie goes to Venice to protest at the G8 meeting. The moment he stepped off the plane, he knew he was in a magical place. In fact, this place is so magical that he when he met Caitlin, it was literally love at first sight. Could Charlie be the scholar that once saved her life all those years ago? Convinced that Charlie is her soul mate, Caitlin decides that she will love Charlie for the rest of her life; however, Caitlin harbors a dangerous secret: she is not human. After attempting to rescue Caitlin, and her friend, Alice, from a few thugs, Charlie is wounded and unconscious. The last thing he saw before blacking out is Caitlin and Alice taking those thugs down quickly; Caitlin and Alice supposedly know martial arts, but these guys were strong. In fact, they are so strong they happen to be vampires. Although Caitlin is willing to risk everything to be with Charlie, the question that remains is will Charlie accept her for who she really is? Caitlin's will be revealed, whether she likes it or not, because not only is the Council after her, old enemies are turning up as well.


Critical Evaluation:
In this imaginative re-telling of an Chinese folktale, Martin Chu Shui has created a story filled with love, mystery, action, surprises, ans suspense. I am not familiar with this particular tale, but it's based on a love that has not only managed to grow over centuries, but reunite two souls who have been separated by time and space. Although the story, itself, is a bit hard to believe (the love at first sight thing), Shui's story uses love as tool to lure readers into this fast-paced adventure where demons and monster are real. I definitely will say this story was a quick read, but there are problems with the grammar, but readers won't care since they are simple mistakes. Also, the author uses a lot of European spelling, which is only natural since the story itself takes place in Europe and Australia or maybe the Shui is just cool like that. The characters are very likable, especially Charlie who is totally clueless. In a way, readers will feel sorry for Charlie (no pun intended) because he has no idea what his role in this relationship/story is. Despite knowing his heritage is tied to Caitlin's background, he doesn't believe in all of the "hocus pocus," especially when James tells him that he part of a Council that battles monsters and demons. Unfortunately, when Charlie is drugged, the fairy tales that he studied in school are about to come true after realizing that Caitlin is actually a the same white snake that was rescued by the scholar who is also carrying their unborn child. There are some parts of the dialogue that are on the cheesy side, but when you have vampires, fairy tale creatures that are real, and an entire secret organization chasing after our heroes that is a small detail we can live with. Anyone romance fan will eat this up, but be prepared for an epic battle that is about to begin.  

Genre:
Teen Paranormal Romance
 
Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up


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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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