As a self-proclaimed non-reader and who would be classified as someone who hates to read. I absolutely love this book. At first I was skeptical that one of my friends could write something that would capture and keep my attention that is how much I despise reading. The only book series I have read beginning to end was Harry Potter and that was after I watched the movies. Anyway, Melabeth is full of action, adventure, romance and mystery. From page 1 it caught my attention and I found myself not wanting to put the book down and thinking about all of the characters and how alive they became in my mind. This book is easy to read and understand that I am impressed and honored to know the author personally. I am very much in love with the story and wonder what will happen next ..... Bridget Dexter
Bridget is one of my test readers and a close friend of mine. She started to reading my book just a few months ago. I pushed her in to reading it, but in the end she loved it. Its friends like her that gave me the confidence to finish this book.
Literary vampires have been with us for a very long time. John Polidori modernized the legend in 1819 with The Vampyre: A Tale, and Bram Stoker immortalized it in 1897 with Dracula. We are in the midst of a resurgence of the genre—if it can be said to ever truly have waned. It's difficult to visit a library or bookstore these days without tripping over the undead. E. B. Hood has contributed to this resurgence the first of a series, Melabeth the Vampire, a work that combines teen romance and a bit of detective thriller for an exciting and unusual fantasy.
Fifteen-year-old Melanie Elizabeth Dare is horribly murdered, then finds herself waking up 15 years later as a vampire. She is determined to get revenge on her killers, but first has to figure out what being a vampire is all about. Along the way, she adopts a new name, Melabeth, new friends (not all are vampires, but few are human), and a new family of sorts. She learns not only what it means to be a vampire, but also what it means to love and be loved. The lessons about love and loyalty do not, at least in this first of a three-part series, diminish her lust for vengeance.
Hood prefaces his novel with the disclaimer that he is not really a writer. Unlike most first-time authors, he has not spent years scribbling away in unpublished anonymity honing his craft and hoping for a break. His brother had the literary aspirations, and it was as a memorial to this brother, who died young, that Hood began this series.
Therefore I was not terribly surprised to find the book littered with poor grammar, awkward and often simply incorrect word choices, garbled tenses, and clunky dialog. I was, however, surprised to find that Hood can really tell a story. The characters are reasonably well drawn for a book of this type, and the story is deftly plotted. Hood is remarkably good at building tension and pacing the action. He threads in backstory gracefully and maintains a comfortable balance between action and narrative. I must admit that this is not a genre I typically enjoy, but by the end I found myself caring deeply about the characters and clicking quickly through the pages to see how everything turned out.
As you might expect from a vampire tale, Melabeth the Vampire is loaded with violence (including rape), seething sexuality, and psychological as well as emotional cruelty. It is also funny and warm. The teens who are the main characters in the story seem to be slowly and painfully working their way past the prejudices and hatreds of their parents—not, as it happens, easily or without tragedy, but with an almost reflexive decency.
Hood also gets kudos for the ending. Unlike many recent series books, this one clearly sets up the next installment, yet gives a satisfying ending to the story we've just been told.
If Hood works at the mechanics of writing and eliminates confusing and distracting mistakes, the rest of the Melabeth series is sure to please many adult as well as teen readers.
I admire people who can bring their imagination to life in the written word. This is what E.B. Hood does so well in (Melabeth The Vampire). It all comes to life as he showers us with a smorgasbord of emotions. I was captured from the beginning and it just keeps getting better. I felt as if I were watching a movie as I pictured the scenes in my mind and I loved the wit and humor that so many of the characters posses. Melabeth is the heart of the story but the way he brought so many characters to life, some of them deserve a book of their own. I am blessed to have talented children. I guess it skips a generation. I had the privilege of being a proof reader for this story and was so anxious for each chapter to be written so I could see what happens next. Now I am looking forward to books 2 & 3.
Vampires.com second review
Reviewing first novels can end up an uncomfortable exercise. The promise of something truly good awaits--consider that both Interview With a Vampire and Twilight were first novels by their respective authors. So too have been a more than a few that vanished without a trace. And good riddance!
Melabeth_Cover_8_finalMelabeth the Vampire happily manages to avoid the latter's fate, at least in my opinion.
Author E.B.Hood focuses upon a trope which only recently showed up in vampire stories. From Polidori's The Vampyre until more than a century later, in the Universal film House of Dracula, the actual experience of becoming a vampire seems never to show up. Most famously Anne Rice of course wrote a classic about it in the 1970s. She very nearly created a subgenre with that work! Hood tells a vaguely similar tale. By "vaguely" I mean his characters, plot and even fictional world vary vastly from that of Rice. Not a criticism! Who after all wants just a carbon copy of what has gone before?
Quite simply, Melabeth is a murder victim, a teenage girl abused and left for dead when a vampire finds her. He makes for a mysterious figure, but he claims to have fallen in love with this girl. Nicks cannot be sure it will work, but he attempts to turn Melanie Elizabeth using his blood. Eventually, she crawls out of her grave, thirsting for blood but lusting even more for revenge against her killers. About this point she takes a new name. Melabeth.
So far, so good! As you can probably imagine, the rest of the book chronicles her learning about vampiric existence, adjusting to a new age (she didn't wake for almost two decades) and the search for those who raped and murdered her. Her quest takes several interesting turns, including a coven of undead including a terrifyingly powerful child, a chatty ghost and a cute boy from a family of witches. She also runs afoul of what amounts to the supernatural police--a covert group in charge (they say) of maintaining order amidst the secret world of the not-quite-human.
SIGNING_PINHow is it?
First, lets begin with the most positive. It makes for an enjoyable and interesting read. The tale grabbed my attention and left we wanting more. No less impressive, all the characters did indeed come across as individuals, each with their own 'voices' and with a very believable dynamic between them. Trust me when I claim plenty of best-selling novels frankly fail to achieve that! I could name names!
But I won't.
All of the above qualifies as high praise. Each reader must decide for themselves, but the central character appealed to me and her story kept me turning the pages. But let us also consider what's wrong with the book--or at least what could have ended up much better.
Let us begin with the writing itself. Hood generally writes in a clear cut style. Easy to read and follow. A sense of flow and rhythm that does much to aid the reader. All excellent! But he shows a tendency to slip into the bane of American writing--the passive voice. Not always. More, he avoids the (even worse) habit of making sentences not only passive but complex at the same time! That combination might as well be labelled a tranquilizer! He avoided that quite nicely. But frankly, he still uses the passive voice too much.
More irritating was his shift of perspective without much warning. He doesn't do this much, but when he does it jars.
But that dovetails into what is arguably the biggest weakness of the book--its length. Melabeth the Vampire comes across as at least a quarter, maybe as much as a third too short. Everything takes too little time, as if he were rushing through the plot instead of taking his time. As as result, the character arcs suffer. Make no mistake--the character arcs are all still there. We follow and understand them. But they feel truncated. For example, the journey from gang-raped virgin to forthrightly lusting teenager in the title character seemed too short. Not in terms of time, but for what we experience through her eyes. And while David (her love interest) is seemingly an equally important character (he even has whole chapters from his POV) we don't follow him nearly enough. As a result, his changes seem less comprehensible. Likewise, we don't feel as he does for his family (whose back story, incidentally, seems needlessly complex--felt like a I needed a chart to keep all of them straight). This gets more and more problematical as the novel progresses.
A final word--about world-building. Like Vampire: The Masquerade and The Dresden Files, we discover with Melabeth that our world contains an entire covert civilization in our midst. Vampires, spirits, sorcerers, etc. seem scattered everywhere. Much of the details of this seem terribly cool, such as the so-called City of Vampires (eventually we learn where it is and have the reaction "Of course!"). But here I have a slight complaint. Again it comes down to length, and its connection to pacing. We don't really get a sense that this part of the world is (or even needs to remain) secret. Love how the author hints (successfully) at an entire world out there and we're seeing only one little section of it. Very Harry Potter in its way. But because the whole story feels a bit rushed, we also don't get to see many routine, constant efforts to Keep The Secret.
In short, most of my complaints about the book consist of desiring more of it! Which qualifies as "praise with faint damnation" in my book. For the record, I look forward to the sequel.
Posted on Monday May, 6 2013 | 3 Comments by vampires.com
Have you read Melabeth? If you haven't yet, you should. Not even a month or so ago and I wasn't aware it even existed. I've often had the feeling there are these hidden gems left undiscovered by circumstance and wished there was an easier way to discover them. Fortunately, I received an email from the author E.B. Hood and took a look at the website at www.melabeth.com. I wasn't that impressed with the site at first to be honest, but the first chapter was free to read, so I obliged.
Melanie Dare is a teenage girl. Drugs and abuse by her parents change all that. She is raped and murdered and finds herself awake in a new decade. Melanie becomes Melabeth the vampire, and she is thrust into events outside of her control. Meeting a small circle of friends - not all who can be trusted - she finds herself obsessed with revenge against her killers… but along the way finds love. Her battle for revenge has terrible, unintended consequences, and she will question, who, and what she is. Can her love survive her need for revenge? This is the first part of a three part series about forgiveness.
While reading that first chapter, I immediately felt an attachment to Melabeth. I love my Kindle, as most of you know. I saw a Kindle version and it was only $3.99 so I snatched it up right away. There was so much more I still needed to know. I wanted to see her grow and give forgiveness, yet I also wanted to see her exact revenge. While lacking the usual editorial mechanics, Melabeth weaves a tale in such a way that you won't want to put it down. The story has its twists and turns and it takes a direction that vampires don't often take these days. The plotline was very refreshing.
The story tells of Melanie Dare, a fifteen year old girl who lived in the sixties with her hippie parents. She goes through many changes due to her parents druggie, free nomadic lifestyle, and loses her mom early on. Her father as a result goes downhill, going so far as to let his daughter be taken in order to settle some debts. Melanie is murdered by the men who take her, and she is saved by her maker, Nicks. Melanie wakes up fifteen years later, oblivious but a fast learner of the world of vampires and other supernatural beings. The book follows through her journey.
The book had an interesting way of answering questions the readers may have about the vampires in Melabeth's world. Through her training and learning the reader learns alongside her. The characters are very realistic and relateable. They show obvious development among each and they have a depth to them that stories often lack. Dynamic characters can make or break a story, and in this case it was greatly to Hood's advantage.
All in all, this book was captivating and interesting. I'm thrilled to read the next book of the series. I've recommended this book through the span of reading it to many a friend or teacher and I would continue to eagerly promote it as long as Hood continues to write it.
I've already asked him when the next story is ready to be told in the Melabeth series, and he said this summer. I hope so, I'd like to find out what's next. Go read that first chapter today at http://www.melabeth.com/!
I have had too many great reviews to list them all! Thank you so much for everyone who has taken time to write a review. It really helps with our listing on Amazon, so if you haven't had a chance, pop on over to Amazon and let others know what you think of my work. Thanks again.