Sunday, February 01, 2009

Day 57 - The Year of Disappearances

The Year of Disappearances
Susan Hubbard

Series or Stand Alone: Sequel to Society of S

Synopsis: [from]

THE YEAR OF DISAPPEARANCES continues the most surprising vampire story you'll ever read. Ariella Montero is no stranger to the dark side of life. Half-human, half-vampire, she spent her first thirteen years in exile from both societies. When her best friend was murdered, Ari ran away to begin a new life in Florida. But, one by one, the people and things she cares most about keep disappearing. And Ari may be next.She can hypnotize, read minds, and make herself invisible, but can she escape her stalkers? Ari's special talents are severely tested as she moves on—from a vampire community in the Sunshine State to college in Georgia to the primeval maze of the Okefenokee Swamp. In contending with the politics of vampire and human cultures, Ari comes face to face with the zombies that are infiltrating America, as well as the demons and shadows that haunt us all.


First off let me say that this isn't your average vampire story. Come to think of it, I actually forgot that I was reading a story containing vampires most of the time. But don't that discourage you. This was an entertaining and thrilling read. Vampires are intermingled in human society, hidden in plain sight both in daylight (with gobs of sunblock) and by night. And most can live entirely off human blood by drinking and taking supplements.

Ariella 'Ari' Montero is a fourteen-year-old half-breed vampire that is wonderfully complex and interesting to read about. Growing up with her scientist father and absorbing so much knowledge from his teachings has truly made Ari a well-spoken and critical thinker. It was hard for me to keep in mind her age when she just seems so much older. Living in Homossassa Springs, Florida with her mother, Ari is still trying to find her place in both the human and vampire world.

She can hypnotize people, become invisible, and read minds but still struggles to establish long lasting relationships with people because everywhere she goes, people seem to end up dead. After the murder of her best friend not too long ago, Ari is looking to start over. After befriending two girls in town, Autumn and Mysty, things seem to be looking up for Ari, until one goes missing. In order to take some of the scrutiny off of Ari, she decides attend a small liberal arts college in Georgia. (Yes she's a little young, but she's very advanced for her age) Thus, starts the beginning of a very interesting ride through a unique world.

Sorry to end the summary so abruptly but after Ari goes off to college the story gets, well... complex. Political campaigns, environmentalism issues, drug-use, Ari's coming-of-age story and inner-demons are all thrown into a mix that was a little too much for me. There is just so much information going on in this book that I was overwhelmed at times. Not to say that I don't find Ari completely charming as a character. She's actually a lot different than most vampires that are written about and it is refreshing to see. And while the issues brought up in this book were thought-provoking and interesting I just felt it was too jam-packed.

One thing that I found personally like able was the astronomy tidbits thrown into the book. I just came out of my second semester of astronomy and was just giddy with excitement because I knew exactly what it was about. Susan Hubbard obviously did a lot of research on all of the topics she wrote about. I admire her for that. I just hope there will be a third installment because I had some unanswered questions towards the end.

I do recommend you give this book a try if you've read The Society of S because it's so nice to see how Ari ended up. If you haven't, I still say maybe borrow a copy and see if it tickles your fancy. I'm definitely not sorry I read this because the story is really unique.


Lenore said...

I have heard of this before and it does sound pretty cool. Didn't know it was part of a series though.

Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic. I love that cover. Don't you?

Mishel said...

Lenore- I hope you check out the first in the series if not this one (=

J.Kaye- Yes, I do!

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