In the Forests of the Night

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Author Delacorte Press $8.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-385-32674-2
First-novelist Atwater-Rhodes writes astonishingly well--considering that she completed the manuscript for this vampire novel when she was only 13 years old (she's now 15). Even compared with many adult authors, she's skillful at building atmosphere, insightful in creating characters and imaginative in varying and expanding on vampire lore. The sophisticated structure flashes between a 300-year-old vampire named Risika and her previous, human existence as one Rachel Weatere. The weaknesses in this venture, however, point to the author's youth. Risika's world-weary profundities have the ring of easy, adolescent cynicism (e.g., while visiting a favorite animal at a zoo, Risika says, ""[Humans] even cage themselves, though their bars are made of society, not steel""). Characters wander in and out of the story; a climactic showdown between Risika and her archenemy depends more on telling than on showing; and an 11th-hour surprise, though neatly planted, strains the narrative logic. But with the popularity of books such as Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, this precocious debut will likely find fans. Ages 12-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-17999-7
Prebound-Glued - 176 pages - 978-0-613-28537-7
Prebound-Glued - 147 pages - 978-0-7807-9993-6
Open Ebook - 63 pages - 978-0-375-89714-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 176 pages - 978-0-440-22816-5
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