Monday, May 9, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

"'Wait--did you--you just yawned!'  The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides.  He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips.  'What, imminent death isn't exciting enough for you?'

'Oh, stop pouting.  But, really, the widow's peak?  The pale skin?  The black cape?  Where did you even get that thing, a costume store?'

He raised himself to his full height and glared icily down at me.  'I'm going to suck the life from your pretty white neck.'

I sighed.  I hate the vamp jobs.  They think they're so suave.  It's not enough for them to slaughter and eat you like a zombie would.  No, they want it to be all sexy too..."

Paranormalcy had me glued to the pages right from the start.  It's Kiersten White's first book and the beginning of a trilogy, and it's a crazy fun read.  What I loved about it most was Evie, the central character.  She's got a hilarious, wicked tongue on her, but she's also quite strong and perceptive.    The plot is energetically paced, and the twists and turns of the story are imaginative and satisfying.

Evie is a teenage operative at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, where she has grown up (she was found, abandoned, as a baby and taken in by the IPCA when she was eight).  She has the unique ability to see through paranormal glamour, so that, for example,  she can see the shriveled corpse inside the hunky vampire, or the breathtaking faerie inside the human disguise.  When a shapeshifter named Lend breaks into her agency and is captured, she becomes interested in what she sees underneath--he is almost invisible, like "a person made of water and a hint of light".  While befriending Lend, Evie also has to deal with Reth, a faerie who wants to manipulate her in ways that she is drawn to and distrusts at the same time, and Vivian, a mysterious amoral killer who claims that Evie is her sister.  When the IPCA is destroyed, Evie and Lend go on the run, and Evie discovers that she's not who she thought she was. 

The only thing I don't like about this book is the cover.  I can't see Evie wearing a dress like this--it's all wrong for her--and the model's face is too generically pretty and blank.  The Evie in my imagination jumps off the page with her character and chutzpah.  I don't think she looks like this at all.

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