Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review! Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater

Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry... a new, horrific, unimaginable way...

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.

But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation...or her death?

Title: Pretty When She Dies (Pretty When She Dies #1)

Author: Rhiannon Frater

Genres: Horror, Supernatural, Vampires

Publication Date: February 12, 2009 
Let me start by saying, I haven't been a huge fan of vampires since...well, since the sparkly vamps became popular with teenage girls. But, Rhiannon Frater's vampires blow those glittery vamps away! This is the way a vampire book should read - full of hardcore, scary-as-hell, bloodthirsty vamps. Not to mention the undead that rise with necromancer powers. It reminded me of Bram Stoker and is filled with fascinating old-school vampire lore.

After waking up buried in a grave in the forest, Amaliya is on her own. First, she has to figure out how to control her thirst for blood, and that's no easy task. I am fascinated with the way her dysfunctional family on one side balances with the uber cool grandmother and cousin on the other.  Though Amaliya's upbringing has been rough, she's a tough cookie, and is desperately trying to make a place for herself in the world.

None of the characters are cookie-cutter; they all have their own well developed personalities, and Rhiannon Frater brings them all to life. The dialogue is realistic and the pace was spot-on.

Though there are explicit scenes of gore, sex, and horror, they were appropriate for this type of book. With vampires battling undead, there is bound to be blood and dismembered body parts, and, of course, bloodlust comes with the territory. The only negative I have about this book were the typos and incorrect usage of words, like "insure" instead of "ensure."

Fans of good old-school vampire fiction will enjoy this book. I'm already looking forward to finishing Pretty When She Kills, the second book in the trilogy.


Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas, where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.

During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title As The World Dies, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, The First Days, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, Fighting to Survive won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.

As The World Dies books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, The First Days, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, Fighting to Survive, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, Siege, will be released in April 2012.

She is also the author of The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters, Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel and two novels in the Vampire Bride Series (The Tale of the Vampire Bride and The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride). All her works have been optioned for either TV or film.

Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas, with her husband and is now a full-time writer. She is represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media agency.

Read the Pretty When She Kills review here.

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