Reviewed by Anastacia Zittel for Readers' Favorite
From My Cold Undead Hand (Where
the Vampires Are, Volume 1) by Marie Marshall is the first book in what
promises to be a thrilling, interesting take on vampire legend and
lore. Chevonne Kusnetsov is a teenager living in the near-distant
future, a world that you will recognize but it is subtly different from
our own. Chevonne is like any other normal teenager - she goes to
school, has friends, has a mother who worries about her, stays home
alone after school reading books, but her "job" is not the job of normal
teenagers - she researches and kills vampires. This isn't a Buffy the
Vampire Slayer world, where the vampires are all beautiful, but our
world where the vampires just want you dead. Chevonne is a Resistance
fighter, and she's out to save mankind.
Marshall does a fantastic job with creating an alternate world for us,
where the action happens at a breakneck pace. From using technology that
isn't developed yet, to using weapons not designed yet, to using
language and phrases not spoken yet, she creates a universe that is
strangely familiar to us, yet it's a place where you have to watch your
back or you'll be dead. Vampires aren't glamorous, it isn't romantic to
meet a vampire in the alley behind the school, and they most certainly
don't sparkle. Marshall also does a remarkable job of tying in the
classic vampire novel, Dracula, but makes you believe that it's all
real. This is a book that will leave you breathless for more!
This is a gentle and engaging story and
an excellent resource for teachers of younger children to use in the
classroom as well as parents at home.
The story begins with a clear explanation of the witches to set the
context plus, when reading the book to children, they can join in the
fun by coming up with ideas for pink objects!
There is a carefully crafted build-up so that the children are quickly
‘hooked’ wanting to know what the children are going to wish for and
whether or not their wishes will be granted. The text also engages with
the children asking them questions linked to recognising good manners – a
lovely way to help children learn good manners.
Finally, the children are asked to think about what they would wish for
which again could lead to lots of discussion linked to thinking of
others before yourself.
I wonder what Mrs Polly Pink-Witches’ friends (Mrs Scarlett Red-Witch
and Mrs Marigold Yellow-Witch) are going to be famous for? More food for
thought for the children!
The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows...
Radomir Lascek and his band of unruly pirates, sailing upon his ship,
the Solar Wind, continue to hide from the Unicate and their evil
associates. However, there is more at stake now. Two data capsules in
the Captain's possession explain that the Rebellion is on a similar path
as the Unicate, and both forces could spell the end of the world if the
Captain doesn't act soon.
When the Captain's secret station in
Antarctica is attacked, he is forced to take matters into his own hands.
He employs Federi, the part-time gypsy chef/master assassin and Paean, a
ship's musician and budding genetic scientist to embark on a mission to
assassinate as many of the top Unicate Officials as they can.
Reluctantly, Federi teaches Paean the art of killing, something the
fifteen-year-old finds to be a necessary evil in this futuristic world
they are forced to survive in.
Struggling to deal with the
burgeoning feelings he has for Paean, Federi confronts the "killing
animal" that dwells within his heart. He knows he has the soul of an
assassin. His greatest fear is that he will lose the love and admiration
from the young girl, a certain loss he knows he could not endure.
the story unfolds the reader discovers Federi and Paean share a type of
gypsy intuition, a mystical connection that belongs only to them. This
psychic ability blossoms into a deep love between the two, even though
Federi is much older than Paean. This is gypsy love at its finest, and I
was bewitched by the touching love story that drew me deeper into the
The book is long but filled with so much intrigue and
suspense you gladly read on to unravel the various mysteries that are
part of the whole adventure aboard the Solar Wind. For me, this book
delves deeper into the characters and gives you a glimpse into the
mechanics of their personalities. I like these pirates. Their humanity
speaks to me. I can't wait to dive into the third book in the series,
Freedom Fighter. Stay tuned…
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars