Saturday, November 7, 2015

G550 Book Review of Ourselves by S.G. Redling

Name of Book: Ourselves

Author: S.G. Redling

ISBN: 978-1477820391

Publisher: 47North, Seattle

Type of book: Vampires, Nahan, bees, storytelling, cult, coming-of-age, career, rituals, tradition, 2000s, humans

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

An ancient, nature-loving race, the Nahan have protected their secret world by cultivating the myths of fanged, bloodsucking monsters that haunt legends. Yet they walk through our world as our coworkers and our neighbors, hiding in plain sight and coexisting in peace. They survive?and they prosper.

A shy young dreamer, Tomas wanders through his life with help from his good friends and influential family on the ruling Council. Now, he's decided his future lies with the Nahan's most elite class: the mysterious Storytellers. But his family is troubled by his new choice?and by his new girlfriend, Stell, a wild, beautiful, and deadly outcast from a fanatical Nahan sect.

As Tomas descends into the dark wonders of the Nahan's most powerful culture, Stell answers her own calling as an exceptional assassin. But when a lethal conspiracy threatens their destinies, Tomas and Stell must unite their remarkable talents against the strongest?and most sinister?of their kind.

Characters:

There are quite a few characters such as Tomas, Stell, Antoine, and Tomas's cousins. In beginning Tomas struck me as very shy and uncertain about himself, as if he doesn't know how to really live his life and he often depends on his two cousins for survival. Stell is a runaway from a vampire cult and she is best described as rebellious, independent and a bit angry. Frankly I'm not surprised at her career choice in Ourselves. There are other characters as well such as Antoine who could be seen as the male version of Stell, but besides these three, the others didn't really stick in my mind.

Theme:

No idea what the theme should have been

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from many characters' points of view. I felt that the beginning of the story is pretty strong, especially when Stell and Tomas meet. I also was very intrigued by Stell's background and would have wanted to know more about her. The middle and ending were a bit confusing for me because I'm not sure why they decided to do what they did and what motivated them. I also was pretty confused by the politics that were going on.

Author Information:
(From amazon.com)


Biography

After a ridiculously normal childhood spent fighting with my siblings in the woods of West Virginia, I graduated from Georgetown University with an English degree. To my parents' chagrin, I parlayed that fine education into a series of jobs including waitress, monument tour guide, and sheepskin packer before settling in as a morning radio host in Huntington, West Virginia.

I tend to stroll blithely into strange situations and take adolescent pride in surviving them. Some of my favorites: jumping from an airplane (recommended), jumping from a moving tAfter a ridiculously normal childhood spent fighting with my siblings in the woods of West Virginia, I graduated from Georgetown University with an English degree. To my parents' chagrin, I parlayed that fine education into a series of jobs including waitress, monument tour guide, and sheepskin packer before settling in as a morning radio host in Huntington, West Virginia.

I tend to stroll blithely into strange situations and take adolescent pride in surviving them. Some of my favorites: jumping from an airplane (recommended), jumping from a moving train in Hungary (not recommended), getting lost in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, and being locked in a dining car on a midnight train through the Carpathians; and winning a heated argument over the schematics of the Battlestar Galactica.

These days, I spend a lot of time in pajamas and--for reasons too complicated to explain--I am no longer shocked to find wildlife in my house. For me, everything is a story and the story is everything. Getting to tell my stories? Greatest thing ever.


Opinion:

Vampires. One word and already the reader is either picturing the Twilight vampires that sparkle in the day or is picturing the tormented souls vampires that go out in the night. What the reader isn't picturing are vampires that are able to procreate, that have very fascinating rituals and that live and work among the ordinary humans. They also aren't picturing the vampires that fall in love with their own kind and that aren't instinctual and could choose when to kill and when to leave alone. Curious? These are the type of vampires that the reader will encounter in Ourselves. Despite the late review, I really did enjoy reading the story and seeing a different side of vampires that's not explored in today's conscious mind as well as adding very complex layers to these vampires' personality and complexes. These vampires are not ashamed of who they are, but pride fills their very beings at the long and complex history that's woven through their souls. Also, the book is about 320 pages, not 800+ as stated in goodreads and amazon.

My apologies for publishing the review so late

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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