Pros: Interesting worldbuilding and characters
Cons: Incomplete, and a bit matter-of-fact
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Veronica Shade’s The Vampire Queen: A Young Adult Paranormal Romance opens with Hadley discovering that her best friend Iris has been kidnapped by vampires. The vampires demand that Hadley trade herself for Iris within one hour. Hadley appears to have some sort of supernatural ability–she can discover useful spells by reading tea leaves. When she rushes to find Esme, her mentor, instead she finds Finn, who’s helping Esme out. Finn and Hadley use a spell to get them to the vampires quickly, and Hadley determines to trade herself for Iris.
The main vampire wants to “cure” Hadley of an aspect of her supernatural inheritance so she can’t interfere in his plans. No one ever explains why he doesn’t just kill her, since we find out he’s killed at least one other in furtherance of his plans. It’s also never explained why, if Hadley was just going to trade herself for Iris as demanded, she had to do a shapeshifting spell with Finn first (except as a convenient way to give them the shapeshifting/mind-talking powers for later). It’s never explained how Finn knows so much about Hadley’s birth father (among other things). Events tend to be detailed a little matter-of-factly for my taste. We’re given no idea of how Hadley manages to disappear to the vampires without her parents reporting her missing. Also, while this book is billed as a paranormal romance, the only romance is Hadley thinking Finn looks cute; there isn’t enough time nor detail for more than that.
The worldbuilding is intriguing. I’m not yet clear on what sort of supernatural abilities allow Hadley to use spells and read tea leaves, but that’s a neat hook. Hadley’s supernatural inheritance should certainly make for more interesting stories.
This story doesn’t stand alone all that well–too much information missing for that–but it did intrigue me.