Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review: Nocturnal (Noctalis Series, #1) by Chelsea Cameron

Nocturnal (Noctalis Series)

Author: Chelsea Cameron

Purchase on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Ava-Claire Sullivan isn't one for doing the expected. Especially when she finds out her mother's cancer is terminal. After a crying session in the local cemetery where she's attacked by one strange guy and saved by another, she doesn't call the cops. Because those guys definitely weren't your average hooligans.

And the one who sort-of saved her? Well, he's odd. He doesn't seem to breathe or smile or have anything better to do than wait in the cemetery for Ava to come back. Which she does. Call it morbid curiosity. Even after he warns her that he's dangerous, she can't stop wanting to see him, talk to him, be with him.

There's something about Peter that provides a much-needed escape from her mother's diagnosis and her tenuous relationship with her father. Even her best friends Jamie and Texas don't know what it's like to face death. But Peter does. He already has. He also made a promise a long time ago that could destroy both of them.

When everything in your life is falling apart, what are you willing to give up to hold onto the one thing that could last forever?

Review: Vampires are one of the biggest themes within the paranormal genre and over the last few years they have gone from being portrayed as terrifying predators to sparkly controlling stalkers or so human-like they shouldn’t even be called vampires. With Nocturnal I had expected a ghost story (I don’t know why. Quite possibly because I had read the synopsis to Whisper, first book in Cameron’s Whisper Trilogy, and thought the Nocturnal would approach the same concept) but instead I was surprised to find a book of vampires. I haven’t been a big fan of the newer versions of vamps since they all seem to come off sounding the same. I was even more surprised at the fact that I liked the version of vampires Cameron created.

Ava, the female lead within Nocturnal who happens to narrate the book, has her world shatter at the news of her mother’s terminal illness. From the moment the book opens, the reader is thrown full force into Ava’s heartache, anger, resentment, and fear over facing her mother’s death sentence. Cameron does a beautiful and moving jump at showcasing Ava’s emotional rollercoaster. Emotions are often hard to capture and Cameron did a pretty lovely job. There was a good deal of repetition though and times where the scenes were dragged out so the emotions were too heavy handed but overall, not too shabby.

I haven’t fully been able to decide how I feel about Ava’s character. I can completely understand the pain and heartache she faces over the situation with her mother; I went through a similar situation with my own mother. I completely understand why she pretends to be strong, chooses to put distance between herself and her friends, prefers breaking down alone and keeping her true feelings to herself. When tragedy strikes, everyone has his or her own way of dealing with it and I can relate to how Ava dealt with her own. So in that sense I felt a connection with her and give her props for having the strength to get up everyday and keeping trying to give her mom a sense of normalcy and laughter so her mother can enjoy however much time she has left. But Ava also did some stupid crap I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes over (i.e. going to parties and getting drunk when she knew she shouldn’t, hanging out in a cemetery alone when she was already attacked in the same cemetery!, trusting a total stranger with her feelings and her life when said stranger threatened to kill her).

Ava may be strong with her mother but she is too much of a doormat with her friends, especially her best friend Tex which I didn’t understand. She gives into doing stupid things because her best friend tells her to instead of standing her ground and telling her friend to get over it. I also didn’t like the way Ava treated her father. How could she be so understanding with her mother but not with her father? Her father had to endure the same tragedy. Ava just acted too much like a brat with her father.

Peter was a very interesting character. He starts off seeming hard of emotions and deathly scary, literally. It takes a while for Peter to open up and let Ava in which was a nice way to have their relationship develop instead of them being all over each other from the moment they meet. There is a dark and ageless charm to Peter’s character. He moves and speaks with a deliberate patience and wisdom. I also liked the physical features to Peter’s character. He’s gorgeous but doesn’t have this ridiculous ego you would expect. He also doesn’t completely look like what you expect a vampire to look like. It was a nice little change. The only issue I had with the writing for his character was the fact the scenes where Peter narrated came off too telling, everything was dictated to the reader instead of experienced.

Tex and Jamie, Ava’s best friends, play the secondary characters alongside Viktor and Ivan, Peter’s brothers. I had moments where I enjoyed Tex and moments I couldn’t stand her character. She comes off too bossy and shallow. But there are scenes where she actually shows her heart and shows she cares about more stuff than just boys and clothes. Jamie was one of my favorite characters. He’s sweet as candy, adorable, and a great friend. He has such a big heart and truly cares about the people in his life despite the fact that he is facing such a hard life. I was annoyed since the author seemed to bypass Jamie’s situation. Ava brings it up a few times and makes some sad attempts at paying attention to Jamie but doesn’t really do anything to help then Jamie’s situation is thrown under the rug without any real resolve.
Viktor and Ivan aren’t in too many scenes and I would like to read more of them. Ivan is such the bad boy vamp but you like him for it. He doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what he is. Viktor carries himself with a quiet strength and deep wisdom. I look forward to reading more of his character.

The Claiming is one of the big moments in the plot and it was pretty predictable. I mean it’s been done in other vampire books before. I didn’t understand why Ava didn’t put up much of a fight. She just let’s Peter pretty much hold her down and do what he wants. Seriously?? Ava talks a big game about defending herself if someone came at her and standing her own ground and not being afraid to speak her mind but she’s only ever like that with her father who doesn’t deserve for her to be. The idea behind The Claiming is okay and presents a big conflict for Ava and Peter; I just would have preferred the scene coming off differently than it did.

Di, the real villain in the book, has only one real scene which I suppose works since the author wanted to use the first book to establish the characters and relationships so that didn’t really bother me. As a reader, you can tell Di is definitely cunning, selfish, and powerful. I look forward to reading more of her character as well.

The curse that binds Peter, Ivan and Viktor to Di I liked. It was a clever way to show how words have power and can harm as well as heal. The first book doesn’t really establish HOW the curse is binding but I’m guessing it’s more explained as the series goes on.

The pacing and fluidity of the story are done well. The suspense is tension filled and the world building is detailed just as well. The romance is built pretty well, if not somewhat shallow at the beginning. The action scenes really only consist of like three and the big meeting with Di is too anticlimactic because it ends so quickly there isn’t much of a buildup.

Overall, Nocturnal was an enjoyable and good read. I would recommend the book to fans of the paranormal romance and supernatural genres. 

About the Author: Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Nocturnal, Nightmare, and Neither the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles about a girl with a dying mother who meets an immortal boy are available now. The fourth and final book, Neverend, will be available in 2013. Whisper, about a girl who is alive, a boy who isn't and the complications that go along with their relationship, released June 16 and is the first in a trilogy. She is also the author of My Favorite Mistake, a New Adult Contemporary Romance.

Where to Find the Author

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

TeamNerd Features!