Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Rules for Vampires

Foulkes, Alexandra. Rules for Vampires
November 23rd 2021 by Aladdin
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Leo is a 111-year-old vampire who was taken by her parents and raised by Lady Sieglinde and her husband along with older sister Emmeline who is unfortunately stuck forever in the body of a two year old. When her Birthnight approaches and she fails miserably at making her first kill in order to drink blood, she is afraid to tell her parents. Her plan had been to be invited in to the local orphanage, St. Frieda's Home for Unfortunate Children and take one of the children, but this ends poorly with a spectacular fire that results in the death of one of the residents, Minna, along with the terrible and cruel Orphanmaster. Minna becomes a ghost, and the two have only seven nights to dispatch the Orphanmaster before he gains power and is able to terrorize the area. Putting together a potion to release his ghost is difficult, and Leo relies partially on family retainer Marged for help, as well as a sentient spider, Rodrigo, who often accompanies Leo. Vampires and ghosts aren't supposed to hang out together, but Leo is glad to finally have a friend. Will the two be able to take care of the Orphanmaster and not get in trouble with Leo's parents?
Strengths: Leo's world is a rather dark, grim one which the cover captures perfectly. Being a vampire seems to have very few perks, and Leo is struggling with many common tween issues, like wanting friends and dealing with difficult siblings on top of everything else. She must also save her world from the dread Orphanmaster. The best part of this is the well-developed vampire lore, with the traditional rules of no garlic or silver, being invited in, avoiding the sun, etc., being expanded upon. The plot is well paced and moves quickly, and Minna and Leo work well together. A great Halloween read  A great Halloween read with a decent ook/ick factor!
Weaknesses: I've had a lot more students asking for vampire books, but they are usually looking for Twilight because their mothers read it. Need to investigate and see if this is the flavor that they want. This might be more of an elementary title. 
What I really think: Readers who enjoyed Brewer's Vladimir Tod series, Ursula Vernon's Castle Hangnail, Emerson's Oliver Nocturne, or the graphic novel Ham Helsing will enjoy this fresh look at a Halloween worthy young vampire. 

Ms. Yingling

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