As soon as I began reading BRACED2BITE by new author Serena Robar, I was immediately reminded of another one of my favorite vampire series--the UNDEAD series by MaryJanice Davidson. Both authors have a smart-mouthed heroine, an annoying yet total hottie vampire hero, and a set of circumstances that makes you throw everything you ever thought was true about vampires right out the window. And believe me when I say that this comparison is not a bad thing! Ms. Robar has managed to pen a fun, exciting vampire story that will have you reading long into the night--and the comparison to Ms. Davidson is nothing but outright flattery.
Sixteen-year-old Colby Blanchard is the typical blond-haired, blue-eyed cheerleader. She's also very intelligent, has plans to get hunky Aidan Reynolds to ask her to the homecoming dance, and, while she's at it, will finalize plans for her upcoming seventeenth birthday party. What Colby didn't plan on, or enter into her BlackBerry, was getting knocked out by the Eastside Attacker on the way home from a football game. Where, she might add, Aidan the slimeball went off with Allison to an after-game party.
When Colby comes to and returns home, she's very surprised to learn she's been missing for nearly forty-eight hours. Even more surprising, though, is drinking her mother's blood and healing her wound when she cuts herself with a knife. Oddly enough, although frightened, it's not until her Great-Aunt Chloe points out the puncture wounds on her neck that Colby realizes something weirder than a nighttime attack has happened to her. Colby is now a vampire, with the pale, pasty skin, yellowish eyes, and thirst for blood to prove it.
Her family seems to take the change in their daughter relatively in stride--Aunt Chloe even had to stake a few vampires years ago during the War when she was a nurse. Her father rushes to help in the only way he knows how (he's an orthodontist) and makes her a hideous headgear apparatus so she can feed, since her canine teeth were removed years ago. So not only is she a freak vampire, she's a mutant freak vampire.
To add insult to injury, two vampires come a-calling, informing Colby that she's been summoned to make an appearance to the Tribunal for, and get this, being Undead without a license. The fact that Thomas, the cute, helpful vampire, wants to help her make her case before the Tribunal is one thing. The fact that he's asked to be her Executioner if the Tribunal rejects her plea for a license is quite another.
BRACED2BITE is a fun, hilarious read. All of the characters are well-rounded, and the fast-paced dialogue makes the book a delight to read. If you like vampire stories with a dash of romance and a whole bunch of humor, this is definitely the book for you. And thankfully, the next book in the series, FANGS4FREAKS, is already scheduled for release in November 2006.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"