Savor by Megan Duncan
When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. In a world fueled by the power of blood, Claire quickly discovers the vampire royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.
Claire Miller is expected to do a few things on her eighteenth birthday: get her ID, donate blood to the vampires, and party all night. She's planning on hitting the clubs with her best friend, but the next day, she realizes that she has somehow stood out among the sea of humans. A visitor has come to see her, a representative from the royal family of vampires.
Claire's blood is the perfect type for the vampire royal family, and the visitor wants her to come back with him to live with the royal family, and to maybe become one of them. They have chosen her to be their heir. She is immediately introduced to the family, cleaned up, and quickly figures out who loves her and hates her.
Claire finds herself sucked into a place of blood, royalty, and politics almost immediately. Navigating through friendships and the romances that present themselves to her turns out to be trickier than she expected. Also, why did they choose her in the first place? What makes her so special to them, other than her blood? Could there be secrets buried among the family that she never knew existed?
Megan Duncan was actually the first author who ever contacted me, and the first person to ever ask me to review for her. I was really excited to review Released, but when she announced Savor, this book seemed even more up my alley. Megan Duncan seems to have hit the vampire trend at one of the perfect times, just when things are winding down but enough where people will still be interested.
With so many vampire books in the market, it seemed difficult for her to have hit anything new, but I liked how she pulled it off. The world that Claire lives in is one similar to House of Night or Morganville Vampires. I really love the idea of people knowing that vampires exist, and not the tried-and-true routine of having it be a smothering secret. In House of Night, it's a scientific and spiritual condition that everybody studies about and humans dread. In Morganville Vampires, the town has an almost unspoken agreement with the vampires, and it's part of their history.
In this world, humans over the age of eighteen are expected to report to donate blood to the vampires at intervals. It's almost like taxes, so that the vampires don't get hungry. This contributed to the idea that the vampires were good. There were no strange animal-like attacks, and no reasons for the humans to hate them. They were accepted, and that was a rare thing in this trend.
There was a slower world-building aspect of it towards the beginning, but it builds in intensity as the story goes on. Because it is rather slow at the beginning, the middle and end is fast and addictive to read!
I liked Claire. She seemed like somebody that I would be friends with. At first, I thought that she wouldn't be memorable. After a while, heroines seem to all sound the same. She didn't have an extreme identifying quality, but I don't think that she would blend into the background of this type of book. She was solid, and quieter at first, but she still had fun and you could identify with her voice. She wasn't that "average" I'm-just-like-you character that always seems to pop up in book, but she was like enough to us that you felt like you were reading some of your thoughts in her own.
My favorite character was definitely Robin though. She was energetic and friendly and she was definitely unique. She was playful and she definitely took away some of the foucs. I just wanted to hear about her!
While this book is mainly classified as a "romance", I didn't really see that much of it. Sure, there was romance, but it wasn't the main focus of the story. I felt that this book was mostly world-building and intrigue about the politics of it all.
Dmitry was likable as well, but I also wish that she would have chosen a different name for him. I get that that's a random thing to say, but there are way too many Dmitrys in YA! I mean, most of them are spelled differently, but there's even one in Vampire Academy. He was quieter and entertaining to read about. He was one of the better characters in the books too, but he didn't come into the story until later in the book, when we are introduced to the vampires of course.
Arrick was intense to say the least. He brought up so many emotions, deep-seated and at the surface. I felt that he was rather quick to say things, and I personally wouldn't have been attracted to him, but he worked for Claire. His character was pretty focused and narrow minded, but he was also really passionate about the things that he did speak about. Usually it's the quiet character who is emotional and overwhelming, but Arrick was just extremely potent as a character! Megan poured heart and soul into him.
I may have already mentioned this, but I need to pound this into the review: vampires were accepted! I loved this fact! While a lot of the world and general plotline was similar to some vampire lore already inflicted in the market, I can't remember reading one where being a vampire was considered a good thing! Humans weren't overly worshipful or like slaves to them. Vampires were put on a pedestal, without being considered above everybody else. They were on a different plane of being, but they were also like equals. I know that that doesn't make much sense, being equals but being worshipped, but it's kind of hard to explain the pure liking that humans had towards them.
I hated Claire's mother! Her mother was the most detestable, most obnoxious human being. She really forced her daughter to do everything and was completely blind to Claire's desires. I wanted to strangle her at the beginning of the book. I know that a character is written well when I actually feel like screaming at that character. I felt a deep seated loathing for her. What was wrong with that woman?
This story was so well written. If Released was good, Savor was absolutely fantastic! Megan has this way of making you think one way and then pulling the story in a complete other direction as if you had been going that way all along. I really love her style of writing for doing that because it's such a refreshing way of reading. It's intense and yanks you in different directions, and that can be jerky sometimes, but she pulls it all together at the end and you want to laugh at yourself for not realizing what she had been doing the entire time. She drops hints without being obvious, and then refocuses your attention at the end of those books and makes the little things huge!
The ending...ah the ending! She killed me with it! Holy mother of cliffhangers, I need the second book. I thought that Released had a crazy beat-my-head-against-the-wall ending but Savor killed it. I don't know how she does it!
I loved this book so much, it's ridiculous. I must have read it so quickly. I remember looking at the clock, reading, and then looking up when I finished it to see that it was a few hours later. It sucks you in (literally, haha!) and it is definitely recommended, which is a good thing, because I have a giveaway for y'all! There will be three winners.
First prize: SIGNED paperback copy (WINNER: Mary Preston)Second prize: ebook copy (WINNER: Reut)
Third prize: swag! (WINNER: Gabby)
Gabby, I can't find your email address so you'll have to email me within 24 hours to claim your prize. Thank you!
Comment to enter. You must be 13+ years old and have a valid way for me to reach you to enter. Thanks for entering! Giveaway ends on 11:59 PM on October 31, 2011.