30 August 2010


Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)
Author: Nicole Peeler
UK Publisher: Orbit
UK Publication date: 2010
Genre: Paranormal, fantasy, romance

Summary (from Goodreads): Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie's lamp.

Review: When I first came across this book, it was undoubtedly the cover that caught my eye - it looks so cool. (I'm bad I know.) Whilst the cover suggests a cutesy/goth YA book, the content is a whole lot more sexual and explicit. Which would explain why the book has its own warning on the back.

Jane True is twenty-something, living in a small coastal town with her ailing father. She has the tortured background that seems to be a common feature of YA novels: her mother disappeared when she was a child, she looks after her father, and she is ostracised by the community because of a tragic event that blighted her past.

After finding a body in the sea, Jane becomes embroiled in a supernatural world she never knew she existed. The plot follows Jane as she learns about the gnomes, nahuals and succubi living around her and discovers she herself is a halfling, since her mother was a selkie in the form of a seal. With her new love interest, vampire Ryu, they investigate why so many halfings are being killed off. There is plenty of action especially in the second half of the book, although as a whole it is well paced and fast moving. The first half of the book sets up a lot of the context and world building, which may have dragged a little in this book, but will set the scene for the rest of the series.

Jane's character and her inner dialogue, often her libido, is sassy, funny and realistic, voicing thoughts we all have but wouldn't necessarily share. There are a number of pop culture and literary references which might slow the reading if the audience doesn't get the reference, but I admittedly just skipped over them (yes, again, I'm bad).

The relationship between Jane and Ryu is very steamy and sexual; not that I mind a bit of sex. There is a limit on how much is necessary and realistic - personally I can't imagine many people would be in the mood after fighting in a big battle and getting choked to near death. The relationship itself lacks chemistry and substance, which may be down to the fact that we know little about Ryu, other than he is a vampire and investigator, and therefore have little investment in him as a character. Building on his character would definitely have helped carry the story and their 'hot-for-it' bond.

Anyan, a barghest/dog, keeps popping on along the way to watch over Jane and help out in desperate times. He's one you certainly want to find out more about.

Despite its minor flaws I enjoyed reading the Tempest Rising and imagining the world that Peeler sets up. Its not the kind of book I would necessarily want to re-read, but I would buy the second book, Tracking the Tempest, to see what happens next in Jane True's world (and hope that perhaps there is a little more to Ryu than meets the eye).

If you enjoy UF with a big dollop of sex on the side, then I would add this to your list next time you go to the bookstore.

Rating: 4*


Jamie Gibbs said...

I've got a bit of an ax to grid when it comes to sex in YA/UF novels; it seems that many books add in a tonne of sexual content because it's 'the done thing'. There's a similar phenomenon with adding vampires, and more often than not the two are combined. I'm glad that Tempest Rising is a good read, even though both the vampire love interest and the sex seem superfluous to the story.

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say wonderful
blog! I had a quick question which I'd like to ask if you don't mind.
I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior
to writing. I've had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Kudos!