Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Review: Die for Me

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Title: Die for Me (Revenants ~ Book 1)
Author: Amy Plum
Publication Date: May 10 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062004018
Length: 341 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Do you really need to ask? I mean look at it.  Absolutely stunning.
Point of View: 1st person, following Kate

My Rating: 4 Stars

“I'm a revenant, not a vampire, chérie.”

What is a revenant (rev-uh-nuh-nt) you ask?

The official definition would be a person who returns or a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost.  Sound intriguing?  Yeah, I thought so also which is why I was pretty excited to start this series.

The story follows Kate who has recently had her own share of devastation.  Both of her parents have died and she and her older sister Georgia have moved from New York to Paris to live with their grandparents.  I must stop here to mention the location.  The author does such a wonderful job of describing the City of Light.  I would find it difficult to not be swept away in a whirlwind romance with a setting such as Paris.  I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris before and I would love to return and reading this book has only heightened that desire.  

Enter Vincent.  Kate and Vincent meet quite early on in the book and I am here to report that it is pure Insta Love.  I am honestly not bothered by this but I know that it can annoy a lot people so wanted to put it out there for those who may find it irritating.  I for one can understand the concept of instant attractions and think that when thrust into the circumstances that a lot of these paranormal books lead their characters into, I can see how feelings are more intense than in normal circumstances.

Vincent is a revenant.  It is explained that these are beings who have died in the act of saving somebody.  Their body is then reanimated (think zombie but without the brain eating) with a fierce need to continue saving others, it is their sole purpose.  They do not die each time a life is saved but if they do die then they simply awake again at the age they were when they first died.  Even more interesting is that they do not sleep however for 3 days a month they become dormant.  In the first day both their body and spirit are shut down.  However in the second day they become Volant.  In this state their body still appears 'dead' but they are in a spirit/ghost form and they move about in this form and can even communicate with other revenants.  In the third day they awake but they are very weak and must use that last day to rest upon where they find themselves as good as new the next day where the cycle is restarted.

Honestly, it may just be me but I found this entire concept so unique.  I for one have not read any other stories like it and being a fan of the paranormal genre I loved having a new 'species' for a lack of a better word.  Don't get me wrong... I love me some vampires but it really made for a nice change.  I also love that they have a purpose.  It is not explained why not everybody who dies becomes a revenant and maybe those answers will come in later books (this being a trilogy) but the thought of them dying originally in the service of another person and now they go around saving others... it is just a really nice thought.

There are bad guys, of course there are... aren't there always?  They are the Numa.  They are the same as revenants but in reverse.  In that when they died they were not saving somebody but rather taking a life or betrayed somebody someone to their death.  So yeah, they are really bad.

I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed this book Kate did bother me a great deal at the beginning.  Obviously I have never been in the situation of being faced with something paranormal being thrown into my lap.  But if I did have this happen I would hope that I would handle it a bit better than Kate.  One minute she was all in love at first sight, then she finds out the truth, then she is all 'oh... deep down I always knew there was something more to Vincent'.  Then she is all 'I can do this, I know I can' only to turn around and be 'I can't do this, please leave me alone.'  *sigh*  Luckily once she finally decides that she does in fact want to be with Vincent (and she stops calling him and his 'family' monsters) I started to like her.  She proved herself to be a very strong character toward the end of the book and I think she will only grow in this capacity... at least I hope so.

I found the side characters really enjoyable.  Vincent's family are made up of other revenants and they refer to each other as their Kindred.  Jean-Baptiste, Charlotte, Charles, Ambrose, Gaspard and Jules.  oooOOOooohhh Jules... I do love him.  He is flirty, snarky and fun.... but I think I can see a bit of that dreaded phrase, you know the one.  There are two words, first word starts with an L and the second word starts with a T.  Yep, Love triangle.  However, this is just my initial impression as I have not even read the synopsis or any other reviews from Until I Die, which is book two.  I'm not saying I think Kate is going to reciprocate the feelings but Jules just seems to be overly friendly with her.  More than just in teasing Vincent by flirting with her... but we shall see if it leads to anything.

All in all I would suggest this book to any paranormal genre lover.  Also, if you have ever wanted to visit or if you have visited and simply loved Paris then you will also love this book.  I felt as though I was walking down the Seine with Kate and will say that it is one of the most romantic places for a book to be set.  Add a swoonworthy character such as Vincent and you have all you really need.

“I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate.  I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead."  Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you.  To give you more than a normal boyfriend could.  I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you.”

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