Shelter Blood Haze
By Tara Schuler
Two guys, one girl, and two dark secrets that threaten to tear her world apart.
Alice Wright is a young vampire going to high school for the first time at the age of seventeen at the behest of her eccentric mother. In many ways, she’s more afraid of the human students than they would be of her.
She feels lost and awkward in human society, but she soon develops a strong bond with the cousin of one of her human classmates, nineteen year old Kai. He is beautiful, but somewhat of an enigma. She discovers a dark secret in Kai’s life, and she instantly wants to shelter him from the pain that has tormented him all his life.
Then she meets Maksim Augustine, the incredibly gorgeous guy who seems more like he should be a model than a high school student. She is overwhelmingly attracted to him physically, but her love for Kai causes her to continually push him away. Eventually, she discovers a frightening secret about Max, too.
But Max’s secret threatens to destroy everything…
Personally speaking, Tara Shuler’s first novel has a set of qualities that stunned me overall. Unlike the usual books that I have reviewed, the author has done an excellent job weaving in the essential elements that every novelist needs to adhere to when completing a work of art. Clearly, I think this work should be taken to a literary agent; it needs national attention.
I love the fact that this book is written from a vampire’s perspective. The spinoffs from what they do to blend within human civilization not only unusually interesting, but also innovative, unlike any stereotypical relationships between vampires and human beings. Although Alice has grown up as a sheltered vampire, she begins to make dramatic changes within the first day of school. As the novel progresses, Alice begins to develop the romantic feelings for one of her new friends, Kai. The only problem I could imagine happening is that someone would instantly label this as a ‘copy cat’ version of the original Twilight Saga or any other type of paranormal romances and obviously, no one wants to have another novel in their hands with the same redundant plotline. I just hope that is not the case.
The Really Good:
I like the fact that Tara has done a tremendous amount of effort to maintain my interests as both an author and a reader. Not only have I read this book beyond the first 10 pages, but I have made it to the 50th pages when I resumed! I love how the style of writing is fairly well balanced between the dialogue and plot, the book maintains an easy rhythm which makes her books work reading a few times over. I have looked at both the blurbs and the book covers and I must say that she definitely carries the weight of authority. If anyone wants to get their books sold, I would highly recommend looking to her work as a standard example of professional writing, seeing that from the elements contained in both of these suggest the author is seriously considering getting the reader’s attention.
The slight downfalls I think I have encountered in the book are the few sentence structures and weak openings/endings that are occasionally scattered throughout the book. For instance, no guy would ever use the word ‘enchanted’ to describe a classical piano piece, even if he wanted to flatter a girl. The other problem (as previously) discussed is the resemblance between this book and Twilight, which might require a few occasional tweaks in the book. I don’t think Kai or Alice’s mother could easily tell reveal the main character’s thoughts unless there is a deliberate intention of them having that capability. Apart from either one of these major issues, I honestly believe this book is worth a good read and people should buy this copy.
Parker’s Overall Grade: