Friday, November 02, 2012

Acceptance – review

Author: Keri M Peardon

First published: 2012

Contains spoilers

The blurb: For more than two thousand years, a small community of humans has lived in harmony with vampires, giving their blood and obedience in exchange for protection. And for all that time, it’s been a peaceful occupation.

When Kalyn Reid comes of age and pledges herself to the vampires, she has no reason to worry. She’s paired with Anselm for her training, and she couldn’t ask for a kinder, more patient mentor. She also couldn’t ask for anyone better-looking.

But before she has a chance to learn her new responsibilities—or get a date—her idyllic life goes up in flames. Without warning, the humans and vampires in her group are murdered by a strange new type of vampire and the few survivors are forced to flee.

Anselm and his brother, Micah, vow to hunt down the murderer, and they take Kalyn with them, thinking they can keep her safe. But when the killer finds them first, it’s they who must rely on her if any of them are to survive.

The review: I am, fairly much, bored of the vampire romance novel. If I read about the undead I want evil (or at least shades of grey), power and violence, not star crossed lovers. So if a book seems pitched at romance then it needs to either be very well written, as you cannot go wrong with strong prose, or have a very engaging lore.

All the above seems a little unfair as an opening for my review of Acceptance for, whilst there is a romance element and it may seem very on the mind of main human character Kalyn, it is not the main thrust of the book, more the background of our two main characters. There may be a blossoming of attraction and, perhaps, the pairing of a sixteen year old girl with a nine hundred year old man, Anselm, might seem inappropriate – but in complete fairness that very inappropriateness is considered and explored within the text. Beyond the romance/crush is an entire ocean of tragedy for the main character, as her world is torn apart – a world that, from her entire life, has involved vampires.

The vampires (or at least the first group we meet in detail) are called Canichmeh and their lore suggests that they are descended from the biblical Cain, whose children were told by Lilith that they could live forever if they drank blood. The Canichmeh can walk in sunlight, only consume blood, can control minds and are killed by massive trauma. Whilst the kinship of vampires to Cain is a trope if not originally invented then certainly developed and honed by White Wolf for their Vampire the Masquerade game, Peardon actually takes it a step further by insinuating that these vampires are Jewish of origin. Certainly their council resides in Jerusalem and many of their leaders are Jewish (some of whom try to remain orthodox despite the blood diet – after all “Drinking blood is not kosher. Very not kosher.”)

The Canichmeh have human associates called Yaechahre. At sixteen a human can pledge as a Yaechahre; owned by the vampires for their blood, the human receives the protection of the vampires in return. In many parts of the world this is very much a business association though the Yaechahre and Canichmeh in the group Kalyn grew up in are much closer, more like family.

Peardon, from the start of the book, introduces a second type of vampire – just discovered by the Canichmeh and known by them as Imuechmehah or the others. These vampires are killed by sunlight, can eat human food as well as needing blood and turn with a bite, where the Canichmeh must exchange blood, and it seems the two races might be doomed to clash head on. This is the real story of Acceptance, played out across the backdrop of Anselm and Kalyn’s story and it was the interesting lore and the bigger picture that captured my interest through the book and makes me want to continue reading the series. 6.5 out of 10.

2 comments:

keripeardon said...

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

I'll be honest: I'm still trying to figure out where my trilogy fits in the scheme of the publishing world.

I didn't want to call it Young Adult, because it seems too violent (and, further on, too sexual) for YA. But has a coming-of-age storyline that you normally don't see in adult books.

I only recently learned of a newly-emerging genre called "New Adult," which specifically handles the teen-to-adult transition, with protagonists (and readers) in their late teens and early 20's.

I'm likewise reluctant to classify the series as a paranormal romance because romance isn't the main plot; it's a subplot. And it's not a traditional sort of romance at that; there isn't a happily ever after. (Maybe I need to reword my blurb so it doesn't sound so romantic.)

I suppose it ultimately boils down to a coming-of-age story in the midst of a classic good-versus-evil fight to the death.

I have a lot of background information on my vampires (their creation myths, where they fit into history, etc.) on my website: http://www.keripeardon.com/Acceptance/Acceptance_Trilogy.htm

Thanks again!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Keri, the label "romance" does not do it a justice at all - it is much more than that (if that at all).

Really enjoyed the unusual lore and the fact that there was an evil and a bluring of morality.

I also liked the fact that you did address aspects like the appropriateness of the protagonists relationship.