Okay, I am going to do a bit of gushing. I was first introduced to Kailin Gow's work with The Phantom Diaries, which I instantly fell in love with. I then went on to read Bitter Frost, which I greatly enjoyed and now with her newest series, The Stoker Sisters, Ms. Gow has won a place in my heart and library as one of my absolute favorite authors. Her ability to take a well-known classic story (in this case Bram Stoker's Dracula) and create an amazing story which includes bits and pieces of the original well-known stories, intertwining them with her own mind-blowing imagination and creating a "what-if" scenario that will leave the reader racing through pages to see what happens next, is magnificent.
The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Dracula, is the first in a new series which focuses on two sisters, who are as different as night and day. There is the innocent and very "human" younger sister, Sadie, and then there is the bit older and very non-innocent and seductress-y sister, Alexis. Both are vampires, Sadie turned to saved her life, while Alexis turned on her own will. Sadie does everything in her power to lead a normal life, not becoming the monsterious stereotypical vampire by feeding and murdering, but choosing her food sources while trying to clean up the lesser desirables of the world - though never going as far as draining and killing them. Alexis, however, takes her feeding too far one night, draining a victim and becoming a vampire who must constantly feast, draining and leaving victims dead in her wake.
As if being a vampire isn't difficult enough, Sadie falls for a handsome boy in school, Keegan. She must deal with her sister trying to sink her fangs into Keegan, while at the same time watching as her sister tries everything in her power to seduce him. How can Sadie ever compete with her sister's sultriness and determination to get whatever she wants. As the truth about Keegan comes to light, the lives of both girls change forever and Sadie must prove that she is not of the evil vampires. Can she do it before it's too late and can she help her sister before she loses her forever to the dark and brutal side of vampirism?
Though geared toward the young adult genre, The Stoker Sisters is a book that easily transcends that age group and will be adored by adults as well. This is a story that has suspense, romance, urban fantasy, and an all around intriguing appeal. Kailin Gow does an amazing job in her characterization of the girls. I honestly found myself not being able to stand Alexis and adoring Sadie. Both sisters are strong, however Alexis is the perfect antagonist that adds conflict to the story, thereby making it increasingly interesting and never dull. I also found myself being pulled toward Keegan, who holds great spirit and appeal.
I truly cannot express my love of this story enough and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second in the series, The Stoker Sisters: Angels and Hunters, due for release February 8, 2011. As a side note, I do want to emphasize the fact that, though Kailin Gow's stories may stem from the idea of a classic book (this one, Dracula and The Phantom Diaries from Phantom of the Opera) those books and the knowledge of them are not needed to fully appreciate and enjoy Ms. Gow's books. However, after reading Ms. Gow's works, interest in the classics may rear it's head, lol.
If you have not read Kailin Gow, I truly hope you do so very soon. You are truly missing out on a wondrous author. The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Dracula is the perfect place to start and with the holidays coming up, what an amazing gift to bestow upon someone!
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