Saturday, July 23, 2011

Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress by Christine E. Schulze

He leaned his head close to my ear and whispered, "Are you afraid?"

Chrystine had had more reason than any other time of her life, even when facing one of the rampages of her drunken father. But she wasn't afraid. And that was odd, because although Aaryn, the person asking her that question, was her best friend, he was also a vampire. In fact, she was surrounded by hundreds of vampires.

But they weren't your typical vampires. They were Stregoni Benefici, the good kind. Nor was Chrystine your typical elf. She was the Golden Healer, and she alone could save the Stregoni Benefici from the Dark Enchantress. But can Chrystine figure out the Dark Enchantress' secret and defeat the evil vampires without destroying the good ones as well, without destroying Aaryn? Can Chrystine unravel the dark secret Aaryn keeps so carefully guarded and show him that by choosing to serve good instead of evil, he is still capable of being loved and his past is forgiven?

Find out as you read for yourself the story of the first vampire.

The premise of this book is quite interesting. I’ve never before encountered a paranormal fiction that is classified as Christian fiction, so I was curious to see how the author could manage it. In some ways it is a nice change, but I’m afraid it doesn’t really work as successfully as it could have. It’s hard to think of fairies and vampires as Christian. It seems forced.

The story has some very nice moments, some page-turning moments that make it an easy, quick read. The plot is really fast-paced, sometimes to a fault, since we don’t see many of the moments that would have made us identify with the main character, Chrystine. The section in the Dark Enchantress’s kingdom is well done, providing a change in scenery for the reader. The ending is a bit anti-climactic, not really providing the cathartic moment that the nicely established tension of the pages before asks for. It is resolved too quickly, with not too much of a challenge to the protagonist.

I did enjoy that Chrystine is not just a wimpy heroine who depends on other people to save her. She takes the story’s reins and becomes the driving force behind the plot. It is a good model for teen girls. She is someone with guts and with the strength to follow what she wants to do.

All in all, it’s a fun story that will be a good fit for fans of Twilight and other teen paranormal romances.

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