Middle Grade Review: Rules For Vampires (Alex Foulkes)

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About This Book:

After one hundred years of being a vampire, it’s time for Eleonora to have her Birthnight. Since Leo’s last rite of passage, her Grimwalk, ended with her losing her right leg and a good deal of her confidence, she’s hoping to redeem herself in the eyes of her mother, the fearsome Lady Sieglinde. All Leo has to do is hunt down and kill her first prey, and she already has the perfect plan. After all, who will miss an orphan from the bleak St. Frieda’s Home for Unwanted Children?

But an accidental fire causes more death and destruction than Leo bargained for. Instead of killing one carefully selected victim, she’s created several ghosts from the orphanage residents. And one sinister specter, the Orphanmaster, is poised to terrorize the living residents in a nearby town. To stop him and try to undo some of the mess she’s made, Leo must team up with the orphan ghost Minna.

Will Leo have the chance to prove herself as a vampire before her Birthnight is over, or will she discover that there are no winners in the battle of undead versus undead?

 

* Review contributed by Kim Baccelia, Staff Reviewer*

Rules for Vampires
 
One hundred and eleven-year-old Eleonora, 'Leo' ends up causing a disaster in town when she tries to hunt her first prey. Not only do her actions cause one ghost to appear, but she unwittingly unleashes an evil presence. Now not only does she has to prove to her mother vampire, the fearsome Lady Sieglinde, that she has brought honor to their name, but to fix the problem. What else could possibly go wrong?

What worked: Fun, engaging paranormal with a likable young vampire protagonist who finds herself trying to undo the mess she left in town after she burns down St. Frieda's Home for Unfortunate Children. Though 111 years old, she's basically really young. Her older vampire sister Emmeline has the body of a young child. Leo tries hard to follow the vampire rules. She longs for her vampire mother to approve of her. Leo is feisty, strong-minded, but also loyal to those around her which include her 'nanny' ghostly guard Marged, a talking spider, and a ghost named Minna.

The encounters between ghost Minna and Leo start with a hesitant dislike-ghost and vampires don't get along. But they learn they need to work together to rid the town of the evil Orphanmaster, whose terror only increases due to his untimely death.

There's action, tension, suspense, and did I mention a talking spider? Leo isn't the stereotypical vampire, but one that tries to fit in and even goes as far as to help a ghost find justice. Fast-paced tale sure to appeal to readers who love a paranormal story with a strong female protagonist.
Good Points
1. Engaging paranormal

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