Sunday, January 17, 2010

Got Fangs? and Circus of the Darned by Katie Maxwell

I'm not sure if I talked about these books in a previous post, if I did it was years ago, but I just finished rereading them and I want to talk about the type of quality young adult paranormal romance that is out there. Katie Maxwell's GothFaire books are an excellent example of how an adult series can be toned down and made appropriate for a younger audience without losing any of its charm or uniqueness. These books focus on Fran, a 16 year girl dragged along on a European carnival tour, where all the people in it are oddities of some kind or another. When her close friend Imogen's brother shows up, she's not quite prepared for what happens - the revelation that not only is he a Moravian Dark One (aka vampire) but she's his Beloved destined to save his soul! Da da daaaa! Can't you just hear the dramatic music?

Well I'm happy to report that the drama is not all that dramatic and there's tons of humor to keep readers entertained. With Fran trying to find herself amidst her own powers and also trying to understand her feelings for Benedikt I think Maxwell does a tremendous job of creating characters in her already established world that have their own adventures so
individual to them that you get completely caught up in what's happening. And I think what put's it above some of the other more well known vampire series (*cough* Twilight *cough*) is Fran's sense of self and her relationship to her mother and those around her. Benedikt might be cool as a vampire, oh sorry - Dark One, but if he thinks he's just going to sweep her away to unite them for all eternity he has another thing coming! Less of the heavy breathing 'make me yours' type of book, Fran and Ben's feelings for each other work themselves out gradually over the series and while it's alluded to that Fran will save him at some point in the future, right now she's not ready for anything more than being his girlfriend.

The only sad thing I have to report about this series is that Maxwell doesn't plan to release any more young adult additions. Under her more well known name, Katie MacAlister, she does have plans to publish books where Fran and Ben make appearances as adults, but their initial romance will end for readers with
Circus of the Darned. I can only hope that maybe there will be a few flashbacks or something to let everyone know how things turned out.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! A great example of humorous paranormal romance for a younger audience.

- 1)
Got Fangs 2) Circus of the Darned