Claudette Melanson‘s YA vampire novel, Rising Tide: Dark Innocence is full of teenage angst and passion coupled with the full range of the ebb and flow of the high school experience. This author has captured that time period aptly! While I am not a fan of YA fiction because of the overly dramatic teen emotional arc, Ms. Melanson does a very good job of making her main character’s drama very real and engaging.
This is book 1 of a trilogy that follows Maura “Mink” through her transformation into a vampire. At the end of book one is when the true story begins. So, it is abundantly clear early on in book 1 what is transpiring in Mink’s body but everyone around her is avoiding the issue and allaying her concerns about ‘her health’. An absentee father also is something that is used by Mink’s mother as a major diversion/avoidance topic throughout Mink’s childhood.
The emotions expressed are believable. The characters are well thought out and the reader comes to care about them and there’s a profound mystery that needs to be solved (even though,we, the reader know the answer!). The reader feels for Mink and hopes beyond hope that it’s something other than what we know it to be. Therein lies the lovely suspense, is it really the expected ending?
Good job to Ms. Melanson on creating a vampire story that is substantially different from what is already out in play in the world.