Companions of the Night
by Vivian Vande Velde
read April 2009
So much to say about this little tiny book. For those of you who haven’t been following my adventures with this novel, let me sum up. I’ve broken my foot and it wasn’t getting better so my doctor decided to cast it…at the most uncomfortable angle ever. Now I can be lazy about going downstairs and getting a book anyways, but now I have a really good reason.
I searched around my room upstairs, convinced I had something I hadn’t read somewhere. Under my bed I found Companions of the Night. I actually laughed out loud at the title. It’s just SOOO cheesy. Where this book came from is a mystery. I didn’t buy it, and I don’t remember recieving it. My best guess is that my friend Rose gave it to me in a box of books. She works at the Scholastic book warehouse and periodically beings me a box of books she gets for free. Then I lost it, and I’m still convinced my husband hid it from me for a brief period of time. Though it was silly because I have about 20 other books I can read.
So, despite it’s unclear origins, I decided to read it anyways. I love the authors name, Vivian Vande Velde. It is just too cool. I went to her website and that was the fist thing it said, “Yes, Vivian Vande Velde is my real name.” The book is really quick to draw you in and get your attention.
It starts with the main character, Kerry Nowicki, lives with her little brother Ian, and her father. Her mother left them to go be with a man in Florida. Kerry’s little brother Ian has left his precious stuffed koala under the counter at the 24 hour laundromat and begs her to go and get it for him. What she walks into, chages he life forever.
Several men drag in a severely wounded young man and go on and on about him being a vampire. Kerry is petrified. She ends up helping the young man, named Ethan, and taking him home.
I’m going to sum up from here. It turns out Ethan really is a vampire and he and another vampire, Regina are residents of her small town. The vampires, “take care of” the vampire hunters, but it seems one has escaped. Kerry’s family has been kidnapped and Ethan’s vampire friend, Regina, has been violently murdered.
Ethan and Kerry are on the run, looking for the culprit and trying to escape the terrible fate of Regina. Kerry can’t decide if she hates Ethan or loves him. Ethan lies to her about many things, but mostly it seems to be for her own good. Despite these lies Kerry is still attracted to him, but at the same time she fears him. What’s love without an intense fear that the other person will kill you? 🙂
So, despite having some gaps in the plot and some pretty lame jumps in character development, I liked this book. That is until the ending came. I read the last few chapters last night in bed and literally said, “What the heck?”
I don’t really want to give the whole ending away, but I was left totally unsatisfied. There was a whole build-up of sexual/romatic tension between Kerry and Ethan and then nothing. The ending was so anti-climatic. I hate to say it, it actually makes me laugh to type this, but I could have come up with about 30 better endings. I was also hoping for some kind of vampire-tie in for Kerry’s mother leaving…but no. She was just a terrible mother.
This whole post is kind of funny. Amy @ My Friend Amy, recently posted about a great topic; “Which American Idol Judge are you?” within the terms of book blogging and review. I’ve always considered myself a bit of a ‘Randy’. I’m not afraid to say a book doesn’t do it for me, but it’s rare that I can’t find something positive to say. I really feel like that is me with this post. I thought the title was dumb…OH and the use of the title in the book made me laugh hysterically, “We were both vampires, sharing for a time the same small town. We were temporary companions of the night. Never lovers in any sense of the word.” BWAHAHAHAHAHa.
I hated the ending. But with all that being said, I would read another book by this author. I actually have two books of hers on my TBR list now.
So here I go, Randy-ing this book review. I’m not totally negative, I liked part of it, but some parts really sucked.
So I will leave you with that.
Themes: vampires, death, murder, kidnapping, sexual references
Characters: Kerry Nowicki, Ian Nowicki, Stephen Nowicki, Ethan Bryne, Regina, Professor Marsala, vampire hunters
Setting: Brockport, New York, modern-day
Topic: Kerry Nowicki is only out to find her brother’s teddy bear, but ends up getting herself mixed up in so much more. Murder, kidnapping, and craziest of all, vampires.