When I finished reading Cynthia Leitich Smith’s TANTALIZE two years ago, I remember being so startled with how she created the world of that book. She plunged me into it. There was no lay character explaining the rules of this gothic fantasy world where vampires, werepeople and shapeshifters exist. We were in it. Full on.
ETERNAL is even better.
Briefly the novel’s two main characters are Zachary, a Guardian Angel and Miranda, the girl he watches over. The novel moves between the two points of view seamlessly as Leitich Smith paints in the rules of a world where Zachary watches over Miranda but never shows himself to her. When he does, well, that’s when the book rockets forward. By page 30, Miranda’s been claimed by a vampire and Zachary’s lost his wings.
And did I mention it was funny?
Here is a short sequence midway through the book. Fallen angel Zachary is working for vampire Miranda as her PA, production assistant–a human protege to navigate the day to day details of life. Something every high powered vampire needs. A fire has started in Miranda’s room. It is from Zachary’s point of view.
I wave the smoke from my face. Fire can kill vampires. It can kill anything. “Don’t you have a sprinkler system?”
“No,” Miranda replies. “Too dangerous. Someone could bless the water. We lost a whole sorority of neophytes that way at the University of Kansas in the 1980’s”
Hee Hee…You see how she twists the ordinary and paints in little details about this world. Fascinating. Leitich Smith is in full command of the world she has created in this book.
And if you think think it is all fun and blood, you are mistaken. The relationship between Miranda and Zachary is multifaceted and kept my attention to its brilliant conclusion.