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In the Forests of the Night by Amelia…
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  1. 10
    The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (peptastic)
    peptastic: These novels are similar in their portrayal of vampires as singular creatures with animal predatory natures without human morality imposed on them.
  2. 00
    Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This was an incredibly difficult book for me to finish. This is particularly damning because it's such a SHORT book, but the only thing that makes In the Forests of the Night stand out even marginally is that it was written by the author when she was so young (at only 13). Considering that, the few tolerable and interesting parts of the story are a bit more remarkable. I did actually enjoy reading about the relationship between vampire protagonist Risika and her brother during the flashbacks that occur between present-day chapters of the book.

What was most frustrating about the book was how each character (but especially Risika) seemed to have literally every superpower Atwater-Rhodes could conceive of. Risika can not only shapeshift but apparently teleport, have super strength, fly, etc. It really makes all of the conflicts seem almost pointless when you realize that very little is actually a challenge to the main character.

The only actual challenge to her was another hopelessly boring part of the book. The main antagonist (though honestly the structure of this story is so wishy washy that it's hard to really call anyone or anything an antagonist) is another vampire named Aubrey. Though he is older and stronger than Risika, she insists on repeatedly challenging him and their rivalry has almost no grounding. Most of the time Risika behaves as though she is the only vampire to have once been human, and it makes utterly no sense. Having a particularly devoutly religious brother who would be ashamed of her if he knew what she had turned into hardly seemed like justification for her disdain for other vampires several hundred years down the road.

The writing is choppy, the prose is unnecessarily flowery while still managing to sound dry somehow. I know there are other books in the series but I probably won't bother with them unless I get very desperate. ( )
  vombatiformes | Mar 12, 2014 |
Risika, born Rachel Weatere in 1684, and now a vampire in contemporary Concord, is haunted by her past in this moody teen thriller. The daughter of colonial Puritans, Rachel was changed into a vampire and renamed Risika by the powerful Ather. Her hatred is reserved for Aubrey however, who murdered her twin brother Alexander. Flashbacks from that earlier time alternate with scenes from the present, as the book leads inexorably to a showdown between Risika and Aubrey.

Written by the author when she was thirteen, and published when she was fifteen, In the Forests of the Night was something of a sensation when it appeared back in 1999. Although it never strayed very far from the conventions governing such teen thrillers, Atwater-Rhodes' debut was surprisingly well-written for such a young author. With the recent advent of writers such as Christopher Paolini, Nancy Yi Fan and Flavia Bujor, the children's literature scene has become more accustomed to adolescent authors, but it was still something of a novelty when this was first released. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jul 5, 2013 |
I hadn't realised the authors age (when she wrote the book) when I picked this one up. It was fine enough for a short novella but there wasn't enough of a story here. What it needed was another character to offset the predator mindset. The lead girl Rachel was well written for the type of person she was but the emotional impact would have been better with another person. I appreciated that a teenager in the 1700's wasn't unrealistically educated with the exception of her admitting she was outspoken for the time period. I also understood why she didn't develop relationships.
The tiger was promising but the brother relationship was underdeveloped.
I got more out of "The Silver Kiss" by Annette Curtis Klaus. The relationship with the cat made me cry.

Kudos for believeable characters (with the exception of her twin brother Alexander) and vampire mythology. The emotional impact from the climax just wasn't there. ( )
  peptastic | Jun 9, 2012 |
This review was originally posted on Pretty in Fiction.

Title: In the Forests of the Night
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Laurel Leaf(An Imprint of Random House Books For Young Readers
Publish Date: May 9th 2000
Rating: 4.5

In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes tells the story of Risika. She was turned into a vampire nearly three hundred years ago. And even though she hunts and kills, she can't seem to escape the morals of her past life. She grew up in the eighteenth century in a community that believed if you did one bad thing you were evil. After being turned she considered herself evil, but eventually she realized if you are weak, you die, if you are strong, you live.

Risika hasn't loved since the seventeen hundreds. Since her brother and her father died, but a few years ago she discovered a caged tiger in the zoo. Tora. She goes to visit her every night and she starts to treat Tora as if she were her pet. She loves her and cares for her.

One night Risika goes to visit Tora and finds her in her cage with a knife in her heart. There is only one person that Risika knows that kills with a knife. Aubrey. The man who helped kill Risika three hundred years ago. She finds him and challenges him to a fight. Will she win? Or will she die?

I have been meaning to read this book for so many years. At least four. I finally decided to read it, and it was amazing. It's a short and enjoyable read that is hard to dislike. There is a whole series that goes along with this book, and me being me read the other books first, so I didn't find Aubrey to be the jerk that Risika thought him to be. I still saw him as the cute and sweet boy he was when he was with Jessica from Demon In My View, which is the second book in the Den of Shadow's Series.

Even though it took me years to finally read, I loved it. Aubrey is one of my favorite characters that Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has written. He's a jerk, but he's sweet, and who doesn't love that?

I understand why Risika hated Aubrey, but I don't feel that much hatred made sense in their relationship. They talked less than five times over three hundred years, and they wanted to kill each other. If they had spoken more, maybe it wouldn't have seemed as forced, like Amelia was trying to get the story to move along faster. But every time they got close to one another all they did was fight. There wasn't much reason for it. It was like they were fighting just to fight.

Risika was a well written character. I liked everything about her except how much she hated Aubrey. That's really the only thing about this book that irked me. There was too much hatred and not enough cause. The thing about Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' books is she has such great ideas and characters but she doesn't develop her story or her characters to their full potential. Don't get me wrong, the stories are still great, but I wouldn't mind if they were longer and more detailed.

But since Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was only thirteen when she wrote In the Forests of the Night, I still think that it is worthy of four and a half Crazy Heart's. I recommend this book to someone who is looking for a quick and easy read. ( )
  PrettyInFiction | Nov 21, 2011 |
Great depth and imagery for a book written by a thirteen year old. Sure there were some areas that could have been improved, but for the most part the plot and the characters were thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait for the next installment in the series. ( )
  Allizabeth | Jul 17, 2011 |
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The Tiger by William Blake
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A cage of steel.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440228166, Mass Market Paperback)

Three-hundred-year-old Risika looks darn good for her age. Thanks to her "blood mother," a vampire named Ather who turned Risika (nee Rachel) into one of the undead back in 1684, she will always look as fresh as a 17-year-old. Now Risika is a world weary night stalker who sleeps in Concord, Massachusetts, by day and prowls New York City by night, in search of fresh blood to slake her inhuman thirst. One of the benefits of living such a long life has been discovering that most of the popular myths about vampires are not true: "Holy water and crosses do not bother me... and silver does not burn me. If someone hammered a stake through my heart, I suppose I would die, but I do not play with humans, stakes or mallets." In fact, there is little in the mortal world that surprises Risika anymore, until she returns from a hunt one night to find a black rose on her pillow--the same flower she was given on the eve of her mortal death. Knowing that the rose is a taunt from Aubrey, a vampire she believes murdered her human brother, Risika decides to confront her nemesis. In a bloody battle with Aubrey, Risika finally unearths her brother's true fate.

While the plot of this vampire tale may not stand out from the fanged masses of the genre, what does stand out is the fact that the author is 14 years old. Teen horror fans of Anne Rice and L.J. Smith will surely want to experience for themselves how In the Forests of the Night stacks up to their favorite adult titles--and will be especially interested in seeing how one of their young peers plies the writing trade. (Ages 12 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Risika, a teenage vampire, wanders back in time to the year 1684 when, as a human, she died and was transformed against her will.

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