17-year-old Miranda has a guardian angel named Zachary. He watches her night and day. When she and a friend are lured into a cemetery by a vampire, Zachary displays his radiance to stop her from falling into a fresh grave. Revealing yourself to humans is taboo. Zachary is punished by losing his wings. He is charged by God to fix his mistake if he ever wants into heaven again. Zachary’s radiance caught the attention of an old vampire who makes Miranda into a vampire princess, treating her as his own daughter. Miranda finds herself no longer an average teen, but a high society vampire on the cover of magazines and celebrated at lavish parties, and who feeds off humans without batting an eye. Zachary, distraught over his fallen status, searches for her in attempts to save her and kill the old vampire Miranda calls, Father. Zachary answers an ad to become her personal assistant. (Many high society vampires use humans as servants.) Miranda becomes equally frustrated and enthralled by him at the same time. Zachary finds out in the end his mission is not what he thought, and now he must choose between what he wants, as he falls in love with Miranda, and saving her soul.
I really loved this book! Smith’s writing is much better than what you will find in most vampire fantasy books. That angels are making a big presence in fantasy writing is very exciting to me. They are beautiful and immortal, like vampires with without the blood lust. They are not your Sunday School angels. They have flaws and forbidden romance between angels and humans are becoming a common theme.
Smith creates a dark and violent vampire world where the vampires treat humans like cattle. Their wealth is immense and they live in castle like structures. Dracula is mentioned often in this book with subtle references to the classic. In fact, Father, holds the title of The Dracula. He is not the original, but a leader in the vampire community. These are not your nice, vegan Twilight vampires, but blood thirsty, keep humans as slaves, vampires.
Smith has also written Tantalize and her new book combining characters from both Tantalize and Eternal is called Blessed. Blessed will be released in 2011.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Talk about how Miranda changed from being an average teen to a celebrity. What did that do to her personality? Which would you rather be?
If appropriate, you can discuss angels in biblical terms. How do they differ from what is represented here with the archangels? Talk about heaven and hell. What are their thoughts on both?
Can vampires be redeemed? Where do you think the story will go from here?
Fallen angels vs. vampires? Which will make the better series?