Vesper (Deviants #1) by JEFF SAMPSON
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?
As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want (goodreads)?
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Emily Webb likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lord of the Rings and reading. She does not go clubbing, she does not believing in wearing clothes that will show off her assets, and she definitely does not have an interest in boys. That all suddenly changes when a girl, whose name is also Emily, turns up dead and Emily Webb finds her self flirting with guys and sneaking out of her window for a night on the town. Samson creates an interesting tale about a girl desperate for answers with a paranormal twist.
To be quite honest when I first read this synopsis and decided to buy it, I did not think that there would be any paranormal element in this novel, but there most definitely was. Although it was not what I was expecting, I did enjoy the novel. It was always a surprise to see what "Nighttime/Bad" Emily would do next, and each night Nighttime Emily got more and more ballsy! The plot was paced very well, the action occurs over a week in which the author hints that Emily may not be as human as she assumed she was. Chapter by chapter the audience is given clues as to what is causing this sudden change in Emily until all is revealed and explained. I felt that everything was wrapped up in a neat little package, setting the novel up for its sequel, Havoc.
The characters did what they were supposed to do. Daytime Emily was good, nighttime Emily was bad, and her best friend Megan was just....a pain in the ass to put it bluntly. Megan is one of the girls who tried to be popular back in elementary school, was shunned by a popular girl and has hated the world ever since. I felt that the characters, especially Daytime Emily, could use some more depth. Daytime Emily was able to pick out the flaws and logic behind Megan's actions, but she was never able to sew within herself. I truly believe that there is something more to her than a geeky girl who is content to stay home every weekend to watch bad 80s films. She must have some hidden thoughts that she can share about herself, but we don't get a glimpse into her inner workings. Nighttime Emily was just the opposite, she did rather than thought and was quick to squash out of the voice of Daytime Emily. I understand that the author had a Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on, but I wanted characters who were more than just "bad" and "good" even if they were two sides to the same person. The other secondary characters kind of just hang out in the background even though quite a few of them play a very big role in the plot. This book does hint at a love story which is so bare right now that I don't know if I can even come up with the words to comment on it. Basically the love interest is being set up for the second novel.
The writing was spot on. There was never a lull and I was completely captured in the story for the entirety of the novel. The author also throws in a lot of nerdy pop culture references which were entertaining and made me happy that my nerdiness came in handy (by the way, ten points to you Mr. Jeff Samson for the Cowboy Bebop reference). I liked that the perspective switched throughout the novel. The story mainly focused on Emily but every five chapters or so, the writing style would change to a transcription between two people: FS and V1 discussing "vespers" and "deviants."
Vespers was a really fun read and I enjoyed it a lot. The writing was littered with nerd culture references, the characters could have used a little more work, but the plot was enticing regardless of if it was not what I was expecting.
I recommend this for those who love a good paranormal novel, probably those who are fans of the X-Men as well.