Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Review: Pretty When She Dies

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Pretty When She Dies
Rhiannon Frater
Series: Pretty When She… Trilogy #1
Release date: November 24th 2008

Goodreads / Purchase

Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry…

… in a new, horrific, unimaginable way…

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what’s worse is that he’s a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.

But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation… or her death?

What would you do if you woke up buried in the ground? Well Amaliya first took a shower (duh!), then what comes next involves blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Left on her own to find out what she is, and how to survive it, Amaliya has a pretty rough beginning into her new vampiric life. However, she soon proves to be a pretty bad-ass heroine by, well… improvising. She’s a fighter through and through. Instead of whining about her horrible situation, she goes out there and figures it out. Embracing it, even. Which I found especially awesome. It’s not without a kill or two… or three, but eventually, she finds another of her kind. This is where Cian comes along.

Cian is centuries old, and the master of Austin. He doesn’t know what he’s getting into when he decides to take Amaliya under his wing. Let me just tell you, it gets hot. Very hot! That is, until Samantha – Cian’s human fiancΓ© – and his servant Roberto comes along. Things get very cold, fast. Neither wants Amaliya around, so as you can guess, you can also expect plenty of back-stabbing and betrayals. As usual, good or bad, all the characters are incredibly well written and perfectly flawed. Even the side characters play a major role in the story. I can’t fail to mention Sergio and Grandma which, with their humor and charm, became instant favorites.

“It’s the irony of being a vampire. Being immortal and being terrified of death.”
-Quote in Pretty When She Dies


Gritty and dark, the vampire lore in Pretty When She Dies sticks to the original blood drinking, day sleeping vampires; they’re dangerous and violent. I loved the overall world building, in particular, the addition of necromancy (which means we also have some zombies!) that shakes it up a little giving us an extra twisted plot and epic fight scenes. This necromancer – they call him The Summoner – can not only call on, and control, an army of undead, he’s also a wickedly malicious and extremely old vampire. This makes him highly powerful as a villain. Believe me, he won’t fail to intimidate you. How about this: To lessen his boredom, he creates vampires to set free, stalk, then kill. That’s not barbaric at all… This book is definitely not without its fair share of action.

I continue to be blown away by Rhiannon’s crack-infused pages; keeping me glued to her words. Combining classic vampire lore, horror, and romance – she has given us another astonishingly compelling read.

5 Hot Espressos

Pretty When She Dies is currently FREE!
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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30 Responses to “Review: Pretty When She Dies”

  1. Kelsey

    This book sounds awesome! I got the free Kindle version, thanks πŸ™‚ well, I’ll have to read it on my computer with the desktop app, but it’s better than nothing!

  2. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Great review, Giselle! I actually REALLY love the cover of this one! That one picture conveys a lot, and I’m curious to see how it ties in with the book.

    I just snagged this for the Kindle app on my iPhone, and will definitely give this a read since it’s about vampires and not zombies πŸ˜‰

    Glad you enjoyed it, love! <3

  3. Amy

    I Squee’d when it came in the mail the other day!! I freaking love the cover!! I can’t wait until I get through some of my massive review pile and scheduled to fit in books (Insurgent right now, City of Lost Souls next week.) so I can read it! Fantastic review as always babe!!

  4. Elodie

    WOW 5 hot expressos ?? I’m definitely adding this one to my wishlist .. I haven’t anything to read e-books but that’s awesoe that this one is currently free :), thanks Giselle !!

  5. Giselle

    @Katie: Yes the cover rocks! And this may be more up your alley but you still have to read the zombies!! (OR ELSE!)

    @Amy: I’m reading Insurgent too! EEP! And I know you’ll love it!

    Thanks ladies!

  6. Silverlight

    Love this review!
    Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this book!!!

    Action, bad-ass heroine, gritty and dark, another one of Rhiannon’s books I have to read next!

  7. Liz @ Fictional Candy

    Fantastic review! I believe I have this on my kindle already, but it got lost in the shuffle. I’m going to have to check, and if its not, I’ll definitely get it πŸ™‚

  8. Jackie's Little World

    I STILL haven’t gotten to all my Rhiannon books on my reader πŸ™ I over-committed myself until mid-May and THEN I’ll be digging in. Anticipation is part of the fun right? Can’t wait to read this one, and the cover is AWESOME!I also love that the series is called ‘Pretty When She…’ Makes me wonder what #2 will be called πŸ™‚

  9. Jac

    HOLD UP — Free?? Seriously? Oh Rhiannon Frater, how I love you!! And this title? I adore it, it’s absolutely awesome. (The cover? Ugh; I won’t sleep tonight…)

    But thanks for the great review!! I think this sounds absolutely fantastic!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  10. Lena

    Cool! I got this book to on my kindle πŸ™‚ Hip Hip Hoorah! for horrifying real vampires πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read this.

  11. Danny

    haha!!! I was already sold and then I saw that it’s actually for free right now??Awesome thanks for letting us know!

    Vampire stories always draw me in and while I could go without the horror element, I will still need to read it!!

    Do I have to be scared??!? πŸ™‚

  12. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    This book sounds great! I love your review πŸ™‚ I like it when a book has some horror elements in it, especially when we’re talking about vampires. There should be a lot of blood πŸ˜€

  13. Sam

    Wow, the characters sound amazing. I can’t wait to read this after your review! I just grabbed a copy. Thanks for letting us know it’s available for free! πŸ™‚

  14. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    So that start of the review is kinda… creepy. o: I’d freak? LOL. I definitely love the sound of the heroine though: no whining? o: That’s refreshing!

    I SO need to read this one! Free you say?! *runs to get it*

  15. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I love some good old traditional vampires! I also love flawed characters. It seems silly to call vampires realistic, but you know what I mean.
    I actually already have a copy and I’m ready to move it up on my tbr.
    Thank you for the review, Giselle. Your love for Frater equals my love for Aguirre.

  16. Christy D

    Dude, I loved this book! Rhiannon gives that gritty feel to books that I love so much. Can’t wait to read Pretty When She Kills.

  17. Janiera

    OK, I’m only downloading this because it is free. The cover is always such a turn off from me. You swear by this writer so I guess I got to read her LOL. great review!

  18. Novels On The Run

    Snaffooed the freebie!! I have turned into quite the Amazon freebie hoarder…just need the kindle..ha!! I am working on it!!!

    I have noticed you are loving all things Rhiannon,,,shock horror my library has nothing…they need a good telling off!!

    Well…if I woke up buried in the ground, there had better be a handsome, stunning lad to smooth that bump over:D:D

    Michelle