Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tucson Festival of Books Author: Heather Brewer

Halloween passed and I was finally finished reading all the zombie/vampire/evil creatures of the night books I had checked out. I had just vowed to take a break from the supernatural/horror genre when Off the Shelf was commissioned to spotlight some of the authors that will be here for the Tucson Festival of Books. One of the few names I recognized was Heather Brewer, an author known for her vampire books and spectacular orchid colored hair. "The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod" is a series I've been meaning to read for a while and after I read that she has a coffin couch, I was that much more excited about reading it.
"Eight Grade Bites" starts the series with eighth grader Vladimir Tod having some issues. Several years ago his parents died in a mysterious fire leaving him to live with his mom's best friend Nelly. He's got the school bully after him, and he can't quite work up the nerve to talk to his secret crush Meredith. Also, Vlad happens to be a pale blood-sucking vampire hybrid. Now his favorite teacher has disappeared, a weird substitute has taken his place, a bizarre symbol keeps popping up in odd places, and he's got something to do with a strange vampire prophecy; life just became a lot more complicated.  High school ends up being

There's also a spin-off of the series called "The Slayer Chronicles." It follows Joss McMillan, a vampire slayer who guest starred in "Ninth Grade Slays," as he discovers his slaying abilities and works to avenge his sister killed by vampires.

The thing that I, as a someone who sits around looking for stuff all day and a vampire fan, really liked was the regular references to vampiric stuff -- like books, movies, and legends. The most obvious of these references is Vlad himself, who is named after the man thought to have inspired the original vampire stories, Vlad the Impaler. Other stuff is not so easy to spot though, like that "tod" is the German word for "death." I encourage you to look up some of the names of places and people to find their reference to vampires.

Heather Brewer also has a non-vampire series, "Legacy of Tril," a fantasy about a land called Tril. In "Spellbound" a girl named Kaya is destined to be a Healer but would rather be a Barron, the warriors that fight against an evil king. While training at the Shadow Academy, she meets two men who she asks to train her in secret, something that will end up changing their lives.

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