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Monday, October 8, 2012

[Review] Memoirs of a Gothic Soul (The 13 Gothic Memoirs, #1) by Rebekah Armusik

Title: Memoirs of a Gothic Soul
Series: The 13 Gothic Memoirs, #1
Author: Rebekah Armusik
Pages: 314 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lady Noir
Release Date: August 13, 2010

It’s not often that a writer presents a truly unique view of a traditional concept. Rebekah Armusik, Wilkes-Barre native and King’s College alum, has done just that with her first book, Memoirs of a Gothic Soul. Told through the eyes of Nadija, a young, American woman with strong Slavic roots whose life mirrors Armusik’s own, this book reinvents Gothic literature. Armusik presents a new twist on traditional Gothic themes, writing a truly unique story of vampires and their relationship with humans, God, and the Guardians who maintain the delicate balance.

Nadija has just finished her college degree, removed herself from an abusive relationship, and separated herself from drug addict friend. She's realizing that she needs to get out of her town and away from all of the unhealthy relationships surrounding her, including her unsupportive family. Her destination is Prague, where she can work on her vampire research. Dija has been fascinated by this supposedly mythical race for years, and she has a theory that they actually exist. Little does she know just how right she is.

This was my first experience with gothic fiction, and I was very impressed. I love how the writing was dark, romantic, and utterly captivating. Dija's narrative is very emotional, and we know everything she is thinking and feeling. She goes from being extremely closed off from others, to loving a man with all her soul (probably literally since they are "twin souls"). However, she's still holding onto a lot of anger which may either help or hinder her gifts and her ability to make decisions for the Council.

I really liked the imaginative twist on the tale of Adam and Eve and the origin of vampires. It's not one that I've heard before, and I thought it was well done. The vampires themselves are also enthralling and dangerous, but Dija has a place among them.

At times the story felt extremely slow, and like it wasn't going anywhere. There's no real identifiable over arching conflict until the end, which made it read more like a diary of Dija's self discovery. I still really enjoyed it and I'm happy that I have the next two books to see what comes next for Nadija and Alexei.

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