The Importance of Being Prudence
By: Elizabeth Porter
I am NOT a big fan of Lay’s Potato Chips. That’s what I tell myself each time I open a package and nibble at the first chip. As I’m reaching back into the bag for chips two, three and four, I tell myself I’m just going to eat a few and I’ll be done. By the time I’ve swallowed the last one and am reaching back in for more—only to find they’re all gone—I’m hooked.
Can I be honest? The first few chapters (or so) of this book are awful. Well, maybe awful is a strong term. Maybe I should just say, “uninspired”.
I can say with all sincerity the author, Ms. Porter, has skill and talent. Her story—OBVIOUSLY—has good bones or I wouldn’t have finished reading it. I just couldn’t help but feel that it need “fleshing out”.
Let me give you an example. In those first few “uninspired” chapters we see an incredibly sexy stranger (Marcus) walk into the bookstore Prudence (the main character) owns and kiss the palm of her hand. The next thing we know, they’ve slept together, she’s a vampire, he’s out of the picture; another sexy stranger (Julian) comes into the bookstore and starts kissing her palm (and there’s another night of sex-with-a-stranger passion) and he’s telling her she’s the new hope of the whole vampire nation (but we don’t know why); meet my best friend Phillipe (more palm kissing), and let’s all move in together; oh wait Julian’s gone now, too and so is her life-long best (human) friend and then vampire number four (Mordacia), who doesn’t kiss her palm and seems to hate her, is in the picture as well…
All that in the first five chapters or so, and, Prudence doesn’t blink at ANY of it. I think I’d blink—especially at the oh-so-now-I’m-a-vampire part.
It was obvious, to me, the reader, that the author—Elizabeth Porter—was in a very big hurry to get to the meat of her story and didn’t want to waste time introducing her characters, their personalities or their motivations. There was no build-up, no tension, no explanations and no desire on my part to continue. (This is where the Lay’s potato chip analogy comes in.) I read the first few pages, rolled my eyes and thought, “This is awful. I bet I can’t get past the first chapter.” But, I did. Then I didn’t expect to get past the first five. But, I did. And then, when I reached the last page… I LITERALLY screeched out loud because it was over.
The funny part is… nothing really changes when it comes to the feeling of being rushed—throughout the whole book—and yet, after a while, I was hooked. This is evidently the first in a series and I CANNOT wait to read the next.
And, I can’t explain why…
Future readers should know, there is some violence (it is, after all, a vampire story) and a lot of sex. However, it is not what I would call EXPLICIT or almost-porn sex. I personally appreciated that.
This is NOT your typical vampire story either. It’s got an angle that I don’t think I’ve read before. THAT’S what kept me reading.
I must ask again: Can I be honest? I don’t have a clue whether I’m in the process of writing a bad review or a good one.
As I said before, Ms. Porter has talent; her writing skill is evident. My complaint is that she didn’t use it to flesh out her opening sequences, her characters or the story. And yet, the story is still intriguing and engaging.
All I can say is… “Try it. You might like it.”
I did… I think.