I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beneath Manhattan Skies by Emma Meade
Published by Smashwords Edition on November 15th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, New Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy on Amazon
This is an affiliate link you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.
Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy - And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.
Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?
Now, I don’t read many vampire books. I read Twilight. I love the Cirque du Freak series. I read part of Vampire Diaries and intend to finish that series this year. But the point is, I have had limited exposure. And right off the bat, it seemed to me that this was going to be a sort of Twilight story, without the mind-reading and that sort of thing. And it was pretty similar. Good vampires fighting bad vampires. But for popularity’s sake, I will say that Erin made a much more interesting heroine than Bella. I particularly enjoyed the fact that she continually turned James away, knowing that she should do better, even though she had a few weak moments when she would have had him. She was particularly strong, and brave, always thinking of her friends first and putting herself into dangerous situations without a second thought in order to save them. She was slow to trust [people], however. Can’t say I blame her, but it made her a bit difficult sometimes.
I expected to somewhat dislike Sadie, her best friend, (I don’t actually know why I had this expectation) but I ended up really loving her. She was spunky, and though sometimes quite aggravating (there are a lot of dangerous vampire-related things going on, in case you haven’t noticed, and Erin can’t always be thinking about boys, so stop bothering her about them, Sadie) I still liked her. She and the others were quick to accept the truth about vampires, and while for reality’s sake I would say that might be a bad thing (unrealistic), it did progress the story along without frustrating me. (I tend to really get mad when characters don’t believe the truth. It makes me want to shake them. But they always learn, eventually)
James was your typical attractive/protective vampire hottie. Not much to say about him. He wasn’t the important one here- I think that was Erin.
Tommy- not much to say about him either. Maybe I’m just so used to these human/nonhuman love triangles that it stops being about the cookie-cutter guys and becomes more about the heroine and her decisions? Call me a heretic, but I’ve ‘seen them all’ (probably) and the guys just don’t interest me anymore (most of the time). It’s nothing wrong with the books, it’s just that I find different things to focus on. Like the heroine. Or the setting. Or some super unnecessary but really witty secondary characters. But here I’m rambling. Let’s get back to the point. (am I really rambling? See what happens when I sit down to write a review right after I finish the book? I suddenly have so many things to say and ponder, as opposed to when I write it a week later.)
The fight scenes were also pretty typical. Thankfully, Erin knew (and her friends knew) to keep out of the vampires’ way. It was satisfying enough to watch them sort it out themselves. And as for Natasha, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Victoria from Twilight. Super crazy powerful she-vampire with a vengeance. All the same, aren’t they?
One thing I think this book did really well was the suspense. Especially with the big scene at the end (well, it was probably more than one scene, maybe several combined, but it all took place in the same house). There were quite a few moments where there was silence, and silence, especially after screaming, is never a good thing. You never know what’s going to jump out at you. Or who’s dead. Or what you’re going to find when you open that door. Anyway, it wasn’t predictable, and I liked that. I felt myself getting nervous along with Erin and Sadie and the others. Always a good element.
Now back to some character rambling. As for Valerie, Erin’s evil (or just really mean) roommate, she wasn’t really as bad as you originally expect her to be. She only makes a few mean comments, and is overall just…..well, lazy, somewhat difficult, but not outright evil. And she keeps her head and her pride through the entire thing. I was surprised to find that she continually flirts with other guys while she has a boyfriend, and he’s perfectly okay with that, because he knows she’ll just go right back to him. I thought that was really interesting. And she does always go right back to him. I’ll never figure out what those two have, but it’s something, all right.
Overall, I felt like for a novella, this book really did a good job with a mini-plotline. If you expanded it, it might become Twilight. But it’s not Twilight. It’s Beneath Manhattan Skies. And it’s short and sweet and satisfying. The ending? Satisfying. Fairly predictable (in the main scope of things) but satisfying. Worth the read.
Good vs. Bad
- Plot (though not entirely original)
- characters (heroine in particular)
- relationships (a few of them, not all)
- length (didn’t go on too long at all, was short and sweet)
- plot (again, not entirely original)