Sunday, July 1, 2012

Throat (Book Review)

Author: R.A. Nelson

Rating: 5 out of 5

Warning: The following review has some spoilers.

Synopsis:  The story is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Emma who has epilepsy. In the beginning of the book, Emma wants to be like a normal girl. She wants to be able to have a boyfriend, play soccer, get her license, and be like everyone else, but her epilepsy condition hinders her in gaining these things that she wants. Even with her family’s support: her mother, younger sister, and grandpa (Papi), she finds her condition hard to deal with. In the beginning of the book, Emma tells her audience that she had not had an epileptic seizure for the longest time and was excited about getting her license, but all that changes when one of teammates causes her to go through epileptic shock. Emma gets mad at her teammate because that teammate would be the reason why Emma would have to wait a longer time limit to get her license. With her anger, she punches her teammate in the nose, causing it to break. After she does this, Emma takes her mother’s car and runs away. While driving, Emma eventually ends up in a ditch. With it being night and not being able to drive the car, Emma begins to look around the area. She ends up at a house and hears someone talking. The man eventually attacks her but she fights back. The man then starts to bite at her leg and she goes into an epileptic seizure.

The next portion of the monograph is about finding out who or what Emma is after she was bitten. Some of things she tries to discover are her new talents and what makes her different than ordinary vampires. She also finds out that there are several vampires out in the world: both evil and some who are just trying to get by. Emma discovers that she is not like other vampires because she able to walk into sunlight and not have to worry about drinking blood. She finds a couple of friends, human and vampire, who help her discover who she really is and how to fight the monster that is looking for her. That monster is Wirtz, the vampire who bit her and who is looking for her since she is not answering his “call” to go to him. He is very envious of her because she can walk in the sunlight.

By the end of the book, which I do not want to give away, Emma has to discover what she needs to do to fight Wirtz and save not only herself but her friends and family. Also, in the end, there are some pretty great fight scenes and a lot of drama that will make you want to read more.

Review: First of all, I just want to say that Throat probably has to be one of my favorite books that I have ever read.  It has a great story line and was pretty hard to put down. Nelson is able to bring in some typical vampire lore (like staying out of daylight – no sparkly vampires), but he is also able to bring in his own lore which makes the book fantastic. He does this by providing his reader with new ideas like how vampires are connected with one another.

Secondly, Nelson was able to portray Emma as an individual! She is her own person and did not fall into the hands of a man. He made Emma very independent and strong but also caring. Emma knew what she needed to do and stuck with it even if it hurt someone’s feelings. She did this to protect the people she loved and to make them safe.  Also, even though Emma finds a love interest with Sagan, Nelson doesn’t make the book all about that relationship. Yeah there are some “I love you” scenes but its no Twilight, which makes the book different and one of a kind. Emma may love Sagan, but she is a fighter. She was willing to do whatever to survive and did not just let love get in the way. Again, this is not a typical vampire “love story,” and for that reason I would consider this book different.

Moreover, the author is able to provide his readers with a very interesting story. Emma is half-vampire and half-human. I have never read a story like this one and that is what made it unique. She has the power of a vampire but can live life like any other human. What I think is neat is that the condition of her epilepsy, which was a hindrance to her in the beginning, turned out to be what saved her from becoming a true vampire. I enjoyed this approach and it made me want to continue reading.

Furthermore, I loved how Nelson used intellectual knowledge throughout his text. He used philosophy, foreign languages, history, psychology, astronomy, biology, and etc. to bring his text together.  Throughout the monograph, I was just not reading a “typical” book. I was learning from the text. I was able to improve my German, learned a lot about the sun that I did not already know, learned some technical terms about epilepsy, and Nelson provided many historical events in history that I have never heard of that have actually taken place. For example, before I read this book I never heard about the Carrington Event, a solar storm that took place in 1859. I was intrigued about the event when reading about it in the book, so I decided to look it up and see what happened. Usually fiction novels are all about making history up but Nelson used actual history in his storyline (WELL DONE!).

In the end, I enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to put down and a great read. I am hoping that there will be a sequel to Throat because I feel like there is so much to learn, it would make a great story, and I sense as if there is already a potential bad guy.  So everyone get out there and read this book, you will not be disappointed.

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