Title: Infinite Days
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Lenah Beaudonte is in many ways your average sixteen-year-old: the “new girl,” she struggles to fit in enough to survive at school, and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy captain of the lacrosse team. But her challenges are beyond what anyone could have expected. Lenah just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire turned human…
Shes just awakened from a century-long hibernation and each passing hour hears another tick of the time-bomb, counting down to the moment when her abandoned vampire coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping, and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her new-found life as fully as the passing moments allow. But, to do so, she must first answer the ominous questions at hand: Can an ex-vampire survive in a time and place so alien to her? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?”
Thoughts: What originally drew me to Infinite Days is its premise. Let’s face it – most vampire novels these days involve a human falling in love with a vampire and finding a way to live happily ever after. This typically means becoming a vampire as well. Vampires remain popular after all these years because of mankind’s fear of death. Humans have searched for ways to thwart death for generations, but vampires do not have to worry about death because they are guaranteed a very long existence. When the idea of no longer opening your eyes becomes too much to bear, vampires seem like a fair trade. Yet, here we have the idea of a vampire wanting to trade in immortality for a normal, human existence. It flies in the face of why vampires are so popular, which meant I had to read it.
Infinite Days does not disappoint. It is the interesting twist on the vampire myth I expected, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Yet I would have wished for greater detail on the vampire/human transformation. There was a lot about Ms. Maizel’s vampire world that was left unexplained and a lot about Lenah’s transformation that was skipped over as well. There was a chance to set herself apart from all of the other vampire stories out there, and while she started to do this with the transformation, I felt that she could have truly shined with just a bit more information and explanation.
What does make Infinite Days stand out is the emotional aspect of the story. From the moment Lenah wakes up human, the reader understands that the story cannot end well. With this as a backdrop, the reader is taken on a journey of guilt and pain, an exploration of selfishness versus selflessness, and a blurring of evil and good. Can anyone can be truly selfless? Make no mistake that according to Ms. Maizel, redemption and hope are powerful motivators, but the true answer remains deliciously vague up to the very last sentence.
Speaking of the ending, I have to admit that I was absolutely stunned to discover that this was a trilogy. The ending seems so…final. I certainly did not catch the cliffhanger. The fact that the story continues has me so intrigued that I will definitely pick up the sequel when it is released many months from now.
Ideally, I would love to get more information about Rhode. That is a character about whom the reader only gets snippets but everything learned is fascinating and frustrating. Actually, that can be said about the entire story. So much of what is mentioned is only fleetingly discussed. There is an entire back story here that begs to be uncovered. What did Rhode do during the 100 years while Lenah was in hibernation? Why can vampires hibernate? Lenah is said to be a vampire queen; just how many vampires are there and has no one else created a coven? Too many questions and not enough answers are the biggest issues facing Infinite Days.
In spite of all the unanswered questions, I still enjoyed the book tremendously. Lenah is alternatively sweet and naive and yet more than a little dangerous. Infinite Days is not your traditional vampire story, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series unfolds.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for this Advanced Reading Copy!