Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Overbite By, Meg Cabot

Overbite (Insatiable, #2)Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead. 
Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good ... at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love. 
Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, ├╝ber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy ... especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well. 
But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case. 
So why doesn't Meena — or Alaric — trust him? 
As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare ... and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist. 
This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

Hardcover278 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers

In Overbite Meg Cabot revisits the world of the Palatine as they try to protect New York City. And this time she creates a much better enemy for for Meena to fight. The vampires are more believable, the story line has a little more "bite", and Alaric Wolf really endears himself to me. In fact I found myself really liking him in this installment. 

When Miss Cabot stops trying to separate herself from other vampire series by comparing her vampires to them, she has a much better focus on the story she wants to tell. This time she ups the ante by changing Lucien from the perfect vampire boyfriend to a man struggling with his past and his destiny. This allows Alaric to step to the forefront.  But the focus is still on Meena, who I find a little sappy and easily led. I found myself yelling at her to just run off to Antigua with Alaric and leave the vampires to the bishops. Because really she spent most of the book crying.  Her freeloading brother is still around, and even he manages to get a job with the Palatine in the end. 

The book doesn't have a lot of original elements, and reworking the Vatican's ancient military unit into a ultra secret vampire hunting fraction, once again spices up the story.  When the group, and the powers that be, get infiltrated and turn on their own, it adds a little drama to  the otherwise predictable story.

Overbite is a quick, enjoyable read. But I still can't get over the feeling, just like with Insatiable, that Miss Cabot is just trying to cash in on the vampire trend while it is hot. I liked the book, but I am still willing to lend it out. I would like to see a story focusing on Alaric Wolf's early years, and maybe his take on the Palatine guard.  A story from his point of view would certainly be interesting. 

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