House of Cards by Ilana Waters

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: Eighteen-year-old Sherry has just begun her newly
independent life in Paris when she is kidnapped by a group of vampires.
They hold her hostage in the House of Cadamon, their catacomb lair beneath the
city, ruled with an iron fist by a leader known as ‘the Master.’

The only thing keeping Sherry alive is her ability to tell
vampire fortunes through tarot cards, a task she is forced to perform night
after night. She finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a four-hundred-year-old
reluctant blood drinker who is as much a prisoner of Cadamon as she is.
Things get even more complicated when Sherry and Lucas begin
falling for each other—hard. Will they be able to keep Sherry alive long enough
for them both to escape the House of Cadamon? Or will the Master and his band
of evil minions succeed in controlling the lives of the young lovers—by
whatever means necessary?
With its breathtaking Parisian setting,
fast-moving plot, and strong-willed heroine, this paranormal romance will
keep you spellbound!

My Thoughts: When I found this book waiting for me in my inbox this morning, it occurred to me that I had about three hours before I had to leave. Obviously, I spent my time devouring the entire book. It’s your typical paranormal romance (though I admit, I’m still not quite familiar with the genre), albeit not too typical. The sexy, troubled vampire has become an overly used stock character lately, and I was sorry to see that Ilana has made her lead (Lucas) little more. You also have the Master and his followers, including a puppy-dog loyal female vampire and I guess that all does sound very typical. I just think that dismissing this book with a simple, “I don’t like vampire romances.” would be silly; while it does have some of the stereotypes, it is unique in many ways!

First, when reading these new style of teen / YA paranormal romances, I’ve always noticed how fine these girls seem to be with the idea of vampires, the knowledge that the guys they so love are supernatural creatures. It all seems highly unrealistic, and so, incredibly shallow – by giving Sherry a certain vague idea beforehand of the existence of the supernatural, inexplicable abilities of her own, Ilana has managed to make Sherry’s experience at the House of Cadamon and her reactions very convincing. I really liked Sherry. I liked the idea that the reason for her loneliness, her feeling lost is explained and it couldn’t be more realistic – losing her sister to an accident, not having managed to let go of her even after six years. The emotions are dealt with wonderfully and it is more than ‘just another teenage problem’. The romance that slowly develops between Lucas and Sherry is not just out of attraction or infatuation but has more to do with finding someone to be close to and finally moving on. It’s one of the reasons why I liked the book.

Lastly, I have to admit, I still do like Ilana’s middle grade fantasy a lot more, but probably only because it’s more of a my kind of genre. Obviously, the one thing that stood out to me the most in this book, was the writing style. It is very fluid and the descriptions of Paris are fantastic. The dialogue is really well written, every character has their own way of talking and it tells a lot about them. But most of all, the writing is just delightfully witty. It genuinely makes you laugh! And who wouldn’t want to read such a book? Grab your copy right here!

One thought on “House of Cards by Ilana Waters”

  1. Hi Priya! So glad you liked the book. Yes, I too was tired of the "insta-love that afflicts so many YA books today. Not to say that it can't happen in real life, but I wanted to show that relationships can develop over time, and still be just as awesome! So I'm sort of glad you picked up on that, among other things. 😀


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