When one of my friends introduced me to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. I thought that at best, it’d be a light-hearted read, something to amuse me on my commute to work. But I love her characters and the situations she gets them into. Even more, I love that she hints at the worst possible thing that could happen to her characters — and then makes it happen.
It’s hard to give examples without giving away major plot developments, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. It took me about two weeks longer than normal to read Shadow Kiss because I knew — I knew — that she was going to do a specific terrible thing to my favorite character. (Spoiler Alert: she did.)
She doesn’t hold back on putting her characters through the worst conflict imaginable. And just when you think it can’t get worse…it does. They hit rock bottom and then keep falling. Or, just when you think your favorite characters have escaped and will get a chance to live happily ever after, Richelle Mead pulls the rug out from under everyone. (That’s what happened at the end of the Bloodlines book I just finished.)
Now, think back to some other authors you’ve read recently. They always threaten to put your favorite characters through the mill — but they don’t, do they? Someone always manages to save them, or things work out anyway. After a while, you don’t take the author’s threats seriously, because you know they’ll just wave their hand and fix everyone’s problems at the end of the book.
Richelle Mead doesn’t do that. And it’s amazing.
I’m in awe of her ability. I hope I’ll be able to do the same thing in my series one day.
I can only hope you, dear reader, are as excited as I am!
Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.