Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Confessions of a teenage Vampire: The Turning – review

Author: Terry West

Illustrations: Steve Ellis

First Published: 1997

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: I used to be a pretty average teenager. True, I didn't have tons of friends, and I liked studying history, but I was basically not very unusual.

But all that changed when I met Phillip Lemarchard. You see, Phillip is not like the rest of the kids in my highschool. He's not like anyone I know, in fact. When Phillip tells stories about history, it sounds as if he was really there. And he has this skin condition that keeps him indoors during daylight.

Now, I'm beginning to change, too. And these changes are, well, really unusual.

The Review: Released the same year as the series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this was kind of similar but different in that the blond heroine was less the Buffy character and more the Willow, a studious character and (dare we say it) a nerd, and also she ends up becoming a vampire rather than a slayer – not a spoiler given the title and the cover illustration.

This small graphic novel was recommended to me by friend of the blog Halek, who to be fair has rarely (if ever) steered me wrong with a recommendation. Halek described this as a “1997 graphic novel for young adults that I found very charming. High school cliques, geeks, bullies, and vamps both good and bad.” The description is right on the money and I can understand it being found as charming. It is however aimed at a younger market and I found the actual writing and story simplistic. This put me off a little but shouldn’t necessarily put you off.

The lore is pretty standard stuff except for the idea that a newly turned vampire goes through the bloodfire – a rage that can allow them to overpower even ancient vampires and that the main good vampire has developed a serum that when taken can curb the hunger and, so long as the new vampire never feeds on blood, they can live a normal life, going out into the sunshine and everything.

Not bad – and probably comes with a set of rose tinted glasses for those who read it at the time of release – but not my favourite graphic, it has to be said. 5.5 out of 10.


Anonymous said...

A fair review that I can't really argue with, even though I enjoyed Confessions more than you did. It's definitely written for the younger end of the YA market range. One thing that's interesting about Confessions is that it's an empowerment fantasy like its contemporary Buffy rather than a romantic fantasy like much of today's YA literature.

By the way, I bought Tabi Po due to your review. Excellent art and sometimes surreal imagery: always a good combo.


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Halek - it certainly is an empowerment story, but I didn't go into that in the review as explaining the reason for the empowerment would spoil the ending.

It was worth looking at and certainly worth being in the collection - so thanks for the recommendation.

Glad you seem to like Tabi Po, I'm really looking forward to part 2 of that :)