Posted in Reviews

Review: Hématite by Victoria Maderna

Hématite by Victoria Maderna

Recommended: not really?
Because the plot seemed to take unnecessary and unexplained turns, because the mood was far more grim than anticipated

Summary

Hematite is a young vampire who is trying to find her way. As a member of the illustrious Blackwood family, she faces pressure to conform to high society standards, but such grandstanding isn’t for
her. And neither is drinking blood—she’d rather have vegetable soup!

So it is that she opts for the more diverse Wolven School, rather than joining the ranks of her fellow vampires at the Diaemus Academy. Being different can be hard, though, and doesn’t always help to make friends. Luckily for Hematite, she has her poetry, as well as Drunela—a draugr who won’t let their differences keep them apart—and Emile, a human boy fascinated by the occult who would just love to take a peek at the Blackwood’s private library. Unfortunately, bridging societal divides isn’t always easy, and can lead to terrible
consequences…

Thoughts:

You know, at first I was quite enjoying it. Learning about the powers each character has and how they all interact with each other in this world was fun and full of promise. Now that I’ve finished it, though, I’m left feeling confused about why I just read that.

While it topically addresses themes like loneliness, morality, being true to yourself, and even racism (if vampires and wolves and jelly monsters are races), nothing really sunk in. Most importantly, nothing was resolved by the end. Or even left hanging. It was grim and dark, and felt like it was a really abrupt switch. Yes, there’s a suggested followup action to come next, but I actually had to stop reading this at one point because it was depressing me in an already low mood. My main takeaway is that the events went in a direction that didn’t seem at all necessary (or even fully explained — who is the aunt? why is the gathering forbidden?).

The world is interesting as a premise, but not built up much in this volume. It sounds like it will be a series based on the plot, but the details of the book don’t seem to confirm that. If it is a series, I probably wouldn’t continue it. The mood is way darker than I expected so prep for that if you’re diving in.

Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy. This is my honest review.

Author:

Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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