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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C. Maze

Publisher: Outskirt Press
Pages: 340

From the Cover: Author Beth Rider's second vampire novel has hit number one and she is flying high on her new-found fame. But at a fated book signing that runs late into the night, Beth is confronted by an evil she'd only experienced in nightmares. Jack Dawn, a supernatural monster belonging to an ancient race of bloodthirsty immortals known as the Rakum, vows to track down and kill the young writer because of the vile redemptive message her book is bringing his people.

The Rakum have spread evil among mankind since the Beginning, growing in strength and influence with every passing century. A respected Elder among his brethren, Jack recognizes the novel's destructive potential and his duty to destroy her before the book's promises annihilate his Kind. His method of subduing the novelist is an ancient punishment perpetrated against humans who bring them the ultimate displeasure; Jack marks her as a Rabbit. By forcing her to ingest his poisonous blood, Beth's body now regenerates endlessly and she is set free to be tracked by his hungry brethren. The plan? His people will torture her, slowly, night after night, until she goes insane. Marking her was easy - now Jack only has to sit back and wait for the Rakum to do their worst.

Jack's proselyte Michael Stone was brought up from his youth to be strong, sensible and oftentimes, brutal. But at one hundred and thirty, Michael is old enough to appreciate the quiet and ordered life he'd carved out for himself over the years. Aware that his Elder has marked a human for death, Michael is on the lookout as he leaves work late one night. When he stumbles upon the beautiful and apparently innocent Beth Rider, he is instantly smitten, despite the fact that a few seconds later he realizes that she is the target of his Elder's fury. Puzzled by Jack's unreasonable condemnation, Michael takes it upon himself to protect the lovely author from the limitless lust of his brethren.

Rakum grunt Javier d'Millier was never one to question the Fathers nor doubt the word of the Elders but after reading a curiously odd vampire novel, he begins to doubt the understood deity of his race. Soon identified by Jack Dawn as a traitor, Javier goes on the run with Elder Roman and a mortal with a personal hidden agenda. They also are in pursuit of the book's author, although their intentions are quite dissimilar from those of their brethren.

Facing the most terrifying trial of her life against creatures known only in fables, one simple woman will unintentionally threaten the very existence of a powerful and accursed people. In the climactic mêlée, it is a race to the death, or if Beth has her way, a race to the life-of every Rakum who makes the choice.

Beth Rider is an author who writes about mysterious vampires and who has been marked as a Rabbit by one of the most vicious of the Brethren. Jack Dawn, a malicious, malcontent who has little regard for his pups or the human cows that they feed upon has marked her as a Rabbit on the run. His second in command, Michael Stone, spots the Rabbit, but cannot take her to be used. She'll be no match for the Brethren, she'll be dead by her own hand or insane in a matter of days.

The Ten Fathers that created and procreate the Rakum race are at a loss, Brethren are quitting their race and following an uncharted path away from all they have known. Could this novel by the Rabbit be the root of discontent?

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C. Maze feels like Christian Literature (it's the closest category I could come up with, but it does discuss the Jewish religion and Hebrew terms as well), and if this is your cup of tea, she writes her story well. Lots of books contain the elements of a religion, but this book focuses on it as a storyline, instead of vampires being the true focus. Unfortunately, it's also billed as a novel about vampires, which would be an Urban Fantasy in the strictest terms. The Rakum race does co-exists within the human race, only known to a few select Cows (human blood donors) and Breeders (human females chosen to breed with the Ten Fathers). But, as it turns out there is heavenly and demonic forces at play from the beginning of all time, since the battle between God and the Angel, Lucifer. If you didn't know your Bible stories before reading the book, you will know the authors interpretation of them upon finishing the book. There are many quotes from the Bible interspersed throughout the book, as the would be heroine tries to convert the Rakum (vampiric beings who are demon created) to the way of God and to become one with His word. I tried to like Beth Rider, I really did, but it goes against the grain of my being to be forced into acceptance, and ultimately, this is what happens to the Rakum, chose God or die. I did like the main hero in the book, Michael Stone, he defended his heroine even with his life. I wish the cover blurb would have clued the reader into the religious overtones found within the book, so I would have been prepared for them. If you enjoy a battle between Godliness and Godlessness, then this book is for you. It is the ultimate battle between the word of God and the ancient evil of Lucifer and his demonic minions.

I received this book from the author for review. All opinions I express are my own.


Donna said...

Hm, this one looks a bit iffy to me. I'm like you and I don't like the idea of being forced to choose. Just knowing there are heavy religious overtones in the storyline, turn me off to the book. I really like to keep fanatical religion out of my fiction reading. Thanks for the review, it was very good. :)

Happy 2010!

Lea said...

Awesome review Dottie.. Well thought out and done.

Like Donna, I'm not too keen on stories with heavy religious overtones and the fact that the paranormal/UF plot takes a back seat in this story means it likely isn't my cuppa.

However, others might really enjoy it and your review gives a good overview of what to expect.

Thanks Dottie!

Unknown said...

Hi Donna!

Like I said in my review, I wish the cover blurb would have let me know of the biblical nature of the book, it's not normally something I'd pick to read, but I was able to finish the book instead of hitting the DNF pile (I've had a few of those in 2009). I too shy away from religion in my fictional reading material, sure wasn't expecting it.

Happy 2010 to you as well, best of all to you!!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

I love UF/Paranormal, but it definitely was not the focus of this book, but the storyline was about defeating the ancient evil (just a little more ancient that I realized, lol, who knew it would go back to the beginning of time?). I'm not much for strong religious overtones, and I've surely not read any books where vampires are converted, usually religious objects maim, kill, or destroy them (the story also had them revert back to being human after centuries of vampiric existence). Definitely different. But, to each their own, many people found the story uplifting according to Amazon and B&N. I just like to keep religious references out of my fiction reading.

Thanks Lea!

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Well that is one creepy torture .
But nice review Dottie.
Yes perhaps it should say something about the religious overtures cos I do not like to be surprised

Unknown said...

Hi B!

I would have liked to know that there were heavy religious overtones, I really was excepting it in a book that was supposed to be about vampires, and the villain in the book also looked like the Satanic influence in it too. He did creep me out. The blurb should have at least warning the reader. But, it was written in any easy flow that allowed for a quick read.

Dottie :)

Ellen Sallas, TAM said...

From the author of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. Thank you for your review -- you have truly captured the essence of this novel. You are a very gifted reviewer, and gracious to boot; considering you were surprised by the redemption/faith theme woven within. I apologize for misleading anyone. I was vague on the book cover to reach a wider audience.

Because of your excellent and honest review (and the comments of your readers) I am going to make things more clear on the back cover of the Rabbit sequel and subsequent books. I still hate to classify it as Christian lit. since I am not a Christian... but I will endeavor to find a happy medium because I find merit and value in your opinion and these preceding comments.

Thank you very much, Ellen C Maze, author Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider.

Unknown said...

Hi Ms. Maze

The book was good overall and it's definitely a different take on vampirism. I guess I was expecting something else instead of the redemption that was found within the pages.

Thanks for sending the book, it was worth the read.

Dottie :)

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