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The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein

I recently read the The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein. It is an entertaining vampire comes-of-age novel but it didn't really bring anything new to the table and I really can't say it is a great novel.

Ms. Stein's writing style is smooth and enjoyable. I devoured the book in an afternoon and then wondered where I lost the day. I also didn't put it down, taking it to the kitchen and everywhere else since I was enjoying it so much. The pacing was excellent, coupled with the descriptions, since it flowed very well through the entire length of the book.

Her writing is enjoyable, I didn't really care for the story itself. But, there were a few things in the book that really jarred me.

One is rape. There is a rape scene in the book, first chapter action, and that is one of the two things I'll always mention in a review. However, in contrast of the rape survivors I know, the main character managed to push the entire event aside and focus on her new vampire powers in a matter of hours of waking up. Just because she enjoyed it. This bothers me, mainly because it jars with my suspension of disbelief so much. I'm uncomfortable with anyone who can pass through that tragedy so quickly.

This book also has a few of the vampire powers that I've always disagreed with. Not being visible in a mirror has always disagreed with my slightly and psuedo-scientific mindset. I can't explain how getting a blood-borne virus or bacteria or something else would somehow bend light but only for reflections. The telepathy, strangely enough, I didn't have any trouble with, except for the fact it was too easy. Kind of like the beginnings of Magical Knights Rayearth where the first three episodes the girls get all their powers.

The world development had its up and downs. As I've mentioned in a few stories, I'm not fond of characters who know everything but "can't explain it right now". There are a few characters like that, which just left me feeling like I was just watching a joke, waiting for the punchline. I might even say not a very good joke since I figured out the villain of the novel somewhere around chapter five. There were a few nice plot twists, something I enjoyed, but they weren't exactly... well, surprising.

I can't say I wanted my life back after reading it, because I didn't. I did enjoy reading it, but it was closer to a new look at old ideas of something more radically different or something that really made me think. I probably won't buy the rest of the series until maybe book four to see if it sharpens up but I will get her second series, if she creates one. I like the writing style, I just need the content to be a bit more cosmo-shaking to really feel it was a great novel.