Book Review – Breathless

Breathless-cover
To buy Breathless by Scott Prussing, click HERE

‘Breahthless’ is an interesting take on the Vampire Fiction that is so big right now. Yes, it has the handsome vampire love interest and yes it has the handsome vampire hating love interest for the female protagonist. It’d probably be easier to list the books that don’t do that at the moment.

On the other hand, however, the characters are not quite the assumed cliché that is running around with it.

The premise is a good start. Our heroine, Leesa, is going to college in Connecticut. She’s always had an interest in vampires – primarily because her delusional mother repeatedly discusses the fact that she was attacked by a one-fanged vampire when she was pregnant with Leesa. This has lead to a great deal of separation between Leesa and her mother and so she was primarily raised by her brother. Her Aunt and Uncle also play a big role in her upbringing and serve as surrogate parents. When her brother disappears, Leesa decides to follow him to the University that he vanished at. Leesa enrolls in her university and discovers that there is a course on ‘Vampire Mythology’ offered as a credit and so grabs on to it given her fascination. The professor, as it turns out, is a believer. While there she meets a charming gentleman as well as the mysterious Rave. From there we discover more and more about the world that the author is trying to build.

Of all of the characters, Leesa and Rave receive the most attention and development. Of the pair, I enjoyed Rave the most. The civilization that Rave lives as a part of is interesting. They don’t have traditional ‘family’ units (which makes his perception of her care for her brother peculiar) and they don’t use technology. They remind me a lot of the Amish that live and work here in Michigan. Rave also won’t kiss her, but that is due to his secret ability and feud with the vampires. Rave is an interesting character and, while we see him struggle between his society and his feelings for Leesa quite a bit, the solutions come off as a bit convenient or hollow several times. I can get in with Rave’s head and his emotions well, but his reasoning just doesn’t tune with me – it feels a bit rushed and also as if he is far too willing to sacrifice his known world for this young woman he has just met.

Leesa is our other major protagonist and she is interesting in that she is not entirely generic. The most prominent feature that gets mentioned is her shorter leg, giving her a limp. However, she also has preferences and feelings that actually matter to her that she holds to. As opposed to many of the charactes that I read in Supernatural Fiction, Leesa makes an attempt to show a good growth from non-believer to believer. It feels a bit abrupt, but, given the motivations that she has for her change of perspective it somewhat makes sense. It feels fast, but given the circumstances I can understand it.

The setting is well described and it is clear the author has a love for college campuses and Connecticut. Also Mead (it makes sense when you reach it in the book). Which makes for some good reading and interesting descriptions. It makes you want to visit the area that is described in the book and, I would guess, is based on actual locations in the state.

The plot is well paced, if fairly standard fare. The setting makes up for the predictability of the plot. The characters make up for some of the convenient moments within the story. As long as you are with Leesa or Rave, at least. Several of the secondary cast members – the Professor and the Best Friend in particular – don’t really expand beyond their trope role. This is a shame, because both secondary characters have a great deal of potential for fun in them that gets overlooked.

Overall, Breathless is a fun, if predictable, read. The author clearly cares about his main characters and his setting. Given that this is the first in a series of books, I would imagine that the secondary characters get a chance to shine in later stories. On the whole, given its free price, this is worth the time investment that you will have to commit to it.

Overall Rating: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Characterization: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Story: 3/5
Flow: 2.5/5
Value: 5/5 (Free!) 2/5 (Hard Cover Print Version)

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