Welcome to the Pretty When She Destroys Book Tour presented by Xpresso Book Tours!
My stop features not only a review of Pretty When She Destroys, but also a Guest Post which I hope you will find enlightening and entertaining, as well as a giveaway of Pretty When She Destroys! There is also a Rafflecopter Giveaway that everyone can enter!
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Pretty When She Dies #3
Pretty When She Destroys
by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: August 27th 2013
Amaliya Vezorak always believed she was destined to live a failed life in obscurity until she was brutally murdered by an ancient vampire named The Summoner and reborn as a powerful vampire necromancer. Now it is up to her to save the world…
Pretty When She Destroys is the highly anticipated finale to the Pretty When She Dies trilogy. If you’re a fan of Rhiannon Fraters, you know that she has a way of putting her characters through difficult challenges where they have to think quickly on their feet in an effort to survive. You also know that often times than naught her characters find a way to survive by surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals who come together in an effort to survive the destruction of the planet and their way of life.
Our heroine, Amaliya Vezorak, was turned into a vampire against her will and her life hasn’t exactly been a box of Lucky Charms since. Previously to being turned, she had a difficult and challenging time especially when it came to her family, her love life, and the fact that she is nothing but determined to party like a rock star without regretting any of her actions. For the past 10 months, she’s had to live with the fact that she’s a necromancer vampire who has the ability to control the dead thanks to The Summoner. She also knows that she may be humanities last hope for survival if she can ever figure out a way to stop him.
Luckily for Amaliya, she found her way to Austin, Texas and into the arms of Cian, the Master of Austin who loves her unconditionally and gives her something she hasn’t felt in a long time; a place to feel welcomed, safe, and surrounded by Cian’s unusual cabal of supernatural and human coalition that would make Buffy envious. He’s also taught her to hunt without killing, and to trust others which doesn’t come so easily for her.
Rhiannon Frater will absolutely entertain and blow you away with her creative world building, and characters that you immediately fall in love with, or loathe so much you want to jump between the pages and kill them off for the heroine. If you’ve read even the first novel, you know without any doubts whatsoever that The Summoner is one of the vilest, right to the quick villains who doesn’t give a fig who he kills off as long as he maintains his goal of destroying humanity and creating his own form of utopia.
I love the fact that Samantha has grown into a fantastic character with her own abilities as the only living Phasmagas, or one who has the ability to control ghosts. I love that she and Amaliya have put their differences aside and have found a way to combine their abilities to stave off those who want to take Amaliya and use her for their own nefarious ways.
I absolutely enjoyed this series because the vampires are not fru fru or boorish beings who feel it necessary to dwell in the sunlight while having various relationship issues with other supernatural beings, and sleeping with whomever jumps out at them first. There are no 3 way love triangles. Amaliya and Cian’s romance is pure bliss and they’ve found a way to survive through numerous ups and downs and turns in their life. The series could be considered dark fantasy because there is a whole lot of blood and guts and dead bodies which absolutely doesn’t turn me off.
In the end, Pretty When She Destroys is definitely worth the time and effort it takes to read the book. The action sequences, romance, violence, and snark are out in multitudes.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Post by Rhiannon Frater
Amaliya: An Unconventional Heroine
When I set about writing PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES, I knew that the lead character of Amaliya was going to be an immediate departure from the conventional heroine. With her dyed black hair, “Beloved Mother” tattoo, and beat up Bettie Page heels, Amaliya clawed her way into my subconscious out of a grave in a forest and plunged us both into a nightmare like no other.
I dreamed the first two chapters of the novel and woke up with my heart pounding. I had to walk around my apartment to make sure that what I had dreamed was just a nightmare. It was that vivid, that terrifying, and that real. I knew then I had to write about Amaliya.
The heroine of PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES was one of the most difficult characters I ever had to wrestle onto the page. Everything that made her a fascinating character to write about also made her a difficult character to write about. Her dysfunctional family’s impact on her psyche is quite visible in her penchant for running away whenever things get too complicated or emotional. Her multi-cultural heritage (which reflects the diversity of Texas’s founding settlers) gave her an interesting background, but also made Amaliya feel like the consummate outsider. Add in her love of heavy metal, her mad crush on Rob Zombie (which I personally don’t get), and her uncanny ability to get in trouble, and the end result is a woman who stands outside the heroine mold.
Amaliya was immensely challenging to write at times. I wanted to scream at her through the monitor when she did something particularly dangerous. Though she looks like a badass, she is woefully naïve at times and this made me crazy. Never had I been at odds with a character as much as I was with Amaliya. I wanted her to go in one direction, but she would turn her battered heel in another and storm off. At times my frustration with her was overwhelming.
Then Cian entered the story. Cian understood Amaliya from the get-go. In fact, it was seeing Amaliya through Cian’s eyes that helped me finally find peace with her. I finally fully comprehended that Amaliya’s strength lies in the fact that she is not like everyone else. Though she often regards herself as a total screw up, she has an uncanny ability to land on her feet despite the circumstances.
It was then able to sit back and enjoy Amaliya’s evolution into a young woman who finally finds her place in the world and comes to terms with her difficult past over the course of the next two books. I was also fascinated by how Amaliya really doesn’t change at her core. Her wild ways and unconventional view on life, love, and sex remain the same. She just learns to accept who she is and adapts accordingly. By letting go of her insecurities, she becomes a truer version of herself.
Amaliya does take a lot of hits from some readers who can’t wrap their mind around her unorthodox ways. The fact that Amaliya has sex with more than one guy in the first book and one of them is involved with another woman upset a few readers. Sex is obviously a form of recreation with Amaliya, and not heavily-laden with the trappings of romance, love, and fidelity. Though Amaliya never defines herself as bisexual, it’s clear that she’s sexually fluid. Even though she kills a fair amount of people in the first book, her raw sexuality is the one thing that put some people off, but absolutely enthralled her fans.
It’s fairly clear that Amaliya’s happily ever after (should she get one) would look nothing like the heroines of other vampire novels. She’d still be hanging out at bars listening to metal bands, smoking way too many cigarettes, flirting outrageously with Rob Zombie lookalikes or pretty girls, playing her drums, and living her life as she see fits. She’d also be her lover’s perfect partner (if they both survive), a powerful vampire-necromancer, and a good friend.
Yet, these are the things that make Amaliya feel real to our modern world. She’s young, finding herself, disenfranchised from the mainstream, and finding her place in a complicated world. In the end, it’s no surprise that Amaliya loves being a vampire, and that is what makes her a very unconventional heroine.
Other Books in Series:
Grand prize giveaway
All 3 books in the series + vampire jewellery (photo attached) - US/Canada only