I discovered Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations (Ana Be Still Series Book 1) on Cheap Kindle Books and my interest was caught by the summary and the lovely cover art. There are so many books about vampires lately, but R. Holland seemed to have a new spin on them, so I gave it a shot. Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations is the first book of three in the Ana Be Still Series.
As he was losing consciousness, he thought to himself, This is it. This is how I die…a slow, agonizing, painful death, all because I wanted to follow three rules. Then he passed out. His name was Simon…and he was a vampire.
Ana thought that she was just a regular girl, although one touched by grief. Her beloved sister was killed in what she believed to be a tragic accident, but would soon learn was something much more sinister. On her nineteenth birthday, Christmas morning, all she thought she knew is ripped from her as she is taken to a special compound for those who aren’t quite human. Seekers, like Ana, have one purpose: to kill vampires. Ana learns that her parents were killed when she was young and now the ones who raised her as their own blame her for the death of their true daughter, who was murdered by vampires. As she struggles to come to terms with her new reality, and her surprise fiancee, Ana’s world is once more rocked by vampires who have seized control of the government and want only one thing: the death of all the seekers.
I fully enjoyed the world-building done by Holland in this novel, creating a pretty intriguing premise of three races, humans, seekers, and vampires, all living side by side. The vampires never lose the ruthless edge that makes them such staples of the horror genre in the story, but Simon is also a deeply relatable character, one who has a moral code and follows it, even if it is not the same code as the rest of society.
Seekers aren’t fully human. They have abilities that give his kind a disadvantage. Seekers can hide their scent so creatures of the night can’t smell them. They have advanced weapons. A trained seeker that knows how to use these weapons can be big trouble.
There is an undercurrent of racial tension throughout Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations. Ana is asked to hate all vampires because they are vampires. Simon has learned to hate all seekers because they are seekers. Watching the two struggle to overcome this learned aversion and see each other for who they really are was one of my favorite parts of the book.
The biggest problem with Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations is that it is only 117 pages and takes a couple of hours to read at the most. This makes it more novella than novel and does not leave Holland enough room to accomplish the scope of what she attempts to convey. The whole plot feels rushed, as do the emotions of Ana, who seemingly leaps from one extreme to the other within a few pages. While the plot is interesting and engaging, the book is just too short to fully explore any of it with any depth and character development is lacking for even the main characters.
Part of the problem is Holland’s insistence on introducing a love triangle in so short a book, making Ana seem fickle. In the space of time where most books would just be satisfactorily culminating one relationship, Ana meets and develops feeling for two separate characters. It comes across feeling forced and awkward.
While I enjoyed reading Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations, I am forced to give it 2 stars. For me, the intriguing premise just wasn’t engaging enough to distract from the short length and the problems that created for the plot. Perhaps buying and reading all three books in the series together, as a cohesive whole, would allow the books to seem like one regular length novel. Anyone looking for vampire story in a hurry should give Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations a shot.
[stars color=”blue” number=”two” width=”150px”]
[amazon id=”fligoffant04-20″ asin=”B00ATXFQ6G” title=”Ana Be Still: Deathly Revelations” author=”R. Holland” source=”Cheap Kindle Books” afflink=”http://kindlebookscheap.com/books?ap_id=jennamarie”%5D