Kate – Gerogia’s younger sister. Their parents were killed in a car crash and they now live with their Grandparents (Mamie and Papy) in Paris. She is more intoverted then her sister. She likes museums, books, art, sitting by herself in a cafe reading… She meets Vincent and they instantly have a connection.
Vincent – a revenant. He see’s Kate and she intrigues him. He and Charlotte save her, like they save others. But he falls for her. He was originally killed in World War II, as a member of the French Resistance, when he was 19. He has been saving people ever since. He breaks a rule and brings Kate to his home and the revenants end up having to tell Kate about them.
Georgia – Kate’s slightly older sister. She loves to party and gets “involved” with Lucien, one of the luma (a luma who is out to get Vincent specifically too).
Mamie and Papy – the wonderful and loving grandparents. Mamie restores art nd Papy is an antiques dealer/collector. There is something about Papy though, since he recognizes the word “luma” and asks Kate where she heard it.
Charlotte and Charles – twins. Revenants. Charlotte is the only female revenant living with the group. The boys are all like her brothers (although I think there is someone she pines for). Her twin Charles has trouble accepting who they are and the cycle of life and death that they re-live through constantly. He ends up with Lucien.
Ambrose, Gaspard, Jules and Jean-Baptiste Grimod de la Reyniere - other revenants. The Count is the “head” of the group and he is leery of Kate at first. But, he eventually asks Kate for help.
Main Premise: Kate and Vincent meet and Kate is dazzled by Vincent. She soon discovers all about the revenants. And, after a close call where Ambrose is “killed” Charles runs away. It appears that he runs into the clutches of a numa, looking for a way to end the cycle of death and reanimation. Kate and Vincent fall in love. Kate runs from him at first, not being able to deal with all the death and the reminders of her parent’s death. But, she can’t stay away and he promises to try to resist the urge to save others so he can be with her and not put her through that.
Other Important things to Remember for Later: Papy knows something – he knows the term luna. Charles and Charlotte are asked to leave Paris for another one of Reyniere’s properties, just until Charles can get him head straight. Lucien has been killed by Vincent, while he possessed Kate. Kate and Georgia made up a story about where Georgia’s injuries came from, and Georgia seems different (more reserved). Kate has earned Reyniere’s trust. But, the group that Lucien lead is still at large and we don’t know how they will respond to Lucien’s death. Kate can hear Vincent, which should not be possible since she’s not a revenant (the other references to such abilities are referenced as being rare and myths). He was also able to possess her, for a decent amount of time, yet leaving Kate’s mind intact which should not have been possible either.
Review: While fairly formulaic in nature (the description from my review of Misfit: “there’s something that makes me different, so I can never be with you, but oooooohhhhhhh I need to be with you, and there is something magic/supernatural keeping us apart and miserable. Oh, and by the way, one of us has wicked superpowers of some kind or is immortal and we need to figure out a way to fix one or both of us so we can be together.”), the book and the characters weren’t nearly as… whiney and gag-inducing about it as other couples from other books (I am a Twilight fan, so I say this with affection, Bella and Edward are the epitome of that whiney and gag-inducing tone and despite my love for the series, it has serious issues). And I really liked them, for that and other reasons.
Despite the superficiality that much of this genre (the YA PNR specifically) relies on to kick start a series, this book was one of the few that showed a surprising depth of a relationship between Kate and Vincent. Being told that they spent and afternoon together getting to know one another was a refreshing change in this genre.
Even more refreshing was Kate’s ability to attempt to live without Vincent. Showing that while she may not want to be without the boy she loves, she can. That’s something that is so often missing – leaving it virtually impossible to ignore the weakness associated with those female characters. Vincent also wasn’t a whiney little girl about the whole thing. Did he miss Kate – sure. But he wasn’t doing the whole drastic expose myself to the sun thing. And he wasn’t really all dark and brooding and creepy as a result. It was a nice change. I also think that the non-existance of a potential love triangle was a huge relief. I really don’t want to have to chose a “team” here…
The story is unique (except with respect to the lack of parental supervision which apparently is a must in this genre **blinks in confusion as to why**). While dealing with something supernatural, the idea of a “revenant” is different. It is not the typical vampire or werewolf story. And it is easy to root for the group of revenants as a whole. The end was satisfying and yet there is clearly room to continue in the universe that was built.
I have seen comparisons drawn between this book and Shiver, because of the ability of the author to write romantic prose. I must disagree. The writing and the romance and the relationship here is much more subtle. I didn’t find myself rereading sentences just because of how pretty they were or the emotions that they conveyed the way I did in Shiver. But, overall, I think the romance and the relationship here was more satisfying and felt more lasting. I also think that the world built is more interesting and leaves more room for the growth of the characters and the story.
I certainly hope that the author doesn’t let me down with the second in the series (like Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, even Maggie Steifvater all have). This has so much potential. I am looking forward to more!