I was given a copy of Reanimation by Stacey McCoy in exchange for an honest review.
I really really really really wanted to like this book. I did. Science found the cure for vampirism! It’s exciting! I made it 30% into the book and it feels like everything happened and nothing happened. There are 2 major plot lines so far, but the pacing feels off and they feel underdeveloped.
While the blurb talks about Rylan a lot, he is not actually the MC. Kady is the main character, and she’s kind of forgettable. I actually had to open the book again to find her name. I still have no idea what drives her. What’s her passion? What are her interests? What does she do when she’s not taking care of her father or working at the bar? I was pushing through, hoping that the development of a relationship between the two would move this into a realm that made it enjoyable and give greater insight into Kady. I thought it was working. Just as the relationship seems to be progressing, Kady’s missing mother appears. The re-introduction of Kady’s mother as a vampire creates a second plot-line that has sort of put the first on the back burner. Kady’s mom left when she was 2. She ditches Kady at daycare and leaves a note telling her husband that Kady was too much and that he was never there, so she was leaving with another man. Kady appears to hold some bitterness and anger toward her mom (a completely believable reaction, though why her father chose to tell her all the contents of the note is beyond me). Quickly, though, she starts feeling sorry for her mother and what happened to her, letting go of that anger. If the rest of the book weren’t the same way, I’d believe that Nora (Kady’s mother) is manipulating her. Her story is told with little to no emotion and, again, appears to be very superficial. Within a few paragraphs, Kady is calling her mom and crying for her. I’ve been so upset with my mother that I didn’t want to talk to her. It took more than a few minutes worth of pleading to get me to even sit down with her. Kady caves after a couple sentences. Unfortunately, the developments with her mother returning are rushed and superficial. This was kind of the last straw in my ability to digest this book. None of the reactions of the characters are realistic.
Then, there’s a potential third plot-line involving Lawrence. Why does he hate Nora? What does he know about Rylan? Why, after knowing Kady her ENTIRE LIFE is some of this coming to light? Obviously the Rylan thing is new, but his apparent disgust with her mother can’t be. I’m not sure if this is a plot device to add mystery, or an oversight.
I expect some level of suspension of disbelief (I mean, it is about vampires and curing them, afterall), but I am unable to reconcile the reactions of the characters to very dramatic and traumatic happenings. The reactions are what I would expect to see on the surface. Something a person would show an acquaintance. There is little to no hint that something stronger and deeper is going on. So little about the characters is explained, yet we seem to be progressing beyond the point where explaining in narration seems reasonable.
I’ll admit that I prefer a character-driven story. A story where the development of the character and the relationships are the driving force behind what happens. I don’t feel like this is that kind of story. There’s a lot of plot, but the characters feel very flat. Conversations are stilted and seem forced (even when they’re not meant to be awkward), and there is little to give us insight into the characters. A lot happens in this novel, but the disinterest in character development makes this very difficult to read. While I will hold onto the book and potentially revisit later, it’s not something that I feel compelled to finish.
If you want to check it out for yourself, you can grab it by clicking on the image below.