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Book: Perverse by Larry Rodness

Publisher: ITOH PRESS

Furnished by: The author himself

Publisher’s Description: “19 year old Emylene Stipe is a 2nd generation Goth who, like every teenage girl, is trying to find her place in the world. One night she comes upon an old painting in an antique store and is compelled to purchase it. When she brings it home an image of a young woman appears in the sketch and then magically materializes in her apartment. Emylene nick-names her ‘Poinsettia’ and they soon become fast friends. But Poinsettia has an ulterior motive for her sudden and strange intrusion into her host’s life which causes Emylene to question her whole belief system.”

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Review: Perverse is the story of Emylene Stipe, a local Goth Princess, who grows up under the influence of her Goth parents, Theo and Vandy. She spends her youth examining and reveling in death and “the black,” thinking that she’s got the world pretty well figured out. But when she comes upon a magical painting in an old antiques shop, her entire world changes. And it isn’t just changed for Emylene — it’s an upset for the entire city, and, eventually, the world.

Evil magic makes pulls Emylene into the painting, ultimately forcing her trade places with Mira, the young girl who had been trapped there prior to her. 16 months later, she is released back into her own world by the mysterious Croation, Laszlo. He is hellbent on his mission to find Mira, who is trapped in Other-Town, a place which sprung up in the city only after Emylene disappeared into the painting. Other-Town is run by vampyres which suck the blood and life-force out of anyone who is drawn there. And their numbers and powers are growing exponentially, day by day. He thinks that Emylene must hold the key to saving humanity. But how can a young, confused girl save anything?

This book was a very quick read for me. It was well-paced, the characters were interesting, and it was a somewhat fresh take on a subject (vampires) that has been given quite a bit of mileage lately. As a former Goth, I found that part of the story particularly interesting. It’s a subculture that is very well-known, but not often well understood. Rodness offers an interesting look inside the culture and its subscribers. He also plays with the rules of vampire myths a bit, giving them the power to feed on energy and desires as well as the traditional feeding method of blood. Mind control plays a big part here, as well.

Since it was such a quick read, I’m hoping that there’s a sequel coming for this. The book was definitely ended on a note which both gives you closure and leaves you wanting more — a great way to set up a series. Find out more about Larry Rodness on his website, LarryRodness.com.