Book Review - The Stoker Sisters (YA)

The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Dracula by Kailin Gow is the first installment of what should prove to be a fabulous new YA series, Daughters of Dracula.

As one of the few non-YA specific and non-genre specific blogs to have been chosen to review this book by Pump Up Your Book, I feel privileged to have gotten the opportunity, and you - my readers get a two for one review, because my wonderful daughter Robyn also read The Stoker Sisters and I will be including her opinion in my review.

As a mom, I do have to caution that this book contains some mature language in dealing with relationship scenes and as you will see from my review, Kailin Gow is a remarkable storyteller that paints a vivid picture, so  while I think this book is totally YA appropriate, it may not be suitable for very young YA readers.

From the Publisher:

Two sisters... Born during the time of Jane Austen... Set to marry for advancement, but escaped their fates by becoming vampires. Now vampires in the 21st century, hunted by a sect of rogue hunters and governed by an ancient Romanian and Bulgarian vampire myth, the sisters live in a small beach town of California where they meet Keegan Knowles, a mysterious boy. For hundreds of years they've shared clothes, books, and their home, but will they share the same boy or is it there going to be war?

My review:

Wow!!! This book packs a punch in a good way.  You jump headlong into Victorian England as you meet the Stoker Sisters, and learn their fate in the prologue... and from there, you follow them on the start of a wild, modern adventure that includes teen intrigue, young lust and hints at both great relationships and great adventure to come in future installments of the Daughters of Dracula series.

I love how the book depicts the sisters as two sides of the same coin in some ways, and very divergent in others.  The story pulled me in quickly and didn't fail to keep my attention throughout the book.  One of the things I love most is that, at it's core, The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Dracula is born out of a common vampire legend and mingles Romanian and Victorian expectations of vampires with The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Draculamodern sensibilities.  

The sisters themselves, Alexis - the wild child who pushes the envelope and wants to live on the edge, and Sadie, who wants to be as human and 'normal' as a 200 year old vampire can be, have managed to co-exist as vampires and sisters for that long, but things are starting to come to a head... I can't wait to read more in the series and find out if sisterly love and loyalty can be maintained as they continue to evolve and chart divergent courses... and whether the courses they've chosen are as divergent as they think.

As I said before, there is definitely a mature relationship element depicted in some of the scenes that may not be suitable for all young adult readers, particularly very young YA readers, I think that the use of these scenes are important to the plot and the development of character.

My twelve year old daughter is very mature for her age, and I had no misgivings in sharing The Stoker Sisters: Daughters of Dracula with her, especially when we could discuss it together, but even she admitted that some of her friends parents might not approve of some of the relationship content, so in recommending this book, I suggest that it's best fit is at a high school or better level.

About the author:

Kailin Gow is the author of over 40 books. She has traveled all over the world, conducting research, and collecting stories.