Kelleen Silveira, Starved, 2016
Starved, the first instalment in Kelleen Silveria’s Starved series (followed by Maimed), follows the path of Tate Vasilievich, a young woman who wakes up inside a grave only to discover that she’s been killed, along with her mother, and is now awakening as a vampire. Tate befriends Malek, who himself holds vast knowledge of the vampire world and personal secrets of his own, and together they set about on a mission to find Tate’s younger sister, Katie, who has gotten involved with the powerful vampires around the city.
While necessary, Silveria’s decision to have it written in first-person poses one problem, for me, throughout; she rarely seems to be really upset about her mother’s death. She’s informed of the story but never visits her grave (admittedly in a world where they need to be careful it’s probably wise) nor really spends an exuberant amount of time mourning her mother. Considering she makes enough mistakes in visiting places she shouldn’t, it seems weird she never visits the mother’s grave to truly mourn her loss.
While the narration is detailed and proves effective, there are times where the plot seemed to be taking an unnecessary detour. Tate’s romantic interest in Malek comes about very late in the novel when it seems they should be fully focussed on saving/finding Katie, and hunting vampires late at night and work on the serum to help kill the lead vampire, Kisin, seem to be pushed back. I was expecting their romantic interest to peak earlier, or save it to the very end, but its position seemed late and distracting to their efforts.
These minor issues aside, though, Starved is a very well-written and well structured novel with enough twists to keep you reading. Regular flashbacks to various points in Tate’s life help build the history and the downfall of Katie’s character, as well as painting more of a history on how Tate was as a human. And, while the usual desire for blood was there, an interesting take on eating and the weight-loss effects after having become a vampire helps give this enough detail to stand it out from regular and everyday vampire stories.
Silveira’s first instalment leaves enough happening to render it a capable story on its own, but leaves enough going forward that it can entice readers to come back to find out. A story well worth checking out.
Final verdict: An intriguing vampire novel, if, admittedly, with a few issues.
Other works by Kelleen Silveria:
The Starved Series
Soul of the Woods
Little Seal Pup Goes to the Beach
Little Rainbow Dinosaur takes a Bath
Little Brown Dog travels the World: Classic Poems About Travel
A Year for Black Bear: Classic Poems about the Seasons
Giraffe’s Rainy Day: Classic Poems About Weather