Review – Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater

PWSD“We are Death.”  Amaliya is a normal (ish) student who awakens to find herself buried “alive”.  She is disoriented and can remember little.  After making it back to her apartment, she cleans up and then heads out to find something to eat.  Her instincts take over and she ends up at a Frat House where they are having an interesting party in the basement.  She is happy to discover what she needs and drinks her fill of all the people in the room.  Turns out that her professor (who had invited her out for coffee the night before) is a powerful vampire.  He enjoys turning new vampires and then torturing them.  Amaliya is his latest victim.

Let me start by saying that this book isn’t for everyone.  It’s full of blood, sex and violence.  If you are squeamish about these things, then you may want to move on.  But, if you want to read a strong story, Rhiannon Frater always delivers.  I appreciated the freshness of this story while still maintaining some old-school vampire mythology (cannot enter a home without being invited, etc.)

Amaliya is a flawed person who becomes a flawed vampire.  Underneath the tattoos and piercings, she is ultimately someone who tries to do the right things.  Some people can’t see past the facade and that’s a shame.  There are many strong characters that Amaliya meets along the way.  Cian, the leader of the Austin cabal.  His fiance, Samantha.  Jeff, the vampire hunter.  And, Amaliya’s only supportive family members – Grandmama and cousin Sergio.

For me, the hardest parts to read had nothing to do with vampires, sex, violence, killing or blood.  It was Amaliya’s family.  Her father, stepmother (cousin), aunt and brothers are fairly horrible.  That’s all I’ll say about that but GRRRR….they made me angry.

5/5 stars for another great book by Rhiannon.  I think what I love most about her books is that they are not only entertaining (vampires, zombies and witches, oh my), they are also thoughtful.  They are about familial relationships, love, making tough decisions and learning to live with the hand you are dealt.  Simply great!



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