In the Forests of the Night is the first novel in a vampire series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I bought this book because I absolutely adore her Kiesh’ra series. However, I didn’t realize that this book was written by her at 13. It’s grand that she was able to write so young, but plenty of people write okay fiction at a young age. Just because they can doesn’t mean that it deserves to be published. Atwater-Rhodes does not yet have the skill to write believable, intriguing, multifaceted characters and plot lines that flow well.
While well described, her characters were flat with little to no dimension. The characters also had rather sporadic motivation changes that I could not get on board with. Risika teeters between wanting to fight against Aubrey (who murdered her brother) and not wanting to. She hunts in his territory, but then decides to avoid it so she won’t make him angry, but then hunts in it again. When he challenges her she doesn’t want any trouble, but then does, but maybe not? But yes! It was tiresome, and not well thought out.
That being said, I thought her flashbacks were really well written. Alive Rachael is more believable and far more interesting than when she dies and becomes Risika.
The ending fell short for me. Her ‘trick’ ending just seemed unbelievable. Her ‘dead’ brother shows up to judge her and ask her to stop being a monster, even though it is his fault she was turned. She walks away from him because is is a monster, and she has no attachment to him. First, it is unbelievable that after 300 years he just now shows up to show her that he is alive, and second, we just spent the entire book wanting to get revenge on Aubrey because of him murdering her brother, and now you don’t care?! Again, this is where Atwater-Rhodes’ immaturity as a writer shows.
While I enjoyed the flashbacks, I think this book was not up to par with the material I expected from Atwater-Rhodes. And while she was 13 when she wrote this, I don’t think that warrants extra stars. So this book is a firm two, but I will read the next in the series hoping that she has grown a bit as a writer. *fingers crossed*