Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: Camille by Tess Oliver


Book: Camille by Tess Oliver
Series or Stand-Alone: Series, #1
Pages:  187
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal Romance / Steampunk
Purchase A Copy: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: July 8th, 2010
How I Got This Book: Purchased
Description (From Goodreads): At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.

When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille’s loses another inch of her soul to him. She knows that in a month’s time she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart.

Camille is a young adult, paranormal romance set in Victorian England.


I stumbled across Camille while perusing the young adult paranormal romance NookBook section on Barnes and Noble. I’ll admit, this is pretty much a daily activity. I had not heard anything about the book before, but it sounded rather intriguing. So, with my trusty nook in hand I “previewed” the first few pages of the book. The preview was to my liking, so I went ahead and purchased it. 

Now, I am going to have to be honest with you – I put off reading this book for a LONG time. Other books kept jumping into my hands (they have a tendency to do that, you know) and Camille was getting lost in the shuffle. 

Thankfully, one day I had a surprise break between classes and because I am such a complete nerd, I had my nook with me. Finally, I started Camille. I finished it that day.

This book was incredibly surprising, in a wonderful way. I instantly took to the heroine, the ever witty, Camille. This sixteen year old was such a brilliant character - in a number of ways. First of all, she is incredibly strong. Cami has overcome a number of difficult obstacles in her life and it has left her somewhat emotionally closed off.  She only really interacts with two people – her legal guardian, Dr. John Bennett and her twin sister, Emily. Camille certainly has a curious existence; she assists John in hunting werewolves. The two of them track and kill dangerous wolves in Victorian London, while desperately searching for a cure. 

Unsurprisingly, Camille’s day job contributes to her withdrawn attitude. She has learned to analyze her actions and thoughts, instead of forming an emotional attachment to things. She is remarkably intelligent and incredibly different from the other females of her time. Camille prefers to discuss scientific findings to engaging in local gossip and she feels much more comfortable in trousers than in a frilly dress. She is a determined girl, who does not take kindly to being pushed around and always stands on her own two feet.

Camille’s world turns upside down when she and John witness a werewolf attack a teenage boy. The boy, Nathaniel Strider manages to escape, but he is bitten in the process. Dr. Bennett decides that he simply must study Strider – that Nathaniel is the best hope of finding a cure. He soon sends Camille to fetch the “young lad”.

Now, when I was first introduced to the character of Strider I did not like him in the least. The first time we meet him, he is grave robbing. Then, the next few times Camille tracks him down, he is with a different girl. At this point, both Camille and I came to the same conclusion – Nathaniel Strider is a manwhore.  However, soon enough I had to eat my words, because like with any great character, Nathaniel was full of surprises. I am not going to spoil anything for you, but believe me, he quickly grows on you. He is incredibly well-rounded and unexpectedly vulnerable underneath.  He isn’t used to opening up to anyone either, so it takes a lot for him to let his guard down around Camille.

Not surprisingly, despite her early hatred for Nathaniel, much to her dismay, Camille falls for him. This terrifies her for a number of reasons – the largest being the fact that he is turning into a werewolf. This sets up a great dynamic for the book; the race against time to find a cure for Strider. If he turns into a werewolf, he will be a deadly one, and Camille will be faced with the task of killing him.

The plotline is laid out beautifully. Right from the beginning, you are swept up in Camille’s rather exciting and unconventional world. The pacing remains quick throughout the story, with contributes to the “race against time” storyline I was telling you about earlier. 

The only qualm I had with this book was the ending. It felt like things were settled too easily. There was so much buildup to the conflict that the resolution seemed to fall a bit short. I am always a fan of a happy ending, but this one was a little too rushed. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I wish it would have been dragged out a bit more. 

I am not sure when the next book is coming out, but I can tell you that I will be reading it. Camille exceeded my expectations in nearly every way.  Oliver did a remarkable job creating the central characters; both Camille and Nathaniel are dynamic and likable. If you are looking for an exciting ebook read, I would certainly try Camille.

Favorite Quotes
"I fell back into my favorite chair and tucked my hands between my knees to stop them from shaking. I sucked in a deep breath, held it, and marveled at my own transformation into a ridiculous ninny."
"I don't know how it happened. Through the din of the crowd, I heard this tiny scream. As small and distant as it was, it was like thunder in my head.' He looked up at me. Some of the blood had drained from his face making the dark circles under his eyes more pronounced. 'I knew it was you. I don't know how or why, but I knew it was you."
 "My mind argued with itself about whether to adhere to proper etiquette or whether to fling aside all modesty and throw my arms around him. My feet chose the latter before my mind had a chance to settle it. I flew off the stool and landed in his embrace. Freezing rain drenched his coat and shirt. His arms wrapped around me tighter, and there was nothing so right as being pressed against Nathaniel Strider."
 "He looked down at my fingers wrapped around his coat then lifted his eyes to mine. 'My tiny huntress, do you know what you've done to me?"


3 comments:

Cialina at Muggle-Born.net said...

Oh wow! This actually sounds fantastic... and I usually don't go for paranormal, but the Victorian bit hooked me in. But I'm dismayed that this is part of a series... Is there any chance that I could read it as a standalone?

Julie said...

I loved this book, too! I was so surprised. It's worth way more than .99 cents. I agree the ending was a bit rushed. I too wish it had dragged out a little more. I can't wait for the sequel. Oliver is a great writer. I got her other two books, too.

ComaCalm said...

Yey! Another Camille lover! =D

You might want to check this out:
http://comacalm.blogspot.com/2011/03/tess-oliver-author-spotlight-and.html

Or you might not... you know.. whatever floats your boat. XD

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