Emma–the fourth, longest and last of Jane Austen’s books to appear in print during her lifetime, Emma is considered a classic romantic comedy and was first published in 1816. Written almost 200 year ago, it’s inevitable that the dialogue may feel a bit stilted at times. However, this adds dimension and depth to the story which focuses on 19th century social hierarchies and the interaction between various social classes.
Miss Emma Woodhouse is a shining example of a 19th century socialite. Beautiful, clever and wealthy, she fancies herself a master-matchmaker and sets in motion a laundry list of schemes to pair off the Highbury residents. Convinced a make-over would elevate her new friend Harriet’s social standing and thus her marriage potential, Emma, fueled by her feeling of superiority, plotted and planned, all to no avail. Failing to realize the extent of her shortcomings and the consequences of such hurtful behavior, Emma was finally confronted by Mr. Knightley. Afterwards, embarrassed and ashamed, she reevaluated her life and began to make amends, in hopes of becoming a better person.
Emma is a beautifully written, classic, laced with wit and sarcasm. Through a vastly differing cast of characters, each delightfully inspiring in his or her own way, Austen vividly captured the heart of a community. Everything is neatly tied up at the conclusion, as things literally come full circle…ending much the way it began. A sublte, yet very significant messege is hidden just below the surface–the beginning and the ending are just definitive points in the journey, in between is where we write our definition of happiness. There’s a depth and sincere honesty written into the very fabric of this story- that must be recognized to fully appreciate the artistic genius of Jane Austen.Like a vintage automobile, Emma is a slow, leisurely read, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The vampire story is a well tried and tested plot line. The undead feeding on the blood of the living, and in so doing turning their victims into vampires as well. Great plot, but it has one flaw. The usual scoop involves a vampire needing to drink blood every night. I live in a small town of around 20,000 residents, some simple math shows that within two weeks, we would all be vampires, in fact within ten weeks every person in the continental US would be a vampire, and a few weeks later the entire world!
That said, I have no problem with vampire related books. Predatoress is set in modern times, actually 2003 and most of the activity takes place in the small Hungarian town of Sopron. For the main character the author has selected herself, Emma Gabor. Emma is a sweet 18 year old girl with a promising future as a genetic researcher. Those aspirations seem dashed following a close encounter with a shadowy figure who introduces Emma into the world of the undead.
Emma in turn co-opts her friends. Of course the small population of Sopron can not possibly sustain this ever expanding vampire population, and the young ladies are forced to forage further afield.
As with any secret, it has a finite shelf life, a sell by date! It does not take long before the activities in Sopron become noticed.
Emma is not inherently bad, she just can not control the need for fresh blood. Eventually she explains her dilemma to her fiancée Zoltan, another genetic researcher.
The race is on, can they discover a serum to undo the vampire curse?
I don’t think it would be fair to readers to reveal more of the plot.
As an older reader I left with the feeling that this book lacked the finesse Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 horror novel Dracula. But, the genre is not one that I have a great love for anyway, so I would not take my word for much. In fact my 18 year old step son and his girlfriend are huge fans of this genre, it will be interesting to get their feedback.
Almost certainly the Young Adult audience is the focus of Emma Gabor, and it may well work for her.
From a technical standpoint I cannot fault the book. It has been well crafted, and great care taken in the editing phase. I suspect that Emma Gabor is going to become a name with a large following. It will be interesting to see what direction she takes next. The YA crowd is a large and influential group, and they are often willing to trade depth for action in a plot. I however think that if the author swaps action for depth in her next book, she will be well on the way to that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Predatoress is a clear example of Emma Gabor’s ability to write, she just needs to limit the sweeping plot-line in favor of developing her characters.