Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Publication Date: 10/28/08
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Blurb (GR): It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .
I can't even find the words to describe how much I LOVED this novel. But let me start by warning Twilight lovers that this book is not about sexy sparkly vampires and teenage love. If you are not ready to read about ugly realities of human life, do not open this book.
It is not an easy book to read. The story is complex and involves many characters, whose presence sometimes is just momentary. The action moves from one character to another very quickly. But once you understand the pace and get used to foreign names, the story consumes you.
I will not relay the plot here, if you want to know what exactly the book is about, there are many reviews here that describe the story well. What I am going to say is that this is simply the best vampire novel I've ever read. Yes, I am putting it higher even than legendary Bram Stoker's "Dracula." This story is so much more complex and interesting in a way that not only does it show vampires from the point of view of their victims, but it also shows the world through the eyes of the vampires. We find out how very often innocent people become those feared monsters, we go through the transformation with them, we feel their guilt and shame, we learn about their relationships with their "Guardians" (who sometimes are worse monsters than vampires themselves).
But this book is not only about vampires, it explores the world of adolescent boys (the world I know nothing about). Surprisingly, I found out how important presence of a father in a boy's life. Without the guidance a love of a father, boys are lost to violence and abuse.
With all the horridness described in this book, it is strangely full of love and tenderness, understanding and forgiveness.
I highly recommend this book. You simply will not be able to walk away untouched by it.