Okay, so this book is likely the one that got me into writing. Truthfully, it’s been so long, I don’t remember how this book came into my possession. What I do remember is how much I loved it back then. It introduced me to the amazing (and occasionally painful) world of being a writer… and vampires. After reading Demon In My View, I did everything possible to get my hands on the rest of the Den of Shadows Series. I also fell in love with the Kiesha’ra Series and I will likely do a review on it as well.
It goes without saying that I read the books in the wrong order. Demon in My View is the second in the Den of Shadows Series, but it didn’t create any confusion. When I went back to read In the Forest of the Night, it was nice to have familiar characters make appearances in the novel. Other than that, they weren’t so closely linked together to need to read them in chronological order. When I did finish the first two, I learned Atwater-Rhodes had written both books before she was sixteen years old. I was impressed. More so because at the time I was roughly thirteen years old and I heavily into writing fanfiction of my favorite animes. It opened my mind to realize I could write my own fiction novels with my own characters. So I did. And for that, I thank you, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.
Demon in My View follows Jessica Alodola, a high school senior who happens to be a secretly published author. Two transfer students, Caryn and Alex, have a deep interest in Jessica, with Alex being quite familiar and similar to her fictional character: Aubrey. As it turns out, her dreams of vampires and witches, the source of her writing materials, are real. Jessica’s published work reveals the lives of real supernatural beings and their out for her head.
For cons, at the time I didn’t have any. I was in my early teens when I read this. It was the greatest book I’d come across and I thought Atwater-Rhodes was a literary genius. Obviously, as time has gone on, I’ve been exposed to more writing and vampire novels (Idc what anyone says, I will always love Twilight.) Atwater-Rhodes was young when she wrote this book and its predecessor. Meaning, it’s voice is reasonably childish and the characters are minimally developed. The writing in this books spends more time telling instead of showing, nearly stopping the narrative to do so. But, she was thirteen. You can’t be mad at someone who was only getting started in their work. Atwater-Rhodes’s works have definitely developed into great and greater things. If anyone has a real problem with this book (which some do), it’s because they’re jealous a teenager wrote a book that was published way before they managed to. If they ever did.
Swinging over to the pros: Atwater-Rhodes’s world building is on point. It’s nothing intense like Harry Potter, but it’s seamless. Each book in the series doesn’t rely on the other to understand what is going on and who is who. The best part is being able to pick up any of the books and recognizing a character from one of the others in the Den of Shadows. Demon In My View is also a unique idea. Some might try to call it a cliche, but I’ve yet to come across another novel with a plot anywhere close to this one. What amazes me is how a young woman entering her teens was able to accomplish what so many of us struggle to do for decades. Hell, I was even jealous when I was thirteen and trying to figure out what my novel was remotely about, but it was the motivator I needed to get me going.
I have plenty of favorite authors and I’m happy to say Atwater-Rhodes is on the list. Even if there are people who want to turn their noses up at her and her achievements, I will always admire her for all she is and has done. I look forward to reading more of her series and sharing them with everyone. May you enjoy this enough to do so as well.