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Eve, by Tamara Thorne Book Review | SFReader.com
Eve, by Tamara Thorne Genre: Horror Publisher: Kensington Publishing Published: 2003 Review Posted: 1/21/2007 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 1 out of 10
Eve, by Tamara Thorne
Book Review by Mark Deniz
Have you read this book?
The old adage of never judge a book by its cover should occasionally be accompanied by an additional 'or title'. Then again should it, as surely the famous quote is only misleading if it is indeed incorrect?
Tamara Thorne's Eve is book one of a trilogy concerning itself with the events of an evil sisterhood, embedded into a famous college sorority. The president of this sorority, Malory Thomas is also the leader of Fata Morgana, a sinister group only for those hand-picked by Thomas and her number two Brittany, a snack-loving blonde, who is much more than she seems on the surface.
Eve opens eight years earlier with the book's namesake and two other schoolgirls, Merilynn and Samantha (titles for the next two books in the trilogy) and their encounter with something unearthly on a forbidden visit to the island on Applehead Lake. Eve recognises the other two girls at the sorority introductory but pretends that she doesn't, being as it is that these two share memories she would rather forget.
Things begin well for Eve and she is accepted onto the cheerleader team as a freshman, something unheard of at Greenbriar University. Heather, one of the higher ranking members in the sorority, is impressed with Eve's moves and is very willing for her to be part of the team.
However, something is not quite right at Greenbriar and it is thanks to the cheerleading and Kendra, a misfit, who also joins the sorority at the same time as Eve, that Eve gains positivity from the opening few days.
Kendra, like Eve, is also suspicious of Malory, yet the suspicions that the girls share is nothing to what the reality behind the sorority house and its higher-ranking women and the girls are drawn into a web of intrigue that is likely to end terribly for one, if not both of them.
Referring back to my opening statement on judgement, it is here where I find it hard to dismiss the overused quote as this book would be best avoided, not just for its cover, or even its title but for the whole content matter within. It is a badly written book at best, without a feeling for the horror genre itself (I had to remind myself time and time again that I was reading a horror novel) and I checked the jacket several times in my reading to see where it had hidden its YA tag.
For after all, this would be a perfect novel for a teenage girl, maybe at high school, wanting to get a taste for the horror genre without giving herself nightmares along with it. I make no discrimination between male and female here, due to my opinion that it is equally bad for either gender, just that it may be that teenage girls getting ready for sorority life themselves may enjoy a better feeling of empathy with the four main characters of Eve, Kendra, Merilynn and Samantha.
In taking a look at the four characters in turn, there is little in the way of personality within them. Kendra is the only character not the headline of a novel, yet I guess she has a big part to play within them, as much as Thorne builds her up. She is one of the outsiders in the cheerleading community that is so prevalent in the university, helps to ground Eve, and in fact is pretty much responsible for the three former classmates' reunion. She has a sense of humour, not in keeping with the bland, insipid cheerleader types, and is very much interested in the folklore, claiming that her grandmother saw the Greenbriar ghost, Holly Gayle.
Eve is the bridge between the two worlds, as she is not only a popular cheerleader but also has traits that set her apart from them, making her appealing to the other three. She would seem to be in the best position of the four, but this willingness to please all means that she herself is forgotten at times. Eve is hard to dislike and it is only Thorne's writing technique that makes this possible, as she has all the traits we long for in a likeable character. But her dialogues with the other characters are her downfall and I tired of her worry and anxiety extremely early in the novel. I blame Thorne, as I don't think this was the way she was supposed to come across and with a little tweaking and better editing it might just have worked.
The level-headed Samantha is a frustrating character and one that many authors feel the need to be in horror fiction, that of the sceptic, the unbeliever; one that is always able to put a rational argument on every situation. I understand Thorne's reason for her inclusion but didn't feel that she was any less irritating for it. I am hoping that Samantha comes more into her own in book three, especially as the book has her as its protagonist.
My favourite of the four, Merilynn, is another stereotypical character within these kinds of books yet one that I am more pleased to see, that of the mysterious, more than meets the eye kind of character. I cannot honestly say I liked the character all that much however, more that she bothered me the least.
The story is neither scary nor horrific and I wonder how something as tame as this can actually be passed off as true horror? A review from Chelsea Quinn Yarbo mentions "wonderful scary romps" throughout the book yet I found none, not once was I scared, intrigued or otherwise engaged in this book in the way I expect a horror book to affect me.
It is horror in its most diluted form and I would recommend that Thorne look to authors such as Lovecraft and Poe before putting pen to paper again. List this as YA horror and my review would be so much more understanding of the novel; this is not horror by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a page-turner. It is quick and easy to read because it is so short and because it is badly written, meaning that you don't want to dwell on a page to unravel the intricacies but rather that you can almost skim read to get the gist of what the story entails.
If you are on the lookout for good horror, then stay away from Tamara Thorne's novel Eve; as far away as you can.