Summary: Main character Samara is a biracial girl who falls for a “Cambion” boy, Caleb, who works with her at a local bookstore. A Cambion is someone possessed of a spirit that feeds off the life energy of others and can kill them if the spirit takes too much. Cambion spirit is passed down through families: Men who are possessed pass down a portion of their posessor spirit to their male children (incubus); females who are possessed pass the spirit to their female children (succubus); only one gender is affected in each family line.
Personal Reaction: Kudos for the bookstore setting. I felt that this book was taking potshots at the Twilight series although this Cambion series could be described as no more than a copycat of Twilight with some of Meyer’s The Host book tossed in for a different angle. (Book 2 of the Cambion chronicles brings in another incubus possible soulmate – kinda New Moon Jacob? – but an enemy instead of a friend.) Neither Host nor Violet thrilled me but they’ll find an audience. Infrequent cursing and minor sexual references make this a book for high schoolers, though chastity is Sam’s defining characteristic. The book was decent, but some of the dialogue description was just too far off to be normal. (I did enjoy the anachronistic Williamsburg setting and way Sam lapsed into Shakespearean dialogue when annoyed though. Showed intelligent wit!)
Classroom Use: n/a
Related titles: The Twilight Saga and The Host by Meyer; Macbeth by Shakespeare; Colonial Williamsburg travel book; nonfiction mythology reference on incubus/succubus; Burning Emerald (The Cambion Chronicles) book 2
Realia: Tae Bo video workout DVD; “Book of the Month” sign; bookstore coffee cup; jar of quarters; music CDs or DJ turntable
Foods for book parties: coffee, espresso; Slushee; pretty much any sweets (ice cream, cookies, brownies, candy, chocolate bars)