Synopsis: The saga of redemption and spiritual triumph readers enjoyed in Never Ceese continues in Forever Richard. Cassie Felts, graduate student and reluctant believer of such things as vampires and werewolves, couldn't be happier for Richard and Ceese Porter. Their curses lifted and after hundreds of years apart, they can now celebrate being brother and sister once more. Even Rodney, Cassie's college roommate and former nemesis, shares her relief. But will the faith that saved Richard and Ceese be enough to defeat the new evil that threatens them all? Cassie learns that Dr. Clayton Henderson, the corrupt stem-cell researcher, has acquired the vampire's curse and has managed to transfer it to Rodney's troubled, drug-addicted buddy Josh. Addict or vampire, Cassie can see Josh isn't handling his new cravings for blood any better than he did his old habit. Their best hope seems to be taking Josh to Richard's isolated country estate in England. There, Josh can learn to temper his desire to curse another while they try to figure out how to deal with the impossible-to-kill Dr. Henderson. Their mission becomes more complicated when they find a new vampire inhabiting Richard's castle, a malevolent werewolf stalking Ceese, and a long-lost relative who shows up carrying a sawed-off shotgun and an ancient knife he claims has supernatural powers. Will the faith that redeemed two lost souls before be enough to overcome the wicked forces that now threaten to destroy them all?
My Thoughts: The second book in the Thirsting for Blood series, this book continues the story of Richard and Ceese, while introducing new elements and problems to their already-troubled lives. This one was a quick read, much shorter than Never Ceese, yet continued the character growth begun in the first book. There was a lot of action in this book, too - and some really great characters. I liked Geoffrey a lot, and hope we'll learn more about this enigmatic butler. I'm actually quite keen to see where Dent goes with this series. Fans of vampire lore, werewolves, and paranormal suspense/action/horror books should enjoy this book.
on January 18, 2009
By Frank Creed
Horror newcomer Sue Dent's 2006 vampire and werewolf novel, Never Ceese, nailed down a few accolades of which you may have heard: short listed for the coveted Bram Stoker award, and named American Christian Fiction Writers book club choice of the month in May of 2007. How does a novelist top that?
By writing a superior sequel. Everyone knows that sequels have a bad reputation for falling short of an original concept. Especially for a new novelist, proving you're not a fluke, that you can do it again, is a load on one's back. Truly talented authors start strong and get even better, of which J.K. Rowling is a case study. Sue Dent is one of those writers. Never Ceese showcased her natural gifts for fun characters and suspenseful plot. Forever Richard is all that and more.
Synopsis without spoilers . . .
The saga of redemption and spiritual triumph that readers enjoyed in Never Ceese continues in Forever Richard. Cassie Felts, graduate student and reluctant believer of such things as vampires and werewolves, couldn't be happier for Richard and Ceese Porter. Their curses lifted and after hundreds of years apart, they can now celebrate being brother and sister once more. Even Rodney, Cassie's college roommate and former nemesis, shares Cassie's relief. But will the faith that saved Richard and Ceese be enough to defeat the new evil that threatens them all?
Cassie learns that Dr. Clayton Henderson, the corrupt stem-cell researcher, has acquired the vampire's curse and has managed to transfer it to Rodney's troubled, drug-addicted buddy Josh. Addict or vampire, Cassie can see Josh isn't handling his new cravings for blood any better than he did his old habit. Their best hope seems to be taking Josh to Richard's isolated country estate in England. There, Josh can learn to temper his desire to curse another while they try to figure out how to deal with the impossible-to-kill Dr. Henderson.
Plans twist when they find a new vampire inhabiting Richard's castle, and a malevolent werewolf stalking Ceese. A long-lost relative shows up packing a sawed-off shotgun and an ancient knife which he claims has supernatural powers. Will the faith that redeemed two lost souls before be enough to overcome the wicked forces that now threaten to destroy them all?
Sue Dent's creativity and sense of humor sparkle in Forever Richard. The plot twists and turns, surprises popping at readers from around corners. Items and people are usually not as they appear. Sue should be proud of having crafted a fun and entertaining read for all levels of readers that is still fully a horror novel.
Forever Richard's bio-ethics theme is strong. What humankind can do always runs in advance of what we ought to do, and stem-cell researcher Dr. Clayton Henderson leaps moral bounds quick as a buck clearing a picket fence. His breaches of ethics aren't about curing sick people at the expense of others' lives, but the black-and-white mad scientist type of villainy. Henderson is an antagonist without depth, but is a common enemy whom many can unite to oppose--the kind of bad-guy a reader hopes to see destroyed as quickly as Parkinson's disease.
Like Dracula, Forever Richard is respectful of the Christian worldview, and I'll be surprised if it doesn't drive stakes through the hearts of even more literary awards than did Never Ceese.
"Forever Richard" is Sue Dent's thrilling sequel to her first novel in the Thirsting For Blood Series, "Never Ceese". These novels chronicle the lives of brother and sister who have been cursed with existence as a vampire and a werewolf, but are more repentant victims of circumstance rather than hateful, cold-blooded killers. These characters have been cheated and cursed with separation from God. And now they have returned after having their souls redeemed with another action-packed adventure, full of thickly presented characters, beautiful and exotic settings and new challenges, including a fledgling vampire they are determined to bring to faith.
Sue Dent has reinvented the fantasy realm of vampirism and lycanthropy - instead of it being a permanent doom, there is the possibility of forgiveness and salvation. This is brilliant art imitating life! NO ONE is beyond God's forgiveness! Thank you, Sue, for giving me another opportunity to learn that lesson. On a more esoteric note, I enjoy the play on words in the titles of both novels - Never Ceese...Forever Richard - very witty. When I read "Never Ceese" for a blog tour almost two years ago, I wasn't crazy about the story. But there was something about Sue Dent's writing style that intrigued me. When she reminded me that her book had received honor in a Bram Stoker writing contest, a light bulb went off in my head: Sue Dent's writing is very reminiscent of Stoker's - rich, elegant and replete with meaning! I was so impressed that I wanted to give these characters another chance to win my heart in this latest novel.
on January 14, 2009
I don't normally read horror. My brain is already all-too-capable of coming up with nightmares without any help, thanks. But Sue Dent's books are not your average, garden variety horror either. I was pleasantly surprised by Never Ceese, but Forever Richard is even better.
Do you like vampire books? Forever Richard is chockful of 'em. How about werewolves? Forever Richard has those too. And I'm not talking a token here and there. At least three-fourths of the characters in this book are either 1) cursed as a vampire or werewolf themselves or 2) were once cursed as a vampire/werewolf but have broken the curse or 3) had a close family member who was/is cursed. I mean, even the butler! Sorry, Richard, you get your name and mug on the cover, but I found Geoffrey to be the more appealing heartthrob. And even better, there's no line for him!
My fourteen-year-old son also loved both of Sue's books. He snuck Forever Richard under the covers and read it in less than two nights, after bedtime. He wants me to ask Sue: when's the next one?
on September 12, 2009
I love that this is a series I can let my teen daughter read!
Aaaah! Finally! I have waited for this book to release since the day I set down "Never Ceese" after finishing it in record time. I have always been a little fascinated by the whole vampire/werewolf stories. Do I believe they exist? No, probably not. Do I think they are fascinating to my imagination because most fiction is steeped in some kernal of fact? Absolutely. My issue has always been that most people consider the whole vampire/werewolf thing to be "evil" and so you shouldn't waste your time on books about that kind of stuff. Sue Dent is filling in a gap with her Thirsting For Blood series. It is all vampires and werewolves but with a twist... what if the cursed wanted to lift their curses? How would they do that? Book #1, Never Ceese, introduces us to the cursed werewolf, Ceese, and her cursed vampire brother, Richard. They leave Europe for America where they try to have their curses lifted. Can that really happen?
Book #2, Forever Richard, picks up right where Never Ceese left off and throws us right back into their world and brings us full circle back to Richards castle in Europe as they try and lift the vampire curse off one of their new New York friends. Back in the castle we find someone unexpected waiting for them. And then of course, Ceese is being trailed by the werewolf that originally cursed her and also a New York professor that followed them because her wants her for experiments.
I love that this is very Twilight-esque, only book #1 came out before Twilight was even something anyone knew about. I have loaned my copy of Never Ceese to some girls I know that love Twilight because Sue Dent's writing has all the mystique, but with lots of hope and faith intertwined in it. I can not wait for book #3 "Cyn No More" and just hope I don't have to wait as long for it to come out. My one word of advice - when you read these books (which you must), just make sure you read them in order!
on September 22, 2010
This was a great book, Sue Dent out does her self with each installment in this series. Even better than the 1st in my opinion and the 1st one was awesome!!! I am going to go back and reread the 1st one "Never Ceese" so I can try to not be so inpatient for the 3rd book to come out!!! After I finished Forever Richard, I thought to myself, "this is so good". I then frantically wondered when the next book was coming out because I am quite hooked. If you like supernatural type books then this is definitely the book for you. Atttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on July 16, 2009
With the success of Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga, vampire books have come back with a vengeance, eclipsing popular author Anne Rice's super run back in the last part of the last century. Does this make things sound old or what? Can anyone put a new twist on an old tale that has been around for nearly as long as evil has walked the earth? Sue Dent has attempted to do just that! But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
Forever Richard is the sequel to Dent's successful first novel, Never Ceese, which is a tale of redemption and spiritual triumph. Like it's predecessor, Forever Richard, is full of vampires and werewolves. Add to this mix a sinister stem-cell researcher and you got a concoction that is sure to spell horror and mayhem from the very first word.
Things look pretty good for Richard and Ceese Porter, vampire and werewolf, who were cursed and lived apart for hundreds of years. Their new friends are more than relieved that brother and sister can now return to a normal life. But evil has a way of popping up and spoiling all things normal. Dr. Clayton Henderson gives the word corruption a new meaning and doesn't mind using whoever to get whatever he's after, in this case the vampire's curse. Dr. Henderson has created a new monster; a new vampire. This one strikes close to home. One of Richard's and Ceese's friends has become Dr. Henderson's centerpiece for research. So much for putting stem-cells to good use. To save this friend they must head to Richard's isolated country manor in England. Now, things get more complicated. Enter more vampires and more werewolves and we got heaps of trouble. Richard and Ceese suddenly find that their new found freedom may soon face extinction. Will the forces of good be strong enough to defeat these new enemies? Or is the darkness more powerful than the faith that saved two souls and lifted a hundred year curse?
Series books always present several problems for readers. Some series can read as stand alone novels and be understood without having to rely much on the previous book. This reviewer never read Dent's first book Never Ceese. A disadvantage for sure since this story was full of things the reader of the first book would certainly know. Forever Richard did not wow me as I thought it might. Sue Dent is a gifted writer that is a given, but there needed to be more character and plot development to make this a "must read at all cost novel." Hopefully with the next installment Sue Dent will leave readers with a satisfaction of having been entertained to the fullest. Time will tell. --Stefanie Longwood, Y-30 Staff
on February 19, 2009
Richard couldn't be happier to have the vampire curse lifted after what seems like an eternity of hopelessness. Likewise, his sister, Ceese, is once and for all thrilled to have the werewolf curse removed from her troubled life. Their celebration of freedom is cut short when they realize Dr. Henderson has turned himself into a vampire using Richard's cursed blood. To make matters worse, Henderson has cursed one of their new friends and the only way they can help is to take him back to Richard's castle in England. Once they arrive back in England more trouble finds them as unexpected guests and startling discoveries bombard them at every turn. Richard and Ceese may be curse-free, but the real danger has only just begun.
Sue Dent hooked me with her delightful debut, Never Ceese, and ever since I have anxiously been awaiting the sequel. Forever Richard continues to showcase Dent's clever storytelling and witty dialogue. Once again we are treated to many familiar elements of vampire and werewolf lore that are handled with ease. The strong characters we fell in love with are back and as engaging and mysterious as ever. Dent also introduces some new characters that are worthy additions bringing a whole new level of mystery and mayhem to the story.
While Sue Dent's writing was never intended to fit perfectly into the Christian Fiction mold, you can't help but notice the powerful messages of hope, love, and sacrifice that are so evident. I'm always drawn to fiction that uses the exploration of darkness to effectively shine the light and I have certainly found that with this series.
My only complaint about Forever Richard is that I wanted more. I wanted more story, more character development, and more witty dialogue. I needed more action and mystery, especially more vampire and werewolf interaction. Dent has already proven how engaging her writing can be, however this time around I felt like I was getting a Cliffs Notes version of a longer and more fleshed out story. The 246 page count easily felt 100 pages too short, and in the end I was left scratching my head at the rushed nature of the entire story.
To be fair, I don't know if this is more of a reflection on Dent's writing or on the publisher or editor. All I know is that I wanted more. I do know this is only the beginning of the Thirsting For Blood series, and maybe Dent is cleverly letting out just enough line to get our attention and reel us in for more. In the end we are left with a nice little cliffhanger and a little taste of what's to come. My interest is piqued and I'm on my knees begging. Next time can we have just a little more please?
on July 31, 2009
I'm blaming Sue Dent for my current lack of sleep -- once I got around to reading Forever Richard, I couldn't put it down! I just finished reading it last night (er...early this morning, technically). It was reeeeeally good, but now the wait for Cyn No More will be rough...
on September 12, 2009
Forever Richard by Sue Dent is the second book in the Thirsting for Blood series. The first book, Never Ceese, is really required reading to truly enjoy and understand the myriad of characters in this thriller. Ceese, a former werewolf, and Richard, her brother and a former vampire, are thrilled to be rid of their respective curses, but when one of their friends is cursed, they return to Richard's castle in England to save him. A old enemy is waiting for them there and soon joins forces with a more recent antagonist. Several surprise characters keep the pair on their toes as does the prospect of romance for each of them. This sequel isn't as strong as the first book. There are so many characters that it was difficult to truly empathize with any them. It also lacks a cohesive goal; they spend more time reacting then acting. An incredibly frustrating part of the book is that all of the characters are keeping secrets from each other, and the reader isn't aware of any of them, and when a character may be about to spill one, events pop up to end the conversation before any real information is shared. There's a fine line between teasing your reader along with snippets and making the reader feel like the odd man out. Dent writes thrilling action scenes, however, and her characters are real. Not all of the members of the group are likable, but that makes them more human and the story, real. I will definitely read the third book: Cyn No More, in hopes that the focus of the story returns to Ceese, Richard, and Cassie.