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The Season of Risks: An Ethical Vampire Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, July 6, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third in Hubbard's "Ethical Vampire" series (after The Year of Disappearances) will bewilder new readers. A contradiction is revealed (though not explained) in the preface: half-vampire protagonist Ariella Montero was born 15 years ago but this year "turned twenty-two." Ari hopes, through an injection of Septimal, to age seven years, becoming more age-appropriate for Neil Cameron, a presidential candidate and vampire, but as she pursues her plan her life changes in unimaginable ways. The uneasy truce among three vampire factions threatens to break apart, with Ari an unwilling participant. Two renditions of a vampire folktale and her Professor of Japanese Culture's exploration of the concept of wabi-sabi (imperfect beauty) engage the reader, while most of the paranormal aspects do not. Even fans of Hubbard's cerebral and ethereal prose may find the book a slow and difficult read.
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From Booklist

Aglow with the promise of her budding friendship with third-party presidential candidate (and closet vampire) Neil Cameron, Ari Montero returns to school frustrated, like most teenagers, that she’s just not old enough—darn it!—to be accepted in grown-up circles. But Ari isn’t like most teenagers. Half human, half vampire, she is destined to remain at the same tender age at which she crossed over. Her desire to achieve instant adulthood leads her to the Miami clinic run by a vampire notorious for his delusions of world domination. There she is injected with a serum that instantly takes her from 15 to 22. But just as Cameron is about to clinch the presidential nomination, Ari’s true age is mysteriously leaked to the press and the ensuing scandal sends Cameron’s campaign crashing in flames—just like the jet carrying Ari to Ireland to visit her parents. Artfully handling the conundrum of age versus maturity, Hubbard continues to provide substance as well as thrills in her thought-provoking series (Society of S, 2007; The Year of Disappearances, 2008). --Carol Haggas

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Product Details

  • Series: Ethical Vampire
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Original edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439183422
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Hubbard is the author of seven books, including the Ethical Vampire Series published by Simon & Schuster: THE SEASON OF RISKS (2010), THE YEAR OF DISAPPEARANCES (2008), and THE SOCIETY OF S (2007). Hubbard's short story collection, BLUE MONEY, won the Janet Heidinger Kakfa Prize for best book of prose by an American woman published in 1999. Her first book, WALKING ON ICE, received the AWP Short Fiction Prize. With Robley Wilson, Hubbard coedited 100% PURE FLORIDA FICTION, an anthology of the best stories set in Florida. Her fiction has appeared in several literary journals and has been translated and published in more than fifteen countries.

Hubbard is a professor of English at the University of Central Florida, where she received the College of Arts & Humanities' Distinguished Researcher Award in 2008. She has won teaching awards from Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Central Florida, and the South Atlantic Administrators of Departments of English. She has received writers' residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artists' Project, and Cill Rialaig. In 2002-03 she served as President of Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). For more information, please visit

*NPR called the Ethical Vampire Series"elusive, complex, poetic, and sophisticated."

*The Ft. Myers News-Press
 called THE SOCIETY OF S "...the year's most intriguing fiction debut to date," and in reviewing THE YEAR OF DISAPPEARANCES, noted, "Anyone still lingering under the misconception that academics can't compete in the majors would be well advised to pick up either of Hubbard's novels, which combine the creepiness of Stephen King with the acute social commentary of the Beats, Philip K. Dick and Don De Lillo." May 25, 2008

*The Sacramento Bee summarized THE SOCIETY OF S this way:
"...this beautifully written literary novel works as a touching coming-of-age story about a child in search of her missing mother." June 24, 2007

* New River Voice noted: "Amid the proliferation of new fiction this year, two brightly macabre novels stand out as fine summer reads: Stephen King's DUMA KEY and Susan Hubbard's THE YEAR OF DISAPPEARANCES." -July 14, 2008

* "Hubbard tells a good story and provides some acerbic political satire." --The Rocky Mountain News, July 24, 2008

"With a delicate touch, the talented Hubbard manages to merge environmental concerns with a murder mystery, a coming of age tale with a literary vampire twist." The St. Petersburg Times, May 14, 2008

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Duska-McEwen on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Third in the series, and I think the best yet. I enjoy a good story that keeps me guessing and that I find difficult to put down until I reach the end. You can count on Susan Hubbard to include several unexpected and imaginative turns to the story. I was sad to reach the last page of this book... I love visiting Ari's world and eagerly look forward to the 4th ethical vampire novel. Please Susan - I want to know what happens next!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ari Montero is a hybrid half vampire who played an instrumental part in finding her mother and bringing her back to her home where she reconnected with her family. Being a hybrid she has yet to find out what powers of a vampire she will eventually have. Like most of the Sanguinist sect of vampire, Ari and her family drink artificial blood; unlike the Colonists and Nebulists who see humans as chattel while the latter believes the species will become extinct.

Although Ari has the body of a fifteen years old, she is twenty-one and involved in a relationship with Senator Neal Cameron who as an independent has a real chance to be elected president; he also belongs to no sect. They keep their relationship quiet because of Ari's official age. She allows Dr. Roche, a vampire, to inject her with the synthetic growth hormone Septinal. She soon looks like she is older, but someone shows her true birth certificate saying she is only fifteen to the media; destroying Cameron's election chances. She is unaware that Roche is cloning people and inhabitant them with spirits. Ari and company bring Roche before COVE (Council of Vampire Ethics) to accuse him of illegal experiments but he turns the table around and accuses Ari and her family of heinous criminal activity. He insists they pulled the strings and defending themselves is not easy because they destroyed the evidence.

Susan Hubbard's wonderful vampire tale will appeal to fans of vampire lovers who love their vamps portrayed as another species most of whom are good and live like humans except at mealtimes. As a half human who is ignorant of what her extrasensory abilities will be since hybrids rarely exist, Ari must learn them while the heat is on. Her energy is invigorating as she discovers by trial and error what she can do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on August 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ariella Montero wants to grow up. It doesn't matter that she could easily pass for someone in her early twenties despite being in her mid teens. Ari wants to actually be older. It may have to do with Ari's secret relationship with Neil Cameron, third-party presidential candidate and vampire. In the human world, their apparent age difference would ruin Cameron's political career. Ari fancies herself in love, and that Cameron is one of the few things that matters. Maybe that's why Ari decides to take Septimal, a miracle drug that irreversibly ages a vampire a fixed amount of years. And that's when everything falls apart.

This third installment in Hubbard's Ethical Vampire series is by far the most complicated and confusing. From reader this novel's prequels, The Society of S and The Year of Disappearances, I grew accustomed to reading about Ari growing up with a side serving of vampire danger. The Season of Risks begins in much the same way but then suddenly takes a drastic turn in the second part of the book. It's very subtle at first that I didn't notice it so when its effects are revealed, I was completely baffled because I had no idea what was going on. Catching up was difficult as well because Hubbard has a habit of dropping random characters and picking them back up later in the story. Strangely, though, despite my immense confusion, The Season of Risks has been my favorite Ethical Vampire novel so far. The way Hubbard organized the plot is completely clever. I not know not to doubt Hubbard's great writing because following through with reading the particularly twisted excerpts is very rewarding.

The Ethical Vampire series will be enjoyed by those who liked Twilight by Stephenie Meyer but also appreciate a higher sense of intellect. I hope Hubbard plans to continue Ari's story, and I'd snatch up the next installment in an instant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
It really peeves me when an author depends upon a reader having read previous books in the series in order to make a single book make sense. If a book won't stand alone, then don't charge me the full price. I'm not saying I should get all the in jokes or references, but I need to be able to figure out who people are and how they relate. This new reader needed more explanation to make sense of this story. The whole plot with the presidential candidate is ri-dic-u-lous. He's what...230? She's "15 but could pass for 19." I'm not sure if they were sleeping together, but they are definately canoodling and that might just be statatory rape. Has he no staff? No handlers? He's making secret vampire hand signals during a televised debate and NOBODY breathes a word? Are there no angry vampires out there, willing to spill a secret or two to bring him down? Okay, off my soapbox. This series sounds interesting. I'm going to the library to find book one and try again. I'll come back and update this review if I decide I have been unfair. UPDATE: I read the first book and I enjoyed it well enough. Start with The Society of S (Book One in the Ethical Vampire Series), and if you like that one, you will probably enjoy the follow up in this book as well.
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