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Tantalize: Kieren's Story Paperback – August 23, 2011
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This is the graphic novel version of TANTALIZE so it's a book that might appeal to reluctant readers and to people who really are visual thinkers. It's gothic, it's dark. But it also has humor. There's romance, very sweet romance, and there's controversy and there's justice issues and bad boys don't always get away, but you're not quite sure.
—NPR Tell Me More
This format- and genre-blending story delivers on several counts as a vampire-werewolf adventure, a mystery, a romance with teeth and claws, an authentic look at diversity (both ethnic and species), and a darn good read.
Leitich Smith, who first published TANTALIZE as a young adult novel, provides a face-paced, twisty, enjoyable ride and compelling characters who develop as the story unfolds. Doyle's illustrations capture the intensity of the emotions between the star-crossed couple.
About the Author
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the acclaimed author of the prose novel of TANTALIZE as well as ETERNAL, a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and BLESSED, all set in the same fictional universe. She says of TANTALIZE, "An unjust accusation. A true love in peril. It's enough to make you open your teeth and howl." A member of the faculty at the Vermont College MFA program in writing for children and young adults, she lives in Austin, Texas.
Ming Doyle was born in 1984 to an Irish-American sailor and a Chinese-Canadian librarian. Since earning her BFA from Cornell University in 2007, she has depicted the sequential exploits of zombie superheroes, demonic cheerleaders, vengeful cowboys, and dapper mutants. TANTALIZE marks her first full-length graphic novel as well as her first encounter with a were-opossum. She lives in Boston.
Top customer reviews
The story itself is nothing to shout about. It is some meandering story about people going missing, but not a lot of detective work, and literally the story falls together. The hero, a 30 year old looking teen is in love with a freckle-faced girl with huge lips. He's a werewolf and eventually has to join a pack somewhere. The exact details aren't clear to anyone nor do we the reader care since nothing happens with that plot device. He's also a part werewolf which isn't really explained, but ohwell, don't care. There is some weird pedo vamp chef guy who hangs out at the school and may be involved with some missing people. The teen girl love interest owns/works at a restaurant and is involved with the vamp. One thing leads to another, and people in town start dying. Our hero is implicated since he finds the body. There are a few more deaths. Kieren sort of wanders around town, suspicious of the vamp chef, goes to school, and frets about his gf and his teen wangst life. This guy is a were though, and I expected him personally to do a lot more. Instead he has flunkies help him out. Even though I read this story from cover to cover, I honestly am not sure what it was about. There clearly is stuff missing that may make more sense in a book, but aren't illustrated/explained in the book.
My rating is meh on this. I almost put it down several times because of the awful faces/lip problem. But I honestly didn't care about Kieren. He was sort of a boring dude, and this story simply left me feeling ripped off and unsatisfied. I'm not sure even better pencils could save this turkey, but it would've been a place to start.
The thing that took me most by surprise was the appearance of Kieren and Quincie, though to some extent they look as I had pictured them. While reading Tantalize, there was something more. Ming Doyle has captured the essence of the shifter world that Cynthia has created in her previous three novels. The story is well told in word and art. It was a good read and added to the story we already know and love. Well done.
Now onto the actual story.
"Tantalize: Kieren's Story" is the graphic novel version of "Tantalize", which was released in 2007 by Candlewick Press. As the title suggests, the graphic novel tells the story of Kieren, as opposed to the novel which tells the story of Quincie.
This is definitely a nice companion to "Tantalize", in fact I think it may actually be better than the original novel - story wise. Then again, that may be because I found Kieren's story to be more interesting. With Quincie, I couldn't understand her choices before. With this graphic novel, and the story being told by Kieren, you get a much better feel for what's truly going on.
Overall, the graphic novel is definitely worth checking out.
If you haven't read "Tantalize" yet, in my opinion, I wouldn't say it's mandatory to do so in order to read the graphic novel - it works pretty well on its own.
In his own words, Kieren Morales is an "Irish-Mexican American. Werewolf-human. Texan. Son, brother, friend. Murder suspect." All of these descriptors make him someone I'd like to read about, but unfortunately Tantalize just didn't work for me.
This graphic novel tells the male side of the love story between Kieren and Quincie, his best friend and the protagonist of the novel this book accompanies. People who have read the novel will probably be more invested in their relationship, but those who are starting the series here don't have enough happy times with the couple to care about the trials they face.
My real issue was with the illustrations. While I prefer color in my graphic novels, I don't mind when the illustrations are engrossing. Unfortunately, the drawings in Tantalize are too rough and almost scribbly for my taste. The characters looked unattractive and it detracted from the storyline.
Fans of Cynthia Leitich Smith's series will probably like this book; I recommend others look elsewhere to meet their werewolf needs.