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The Vampire's Photograph (Oliver Nocturne #1) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5–7—Though he experiences typical middle school troubles—being bullied, fighting with his older brother Bane, thinking his parents don't understand him, and feeling like a misfit—Oliver is a vampire. Like others his age, he still consumes only animal blood, but Bane, who has recently bonded with his otherworldly demon to become an adult vampire, now enjoys human blood. Despite the ironclad prohibition against associating with mortals, Oliver is attracted to the daylight world and fascinated by Emalie, a human girl who has been exploring the ruins above his family's crypt home. He soon learns that she suspects the existence of vampires and intends to write an exposé—something the highly secretive undead want to avoid. Oliver agrees to help her, even guiding Emalie and her cousin into the hidden subsurface city to consult Dead Désirée, the weird keeper of secrets and powers that even vampires fear. He soon realizes that there is something mysterious about his background, and that danger threatens not only his human friends, but also himself. This volume devotes considerable space to background exposition about the vampire meta-world. While the pacing is slow in spots, the details help to fully realize the idea of parallel human and undead worlds, and the cliff-hanger ending promises more excitement.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
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“The creepy details are abundantly supplied . . . and readers will relish the frisson of refrigerators full of flash-friend tarantulas and various blood types. . . . Fans of young vampires or those intrigued by Oliver’s friendship with Emalie may therefore look forward to more time in Oliver’s world.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This book is awesome.” —D Magazine
Top customer reviews
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Early one evening, Oliver is awakened from his slumber. He hears a sound upstairs. Sneaking out of his coffin because his parents and brother are still asleep, he sneaks upstairs into the decrepit human house that sits above his vampire home. There he encounters a human girl around his age. She is snooping around the house and taking photographs. Oliver should turn her in, but he's too fascinated watching her activities. Using his powers to stay hidden, he makes a noise that startles the girl and she runs off. Oliver thinks nothing of it.
At least not until a picture of his house turns up in the local school's newspaper.
In the article, it states that the follow-up article will show a photograph of a real vampire. This, of course, gets to Oliver and he's torn as to what to do. Instead of telling the grown-ups, he finds out where she lives. As he sneaks into the house, she can sense his presence.
At that point, a tentative friendship forms between Oliver and Emalie, as well as her cousin, Dean. It turns out that the photograph has a hidden blob in it, that Emalie can't get developed properly. Oliver is just as curious as the two humans, and they chance a venture into the vampire underworld to seek answers.
As the story quickly unfolds, answers lead to more questions, and, ultimately, an innocent person gets killed. Oliver is stuck in the middle of everything, and is more confused about himself and what is happening around him.
Mr. Emerson writes a novel perfect for younger readers with a fascination with vampires. Oliver is a curious boy that gets himself into some tight situations. The story flows quickly with typical teen angst and rebellion. The story leaves off with many unanswered questions.
To find out how everything plays out, the reader will have to pick up the second book in the series, THE SUNLIGHT SLAYINGS.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
On top of all of that, Emerson also creates a wonderful protagonist who is questioning his identity, and he knows that he is different, which is something that a lot of young readers can identify with. The emotional texture of the story will really engage readers.
I'm totally in love with this first novel in the series, and I am about to read the second book in the series for the first time.
I also had the pleasure of hosting a reading with Kevin Emerson at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, and he is a wonderful reader and storyteller. Go and hear him read if you have the opportunity.
One night, a young girl named Emalie sneaks into Oliver's house. She does this again and again, camera in hand, ready to capture the unknown. Oliver and Emalie become friends, but her cousin Dean is worried and wary of Oliver. Emalie tries to develop a photograph of her new pal, but he keeps coming out blurry.
The more Oliver talks to Emalie and the more things he learns about humans, the more surprised he is - but nothing could prepare him for what he learns about himself and about his own origins. Is he really a full-blooded vampire? What role does he play in an ancient prophecy? With cliffhangers and continuing mysteries, this series is sure to hook young readers.