A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: An exciting, fresh take on a sometimes overdone paranormal genre makes for a highly entertaining read!
Blurb: In less than a summer, shy and introverted Robbie Myers goes from eighteen and never been kissed to the passionate intensity of first love that could last forever. Literally…
Eighteen-year-old Robbie Myers has difficulty talking to people. Not only is he shy, but he seems to say the wrong thing every time he opens his mouth, especially to the mysterious, handsome stranger who shows up at his supermarket job, defends him from an aggressive colleague and then asks him on a date. He can’t believe a hot, worldly bad boy like seventeen-year-old Colt Abernathy is actually interested. Yet he can’t deny that the ardor burning in Colt’s dark eyes is just for him. In the space of one breath, Robbie is launched from his plan to attend community college while living at home with his mom and saving up for a car to the tender yet passionate exploration of intense first love. Little does Robbie know…
Brought across during the height of the Civil War, Colt has remained trapped in the body of a lonely seventeen year old. When he spots the slim, blond-haired, blue eyed young man, pushing a line of shopping carts across a parking lot, Colt knows instantly they’re destined for each other. There’s just one major problem: if he survives the impending battle between vampires and the Matarians – an army of brutal vampire slayers – he’s going to live forever. Robbie isn’t…
Review: First and foremost it is important to note that this is a really fresh take on an old, ofttimes repetitive paranormal sub-genre: vampires. I was not only pleasantly surprised at the way in which this novel pulled me in but really thrilled with the way the story was handled. It was gritty, no easy fixes here, and yes, while there was a HFN ending, there was by no means a resolution to the problems facing the main characters of this book. Jeff Erno really hit his mark with Forever Young and, in turn, gave us a thrilling, action packed novel with just enough heat and sweet young love to make it one of the best paranormal stories I have read in quite a while.
The blurb above really sets this story up nicely. Robbie, while terribly shy and a bit naive really grows up during this novel and becomes an adult in every sense of the word. He is most definitely a sweet young man but he is no wimp. Rather he becomes a force to be reckoned with because of the confidence he gains from falling in love with Colt Abernathy. Colt is no Edward Cullen, trust me. He is every inch the seventeen year old boy he was when he was turned and his volatile emotions and loyalty to his “family” resonates off the page. Each of these young men really “come of age” through the course of this story. As their love for each other grows, they shed their selfish, immature ways and recognize how living for another person makes one’s life so much richer.
Author Jeff Erno sets up a world where there is the hunted and the hunter and lines continually blur as one becomes the other. He gives us the back story of this particular race of vampire, the day walkers, the pure bloods, the half breeds and then gives us the alternate view of their mortal enemies, the Matarians. Each side employs youth as the force for its main army and we watch with growing horror as sixteen year old boys and girls become killers in their own right. All of a sudden, you realize that Mr. Erno has shed light on how cult paramilitary compounds can take root and thrive and perpetuate decades of violent tendencies. And this idea is all wrapped up in the most compelling and fascinating of stories about vampires.
Yes, this was a love story but that was only one of its plot points. There were so many ways in which this novel moved, and each was so well thought out, each layer of the story lending more clarity rather than confusion. More importantly, author Jeff Erno unwraps such a detailed world that endless stories will be able to spring from this first novel. I read this book in one sitting, I had too. It was riveting and I needed to find out just how these two young men could ever really have a life together free from the violence that seemed to surround them. The ending, while feeling a little rushed did not disappoint, as it was not a neat happy ever after but more of a pause in the action awaiting the next chapter to this wonderful story.
I thoroughly enjoyed Forever Young by Jeff Erno. I will definitely be in line for the next book in this series.