Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Craving by Kristina Meister, the first in her Apocalyptic series, is a sort of urban fantasy detective novel with a heavy philosophical bent.  Lilith Pierce flies from her home in California to make her estranged sister Eva's final arrangements after getting the call that Eva has committed suicide.  When she goes back to the station the next day to collect Eva's body, however, it turns out the last few days were a vision --- they never actually happened.  Eva once told Lilith that "everything means something," and with that in mind, she is convinced that there is more to her sister's death than meets the eye.  With the help of her sister's shelves of handwritten journals and a soon-to-be-retired police detective, Lilith begins to investigate Eva's life, and with every step, she finds herself becoming more and more directly involved in the mysterious underworld Eva left behind.


Sorry for the crazy delay in getting this review up, everyone!  School and things have been keeping me occupied and blogging got a little shunted to the side for a while, but I am back!  This might be running a little more slowly for a while, but I hated being on my unexpected hiatus, and I hope to not be inactive for such a long time again.

Anyway, so I finished Craving quite a while ago, but sitting here and thinking about it to write this has brought the story and the character pretty easily to the front of my mind again.  The philosophy/spiritualism is a little on the heavy side for some, I think, so it would certainly not be everyone's cup of tea; it wasn't preachy exactly, but if you're looking for more of a "mindless" read to just kick back and get through, I don't think I'd recommend this one.

That being said, I rather enjoyed Craving, in part because it ended up being very different from what I'd expected.  Based on the sisters' names and on the title, I thought this would be a Judeo-Christian morals in disguise kind of thing - Eva and Lilith?  Yeah.  Not very subtle, or so I thought.  But most of the philosophy in the book centers around Buddhism, which is something I honestly don't know too much about, so if anything is inaccurate, I wouldn't know.  It all sounded very well-researched to me, so either way, it made for some fairly rich storytelling.  The vampire element was interesting and because of the nature of the rest of the plot, Meister has given the reader an "unconventional" take on that niche that might be at least a little more palatable to vampire "purists" than the sparkling variety presented by Meyers in the Twilight saga.

The characters were kind of one-dimensional, with the exception of Lilith, but Meister managed not to make them too boring despite this.  I'm not sure if that makes sense exactly, but that's how I felt coming away from Craving.  Lilith is sensible and relatively cautious.  She had to grow up fast at an early age to take care of her moody and more creative younger sister, Eva.  Over the course of the book, Lilith does grow in depth some, as she learns about her sister's hidden world and the bigger meaning behind everything.  I also enjoyed her kind of adorable enthusiasm at transforming into a "spirit ninja."  We never really meet Eva herself, but what we learn of her gives me the vibe that she'd be right at home in the dark, smoky, hipster lounge Audrey Hepburn's character visits in Funny Face.  Detective Unger brings to mind a Sam Spade type of character.  Dedicated cop, almost retired but so married to the job that he'll probably open a private office after leaving the force.  Jinx I kind of loved...if I were an immortal, I think I'd want to look him up and be Best Friends Forever.  He also kind of reminded me a little of Neuromancer, except his character is much more lively and Craving has none of the over-technical computer jargon Gibson filled that book with, so my eyes were never in danger of glazing over.

I saved the best character for last, though.  Arthur.  Part of me liked him with the fondness of a girl for her sweet and caring older brother, because sometimes he reminded me of a friend of mine whose name is also Arthur.  But part of me totally fell in love with him.  That actually irritated me a little, because even when we first meet him, he is obviously unattainable romantically.  But as the story unfolds and we learn more about what is going on, I just ended up getting book-boyfriend heartbroken over him.  He is tall, dark, and handsome; mysterious and a little cryptic, but uncomplicated; sweet but in a subtle way; rational and thoughtful.  I kind of pictured him resembling maybe Oded Fehr.  rowr.

Anyway, so overall this was a pretty interesting read, but like I said before...if you're just looking for something light and fluffy, this is probably not the book for you.  I'll probably pick up the next in the series if I happen to come across it, just to see where Meister takes the story and the characters from here, but I don't know that I was crazy enough about it to go out of my way to find it.  This one I received through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.



JournalStone Publishing

Series Info:  What came before this book?  What's next?
* Craving (Book 1)
- The One We Feed (Book 2)

See what others are saying about it, or buy it now:
Better World Books


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