Book Review: The Homecoming Masquerade (Girls Wearning Black #1) by Spencer Baum

Author: Spencer Baum

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Release date: January 28, 2012

Rating: 2.5 stars – IT WAS OKAY!

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble

SYNOPSIS

In a posh suburb of the nation’s capital, at the most exclusive high school in the world, the vampires who secretly run the government have created a game for America’s daughters of privilege. Show up to Homecoming in a black dress and you’ve entered yourself in a contest where the winner lives forever, and the loser becomes the winner’s first meal.

Only the wealthiest, most connected students can hope to win, so when new girl Nicky Bloom wears a black dress to Homecoming, everyone assumes she has a death wish. They don’t know that Nicky has her own agenda. As the dance continues into the night, they will find out that Nicky Bloom is far more than she seems. — Goodreads

SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD. TIS NOT TOO LATE TO TURN BACK.

The novel opens up right in the center of the interesting and unique story line with Jill as the introductory character. Jill is a student at Thorndike Academy who is involved in a secret organization (the Network) that involves their attempt to overthrow the reigning power of Vampires in government. Jill is an expert computer hacker as she has been working with the Network for years, gathering Intel from her class peers through text messages, internet browsing, ect. Her friend, Nicky Bloom, who is also a spy working with the Network, enters the Homecoming contest – where the girl who wins is crowned Prom Queen and receives the gift of immortality, while the loser is the winner’s first meal. Politics is the driving force under this disturbing contest and every one knows it.

For years the Network has been trying to bring down the powerful vampires who run the corrupted and unlawful government. That is the reason why Nicky Bloom is entered in the contest under a guise of a wealthy family name and innocent and unimportance that no one would have expected she’d be on of the girls’ wearing black at Homecoming. Jill and Nicky’s mission for the night is to slowly reign in the support of her classmates from Kim Renwick to Nicky Bloom. If successful it would mean a lead in the competition and one step closer to getting Sergio – the vampire who makes the immortals – in a trap to be killed by the Network’s hand.

The story takes place all in a few hours, during the time of the dance. By doing so the novel drags in a few places. There is so much information that is given to us about Jill, Nicky, the Network, and the other important students that are pivotal to Nicky’s mission. At times, I felt like the story wasn’t going anywhere because in a lot of cases there was a “refresher course” (as I like to call them); in other words, it was very redundant.

For the characters, I felt like some of them lacked depth. From the very beginning of the novel, we (the reader) know what Nicky and Jill’s goal and mission is for the duration of the Homecoming contest. With that said, I felt like their whole character was founded upon that drive. Nicky (one of the main female protagonist) was a bit more of three-dimensional character as she shows signs of vulnerability, especially around Ryan Jensen. But that was about it. No character made me feel angry, pity, sad, ect. That lack of emotional depth ruins a book because there is no connection between me and the characters. There were times I questioned their grand scheme of things…but hey, there’s nothing I can do about that.

The story itself was interesting and different to the vampire stories out in the vast world. I like different. I like unique. So I definitely give Spencer Baum kudos for the intriguing world he built. Baum left a few knots untied that make me very curious to see what happens to Jill and Nicky in the next installment to take down the vampires in the U.S. I liked that it left me curious. It makes me want more. But then again, I don’t want to feel like I’m reading it because I HAVE to. I want to read because I WANT to and MUST know what happens to the characters. I may or may not pick up the sequel, The Festival of the Moon. It has a very good plot line, but it’s ruined by the pace and execution of the events that happen. It wasn’t that bad a book but there was just so much that could have been done without it being a drag. I honestly would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a good, FREE read and would love to read something different involving vampires.

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1 Comment

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