Violent Violet by Tara Vanflower

Rating: 3.5/5
Released: 2014
Publisher: Self -released
Pages: 272
Buy Book: Amazon

Violent Violet is the first novel in a series of paranormal fantasy tales by the renowned darkwave singer-songwriter, Tara Vanflower. The Lycia vocalist has created a series surrounding a young woman’s quest to overcome more than just a few personal demons.

The heroine, Violet, is an outgoing gothic girl from a small town in the Midwest who finally decides to break free from her abusive boyfriend Mark, stand up to several bullies, and start to take full control of her life, all following the tragic death of her parents in a car accident.

In the midst of the confusion and pensiveness around her loss, Violet meets Roman, a handsome new kid on the block who has a vampiric aura about him. Despite his older age, Roman becomes something of a protector and advisor to Violet as well as the main love interest. Conflicts between the two make up the bulk of the plot, given how this is the first of a series making this debut an establishment of characters.

Eventually, other strange characters turn up including the dashing Lux and the quirky yet beautiful Mylori whom Violet finds something of a competition for Roman’s affections. It is with these two appearing that strange things begin to happen around Violet, like an unknown voice making calls to her cellphone.

All of which culminates in Roman and Violet being attacked by a pair of otherworldly beings, revealing Roman’s true identity as a notorious vampire hunter. I won’t spoil the ending but will say it is an enticing cliffhanger that will make you want to move onto the next book in the series.

Overall, this is a horror story with a fair deal of charm in its prose, which is mainly consisted of the character’s dialogue and interaction which makes it something of a character study. Violet is at a crossroads in her life and is looking to start afresh in both her lifestyle and personality following the loss of her parents, and Vanflower illustrates this well with the changes in how Violet relates to her best friends and is noticed by her new lover.

Relationships make up a big deal of the plot with the vampiric undertones being prevalent but taking over the majority of the last third of the story. I will say that I felt the prose did drag a bit at times but it all came together with no plot holes, apart from the ones that will leave the reader wanting to know more when they get to the end.

Speaking as someone who is not big into vampire fiction and stopped reading young adult romances a long time ago, I’d say this book was ok at most, but a better plot than the likes of Twilight or True Blood which dominated the literary world not so long ago. Given this book was written nearly a decade ago, I think Vanflower’s aim was to offer a decent alternative where the vampires are kept somewhat ambiguous. The actions of the demonic beings are few but very effective on the reader, making Violent Violet a story you want to read on.

If you like vampire stories that involve a gothic romance that borders on infatuation, give this one a try. Vanflower’s use of dream sequences certainly illustrates the deepest feelings of Roman and Violet when faced with the realization that they have strong feelings for one another which is essential to a decent story about the bloodsuckers who roam the world at night.

Would I read this book again? No, but it is certainly worth recommending to anyone who wants to add more to their vampire fiction collection and wants a female protagonist who isn’t one to shy away from danger when it comes to facing up to the evils that plague her. Furthermore, it comes with an impressive playlist of goth, industrial, darkwave, dark electronic, and post-punk tunes involving some of the best of those genres.

A nice introduction to a fun and quirky fantasy character who is more than ready to take on the horrors inflicted by the world of vampirism.

Review by Demitri Levantis