Many people of my generation will remember the golden age of vampire YA fiction; Twilight, Vampire Academy, Marked, The Vampire Diaries, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Cirque du Freak…. I could go on. Then, the vampire craze lost its steam and we moved on to other genres. I believe dystopias became the next big thing in YA literature, but there was also that hot second where zombies were pretty big.
Image via The Indiscriminate Reader
Anyway, YA author Renée Ahdieh, author of Flame in the Mist and Wrath and the Dawn, is doing the lord’s work and will be publishing a brand new vampiric young adult novel next fall. This book will be the first in a series of novels set in 19th century New Orleans (my inner thirteen-year-old’s heart is singing).
“In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to 17-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and — especially — to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose — one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.”
Now, as dear a spot as the vampire teen lit of yore holds in my heart, was it terribly sophisticated literature? Nah. But The Beautiful seems like its going to be quite a powerful book with a strong commentary on our current political situation, according to a recent interview Ahdieh did with Entertainment Weekly about the book:
When I first began crafting Celine’s story, I poured all my rage at the current political situation into her character. At how this mounting toxicity is affecting women and marginalized people from all walks of life…. Celine fights back when a young man assaults her, and flees her home because she knows no one will believe her. I wrote this book months before the events in our recent past, and it’s sadly unsurprising how understandable Celine’s reaction is, even now. But this story galvanized me, even through my despair.
The Beautiful will be available on October 8th, 2019, and I’m rather excited to see what it will do with the well-established teen vampire phenomenon, and I am particularly excited for the release of the book’s cover art. Based on the covers to Ahdieh’s other works, The Beautiful is sure to be a doozy, whenever it comes out. Till then, we can content ourselves with the book’s trailer.
Featured Image Via Renée Adieh and YouTube.