Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Reading Level: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 464 pages
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
In addition to making her living writing for a highly rated soap opera, twenty-something New Yorker, Meena Harper, has the uncanny ability of accurately predicting how people will die. Though she's saved many lives over the years, she feels like a freak because of her gift. She compensates for her insecurities by throwing all her energy into succeeding at her job and is positive she's going to be promoted to head writer any day now. But instead, a ditzy fellow writer uses her connections to the higher-ups in the company to bump Meena aside and steal her promotion. Worse, she informs Meena that the show needs a dose of vampires to make it really pop. Meena is positive this change will ruin the show, but she's powerless to do anything to stop it. She's still struggling with this major nosedive in her career when a gorgeous stranger named Lucien saves her from an eerie bat attack while she's walking her dog late at night. Meena is bowled over by Lucien's bravery, charisma and dazzling looks, and immediately begins dating him. But just as she's begun to fall in love with Lucien a bizarre, sword-toting vampire-hunter named Alaric breaks into Meena's apartment. He demands that she help him take down Lucien because her lover is not only a vampire, he's the head honcho over all the vampires of the world. Meena refuses to believe Alaric until she's sucked into a vicious vampire war in which a bitter rival attempts to topple Lucien from power.
I'm a big fan of Meg Cabot's books, young adult and adult as well, and this book is definitely my favorite so far of everything she's written. I've always enjoyed her sense of humor, and this book has a strong dose of her witty, chick-lit voice. There are lots of sly hits at the common themes in urban fantasy today as well as current trends in popular culture in general. I found Meena extremely likeable, and the romance with sexy Lucien irresistible.
At first the love triangle with Alaric is played for laughs as a comic riff on the common staple of female-centric urban fantasies of the heroine's competing love interests. But Alaric's character grows a lot over the course of the book, becoming a viable romantic contender. This is something the reader is allowed to experience directly, because Cabot uses multiple points of view for the book, a choice I personally applaud because it gives the reader a much wider field of vision to get into the story. In addition to Meena and Alaric, we are allowed to dip into Lucien's head and that of Meena's brother--a wacky subcharacter who is a source of a lot of laughs in the book. But in spite of the movement into multiple points of view, there's never any doubt that Meena is the star of this show, and of this newly minted series.
For those who love lots of action in their urban fantasy, Cabot fully satisfies that, as well, particularly in her exciting battle at the climax of the story. Some of the magic that goes down in that scene is really different and original for the vampire genre.
I highly recommend this book to both Meg Cabot fans and those who love urban fantasy with a strong romantic subplot.
I rate this book as follows:
Fantasy World-Building: 5
Romance Plot: 4