Book Review: Vesper

Vesper, by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb is a typical teenager who doesn’t feel like she fits in at school. But the night her classmate Emily Cooke is murdered, Emily W. begins experiencing a strange transformation. Each night Emily W. changes from a quiet, conservative girl to a brazen, wild girl on the hunt for something she can’t quite grasp. While the mystical transformation scares her, Night Emily is stronger and faster than Day Emily. And there is something alluring to her about Night Emily’s confidence and free spirit. But when another boy is shot, Emily begins to wonder if she may be a target as well.

Emily is a fascinating character who seems to have a split personality at first. But it’s soon obvious that something else is going on when she’s able to perform acts that no mere human could. Emily’s closest friend is a bitter girl who seems to detest everyone but Emily. I found it difficult to feel sorry for her when she feels that Emily is leaving her behind for new experiences.

The story unfolds slowly, from Emily’s point of view, as she deals with the after-effects of her sudden personality shifts and a little investigating – until realization dawns on her – and the readers as to what’s happening to Emily. This was a surprising and completely engrossing series debut with plenty of promise. Dark, captivating, and mysterious, Vesper offers a fresh spin on YA fantasy.

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