‘Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.
But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.
Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).
But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.
The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own. And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.
Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . if she even has one.’
Meg Cabot, please forgive me for this review. Because as much as I love you (you have your own shelf on my bookcase! No other author can say that!) I have to be honest. Insatiable wasn’t an enjoyable read for me.
It took me days to finish this – I even left it and moved on to some other books before coming back and forcing myself to continue reading. (Why – because I’m stubborn, I bought it and because I held out the hope that Cabot would turn it around)
First of, this is a long book, particularly for a Meg Cabot, reaching 450 pages. Normally I would love that sort of word count, but not when the writing is as dry as I felt this was, with a predictable and plodding story line. It took a long time to get going and despite it’s length, nothing much seemed to really happen.
Before each chapter there is a time, date, and venue, so I naturally assumed that the narrative would be jumping backwards and forwards. However, after spending sitting and figuring out the difference in time from previous chapters in comparison to the one I was reading, it seemed to me that, for the most part, Insatiable just followed a straightforward timeline, so this only served to draw me further out of the story. It was unnecessary and distracting.
Cabot’s characters are usually fun, flirty and endearing. Sadly, I can’t say I liked any of the main characters in Insatiable. Lucien, the main love interest, was particularly creepy and too much of a cardboard cutout vampire persona – reserved, old fashioned, insanely hot, tortured by what he is, constantly fighting his vampire nature, that I couldn’t bring myself to be at all interested. Despite the lack of chemistry between him and Meena (something Cabot usually does so well) they fall in love almost instantly (after he saves her from a very bizarre scene outside a church) and, this being an adult novel rather than YA, they spend the night together within a few hours of meeting one another. Not that I have a problem with this – Cabot can write some pretty steamy scenes, but without feeling any sort of connection between the two main characters, it all felt a forced and too rushed.
No vampire novel is complete without a second love interest to up the drama and so we have Alaric, a vampire hunter who is, unfortunately, a bit of a self righteous fanatic. I think he was meant to provide some comic relief against uptight, overly serious Lucien. He names his sword, which is likes to threaten people and humans with, Senor Sticky, which is also unfortunate. Apart from his charming attitude – he forces his way into Meena’s apartment, threatens her and attempts to strip her to search for bite marks (though none of that seems to overly bother Meena all that much, or her brother who literally just watches this all happen without much protest). I certainly favored his interpretation of Meena and Lucien’s ‘relationship’. It’s isn’t love, Lucien is merely using her to feed of, while seducing her in the process making her willing to do anything he asks. Meena makes some incredibly stupid decisions throughout the book, so I’m inclined to side with Alaric on this one – not to mention the fact that it turns out Lucien has already bitten and fed off Meena without her knowledge or consent more than once and even tries to seduce her into being turned, before considering to turn her it anyway after she makes it clear she doesn’t want to be a vampire.
Meena is a pretty bland character and I often found her irritating. I’m not sure why these two men like her so much, she just seemed to be obsessed with her dog and her work – a cringe-worthy daytime television show (as far as I can tell). I just didn’t find her very interesting to read about, despite her strange and kind of cool powers of predicting a person’s death. I’m used to some spirited heroines from Cabot and Meena just wasn’t one of them.
I did like how Cabot tied in the legends and information about the original Dracula into the story, along with the paintings at the MET. It made this vampire story something a bit different and gave it slightly more depth – though I still find Lucien’s transformation towards the end a bit too random.
When I heard about this I hoped Cabot would poke fun at the current crop of swooning females and brooding, tortured vampires. I think perhaps this was the intention, but it didn’t really read that way to me, even though Meena has some misgivings from time to time about Lucien. Overall, my main complaints were simply that Insatiable had none of the love-able characters, wit, charm, or flirtatious tension I have come to love and expect from a Meg Cabot book.
I’m aware this is a particularly harsh review and perhaps I’m not the best person to review a vampire book, no matter who it’s by, as I’m not drawn to the overly angsty, melodramatic genre. All I can say is please don’t let this book (if it is your first by Meg Cabot) or this review put you off her other books. Most notably – her teen range, which are truly fantastic and which I cannot praise enough.
Recommended Reading Age: 18+