Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves

Reeves, Dia. Bleeding Violet. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. ISBN: 978-1416986195. 464 pages. $16.99.  

Dia Reeves’ Bleeding Violet is set in the fictional town of Portero, Texas. Like any other sleepy supernatural town, there is certainly more to this one than meets the eye. The inhabitants are divided between some locals who are well aware of the dangerous, hidden, supernatural portals that populate the town, while others live in ignorance. 

Sixteen year-old heroine Hanna attempts to reconnect with the mother she has never met and to navigate teenage existence in this odd town filled with secret doors to different dimensions. Her story is complicated by a host of psychological conditions for which she is medicated, and by the supernatural monsters that she encounters. Hanna struggles to merge her primarily Finnish (Anglo/Caucasian) upbringing with her physical resemblance to her absent African-American mother. She is forced to balance this racial and cultural uncertainty with the discrimination she faces as a supposed non-supernatural outsider in Portero.

Once Hanna learns that her psychoses are a result of her supernatural heritage rather than an actual psychological condition, she embraces her gifts in the hope of saving her mother from the evil spirit that has possessed her corporeal form. Helping Hanna is the brooding Wyatt. He is a member of the Mortmaine, a militia-esque group that protects the residents of Portero from the unsavory entities that dwell on the other side of the town’s many doors. 

The writing is rich and the story psychologically complex. There is some sexual content, and the violence, while beautifully described, is graphically intense, and perhaps better suited for a more mature adolescent reader.

Heather Tylock

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