June 04, 2012

Book Review: TASTE by Kate Evangelista

Book:  TASTE
Author:  Kate Evangelista

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Category:  Young Adult Fiction

"Did he touch you?"-Demitri
"Luka did he kiss you?"-Demitri
....I shook my head....
"Why?" -Phoenix
"Because..... you belong to me."-Demitri
Phoenix seeks trouble. Mostly to get her father's attention but also to fill the void  left by her mother's death from a mysterious illness months before.  And touble she finds when one night she oversleeps in Barinkoff academy where the number one rule is to NEVER stay past curfew in school.  

No clear reason is given for this rule and Phoenix finds out why when she bumps into the most beautiful group of teenagers she's ever seen.  They are the night students  of Barinkoff who belong to a race called Zhamvy, flesh eating people who live underground.  And they now threaten to TASTE her flesh.  She is saved by a beautiful dark haired boy named Demitri who hurries to take her away from the academy.
curiosity aroused, she purposely stays late the very nexy day.  She ends up in the chemistry lab where She gets threatened and chased by Calixta, Demitri's betrothed.  

The chase leads them to Luka, an angelic looking young man who orders Calixta to leave.  Demitri eventually takes Phoenix away but only after he is commanded by Luka to kneel before him.
Safely back in her own world, Phoenix decides to stay away, only to be pulled back in by Dray, Demitri's brother, who asks for her help in an experiment.  She obliges, not knowing that Dray means to change her into a zhamvy herself.  

Upon waking, she encounters Demitri and an uncontrollable urge to bite him.  She did, later finding out that this act, a woman marking a man with her bite, would tie them together in love and lust, for eternity.  Unsure of how to proceed, Demitri tries to protect Phoenix by hiding her from everyone else.  Unfortunately for him, she has other plans.  She escapes her assigned guide just to end up with Luka....again! 

Author Kate Evangelista

But though she feels an attraction for Luka, she feels a pull for Demitri unlike anything else.  They start gravitating towards each other with such strong passion.  Demitri however has only one choice, to step into his chosen role as the future king of Zhamvy.
But love is not easy to ignore, especially when another possiblity  suddenly presents itself....

Author Kate Evangelista created a new world so interesting in TASTE that suspending disbelief is easy if only for a few hours.  The first few chapters were slow but after picking up a fourth of the way, i just zoomed through the book to the very end, reading the last line at 3 in the morning.  Yes the book is interesting enough to keep you reading straight through to the end no matter what time.

My only complaints are the non stop reference to Phoenix's mother's illness and death, and the over description throughout the book, which i hope will be much lessend in Evangelista's next novel.  Case in point:

Despite his features barely showing any expression, I saw desire blazing within the infinite blackness of his eyes. A smoldering blush blossomed on my cheeks and climbed up the bridge of my nose. My heart raced like a hamster on a wheel.

Or this

Tears slid down my throat and pooled in my stomach like sunlight on a forest floor.

Among the characters in this story, the one i least like is Phoenix.  Her selfishness, uncontrollable curiosity, carelessness and lack of respect for another rubbed me the wrong way.  She isn't the kind of protagonist i appreciate in books, but Demitri is.  A strong, principled man who tries to live by what he has been raised to be, a Prince and the future King of Zhamvy.  I also love Luka, not just because of his beauty but also his charm and strength.  Between the two, i couldn't choose who i wanted more for the throne and for Phoenix's heart.

Fellow readers will appreciate the fact that there is strong ending to the story.  That this is a stand alone book.  That though the world of zhamvy is interesting enough for a few more books, Evangelista does not prolong the agony for her new fans.  She creates an ending that has a bright future for the protagonists, yet also leaves the readers to create their own endings for them.

So for those who hate open ended conclusions, pick up a copy of Taste.  You will fall in love with this new world.
And Congratulations to Kate Evangelista, another great addition to the world of YA.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, hope you can help out spread the word about the twitter party we have coming up!

    The Taste Twitter Party is this friday Dec 14, 7/8C! You can ask Kate all your questions about Taste and win a copy of Taste. Join and use Hashtag #BreakCurfew

    info and banners can be found on

    Thank you!