The Society of S by Susan Hubbard is the first in the young-adult Ethical Vampire series.
This book centers around a young girl named Ariella Montero who lives with her father, the mysterious Raphael Montero, in Sarasota Springs, New York. She’s lived a protected and sheltered life inside their large Victorian styled home, where the only other contact she has beside her father is her caretaker Mrs. McGarriet, and her father’s colleagues Dennis and Mary Ellis Root. She’s never truly known her mother, who disappeared after birth, and she only knows what little her father will tell her. However after a chance outing with her caretaker Ari finds her first friend and her chance to understand the world outside. But when a series of events catapult Ari into the unknown and dangerous she begins to wonder even more about her family. In an attempt understand her mother’s story she runs away on a journey to find her.
This book was a surprisingly refreshing piece of young adult vampire literature. As with most young adult vampire books I don’t go in expecting much besides the confessions of love and the inevitable praise and glory (along with horror) that the vampire produces and receives. However this wasn’t like that at all. It’s not as light a read as the Twilight novels, and it’s not as heavy as some of the more adult novels like Vampire Chronicles but it is a nice medium between the two that I’ve hardly found in adult paranormal romance. Ari is an intelligent young girl that gives a break to the over used “normal minded” teen. The challenges she faces aren’t necessarily secluded to the paranormal side and can be related to on a personal level, she’s simply a girl who wishes to truly know her family and she’s willing to go to great lengths to do it. The writing style is unique and is in the format of a journal almost, which pulls you closer to Ari. It’s also refreshing on the whole vampire aspect, they aren’t blood-sucking monsters but nor are they the light fluffy ones that people are getting use to. There are new ideas introduced when it comes to food and ways for them to survive. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys quality young adult fiction that has real issues involved and people who like a wide range of vampire characteristics and books. I’ve seen this as a “love it or hate it” kind of book, so it may be best to borrow or get it from the library if you are unsure. I really enjoyed it however and I do look forward to trying to find the second one.