Book: Quiver by Holly Luhning
Publisher: Tor Teen, 2010
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Source + Date Read: Purchased + Feb. 2013
Recommend: Elizabeth Bathory stories with an academic twists for the win!
Book Pro’s: The story blends modern-day horror with historical myths and terror.
Book Con’s: There comes a point when you want to yell at the protagonist and say, stop being used, stop being stupid!
It’s simple and quite revealing. The single face is haunting, yet that lone blood splat is the biggest tell, we know it’ll have something with just a bit of blood in it.
Set in contemporary London, the story jumps between the modern-day to the historical time of Elizabeth Bathory’s Eastern Europe.
The characters are all rounded but not lovable. This isn’t necessarily a flaw, but it’s something that makes it hard to connect with them.
We meet Danica, the protagonist of the story. She’s a weak-willed woman who tries her best to be a psychologist but realises quickly that she isn’t cut out for it. She’s also obsessed with Elizabeth Bathory and at a convention she meets Maria, a fellow Bathory enthusiast. The problem is that Moira is borderline abusive. She draws Danica in and plays with her and her life then leaves her stranded every time. This is a major source of conflict and tension in the novel yet Danica keeps coming back and playing to Moira’s whims. This is quite frustrating to read and I would have given up on it otherwise, if the plot itself wasn’t so interesting. I would have given this 4-Page-Turns but their conflict had to bump it down to 3-Page-Turns.
Quiver’s pace is a solid one, with the story flipping between the present to the past. The past is told through a diary format in Bathory’s voice. Here she details the many ways she tortured and killed young women to obtain their blood. We quickly see that her obsession with young blood is haunting, but her descriptions of and enjoyment of torture that make her truly dangerous. Whilst these creepy stories are told in a loving way, I don’t think the author took into consideration how much these tales could creep readers out.
Would you give Quiver a chance?