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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Society of S

Author: Susan Hubbard
Originally Published: 2007
Courtney’s Edition: 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Purchased

The Story

It isn’t until homeschooled twelve-year-old Ari makes her first real-friend that she realizes that there’s something strange about her father. Being raised as an only child in a single-parent home, and living a very sheltered life, has led to Ari being educated in Edgar Allen Poe, not in pop culture. So when she sees her first vampire movie, things start to click. Soon she discovers the truth – her father is a vampire, her mother is a human, and she may or may not be a vampire.

In a search for the truth about her mother, and what happened between her parents, Ari leaves home one day and starts on a road trip that will take her to her mother’s doorstep, with a few stops along the way, including the emergence of Ari’s own vampirism.

The Review

This book was on my TBR list since it first came out, and yet I was a little bit afraid to read it because of how much vampires got unvampirized in the past few years. For The Society of S, on one hand, there is still the thick gothic atmosphere that I love about Dracula but the vampires aren’t scary monsters in it – they’re sympathetic creatures and aren’t much different than humans.

I loved everything about this book while I was reading it, but the more I think about it the more I can pick out a few things that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I think that is the beauty of Hubbard’s writing in this book (can’t say about all her books, as this is the only one I’ve read so far) – it is so gorgeous and lyrical that I’m more interested in the actual act of reading than I am with what’s going on in the book. Her writing is amazing and I would gladly read anything else that she’s written if her writing style is even a fraction as enjoyable as it was in this book.

The Society of S was part gothic novel and part coming of age story – both of which I typically love, so I was thrilled that this book had a little bit of both going on. Ari’s self-discovery, and her realization of who she is and what her family is, is thoroughly enjoyable to witness. She grows so much through the book that it’s hard, thinking back now, to realize that she’s the same character at the beginning that she is at the end… even though she changed very gradually through the book.

And yay gothic feeling of the book! But it was strange – the gothic feeling in this book seemed to disappear pretty much as soon as Ari reached Florida. Looking back, this is disappointing, but while reading it I didn’t notice too much at all.

The one thing that really bothered me while actually reading it, though, was the epilogue. Oh, how I do not enjoy epilogues, and this one is no exception. Would’ve worked better just leaving the book at the end of the last chapter – there was closure, so I don’t know what the point of it was. Bother.

The Bottom Line

But as mentioned, I thoroughly enjoyed the book while actually reading it (except for the epilogue). I loved the little bit of mystery that was thrown in, I loved the feeling of Ari’s family house, I loved Ari’s self-discovery. It was quite good, and I would definitely highly recommend this to non-romantic-vampire fans. And I’m definitely going to be on the look-out for other books by Hubbard.

Other Reviews

Fantasy Book Critic. Have you reviewed this book on your blog? Let me know and I’ll add your link.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 3:44 pm April 15, 2010.
Category: Gothic
Book Author(s):

  • heidenkind

    It sounds like a fun concept! I might give it a try–I do love the vampires. :)

  • Kailana

    hm, a non-romance vampire book. Sounds like a good idea! I will have to give it a try. :)

  • kiirstin

    Gah, epilogues and “what happened after” appendices. I really dislike both, for the most part, but I seem to forget that each time I come to one and read anyways. I *always* regret it.

    This sounds like a really interesting book, though, and I’d never heard of it. So thank you!