Camille by Tess Oliver

Camille and Dr. Bennett are scientists looking for a cure…to lycanthropy. The concept and the setting for Tess Oliver’s Camille are fun at first, but half way through this book takes a turn towards mushiness.

When the moon is full, Camille and Dr. Bennett walk the streets of London, searching for rogue werewolves. They hunt them down and shoot them with silver bullets, hopefully before the beasts can maim another human. But they aren’t always so lucky. On one chill night, the two are too late to save one Nathaniel Strider, a teenage grave robber. The werewolf manages to scratch the lad before Dr. Bennett can shoot it. Camille follows Strider around Whitehall, checking to see if the virus has infected him or not. But she sees far more of the handsome teen, and his numerous girlfriends than was strictly. One thing is clear, however: he will become a vampire during the next full moon. Camille must convince the incorrigible but proud boy to live with her and Dr. Bennett as they search for a cure. As she gets to know Nathaniel, this hunt goes far beyond a pure scientific problem. Now her heart’s involved.

Camille charms the reader with her spunky personality, and the little hints at her tragic past keep us intrigued. But once these little mysteries are solved, and her relationship with Nathaniel moves to the forefront of the plot, the story just isn’t fun anymore. It becomes yet another teen love story with werewolves involved. The writing tends towards mushy, like this passage in which Camille expresses her love for Nathaniel: “I moved closer this time and pressed the side of my face against his chest and listened to his frenzied heartbeat. “I think we’ve always been connected. Even before we knew each other. That is why my life has been so bizarre, Nathaniel Strider. It was fate. It brought you to me.””

The writing itself is fun and has a lot of great, original descriptions. Like when Camille’s sister explains her personality, “Not deranged, just inappropriately suited for normal life,” when Camille explains how they used to cure for smallpox “It says here that in ancient times to make people immune to smallpox, they would powder up smallpox scabs and blow them up people’s noses,” or when Nathaniel describes his empty stomach, “My stomach is as empty as a church in the middle of Sodom.”

Camille by Tess Oliver has fun characters and a great setting, but may make you roll your eyes at it’s tendency to be melodramatic and angsty.

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