Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) What’s a vampire to do when he’s afraid of the dark and passes out at the sight of blood?
These are but two of the problems that face thirteen year old Rupert Bartholomew Cooke. After growing up in England’s Foster Care System, Rupert is at last adopted. Then what should be the happiest moment of his life turns into the most terrifying day imaginable. His adopter, the same man whose bite turned Rupert into a vampire, is none other than the infamous Jack the Ripper.
To make matters worse, Rupert is left to watch over Jack’s mansion, under which is buried a portal that leads to the Source of all magic. Untrained and coping with the stresses of his new and terrible existence, Rupert is forced to defend the Source against Jack’s enemies, the necromancer Mobius and his secret accomplice.
With his newfound friends, Lorelei the thrall, Alistair the diminutive werewolf, and Horatio the gruff housekeeper, Rupert must battle Mobius and preserve the fragile truce between the Vampire Nation and the Legions of the Dead; all without giving Jack a reason to kill him when he returns home.
Thoughts: My first opinion of this book was, “If I was a 12 year old boy, this would be exactly what I’d want to read!” My second opinion was, “Hell, if I was a 12 year old me, this would be exactly what I’d want to read.” Far from the usual YA fare, Inheritance was filled with blood, battle, and yes, brains. As in intelligence. While stats for this book say that it’s for readers aged 8 and up, I would disagree. Not because of the violent content, but because Marquitz uses a higher standard of vocabulary than one normally sees in books intended for that age range. Not enough to keep kids constantly reaching for the dictionary, but enough to stretch their brains while allowing them to enjoy a good action-packed story. I might say that kids 12 and up would be able to handle the vocabulary a bit more easily.
Then again, there are some smart 8 year olds who could use some more reading material directed at them that gives them something to sink their mental teeth into.
Rupert isn’t your typical vampire character. He’s a little bit of a coward, has spent years being rather downtrodden and bullied in an orphanage, and dreams of greater things while simultaneously being uncertain as to how he’ll achieve them. As a protagonist, he was wonderfully real, flawed and curious and the very embodiment of a young teen suddenly finding himself completely out of his depth in the world. In her normality, he’s very relatable, and I think that’s what makes him, surprisingly, a very unique protagonist. Most YA protagonists have something undeniable special about them right from the get-go. Rupert gets thrust into a strange and dangerous situation, but he earns his place, works for his accomplishments, makes mistakes and pays for them, and doesn’t get treated as anything other than what he is.
There’s no denying that there’s plenty of violence in this book, and more than a few things that rate high on the “gross-out” scale (a colossus made of multiple human corpses, for example), and normally that doesn’t appeal to me very much, but Marquitz made it work. Even through the bits that I found distasteful, well, they were supposed to be distasteful. And none of it was over the top. I can see plenty of parents being unhappy that their children are reading such graphic material, but I can say with certainty that any child who wants to read books like this will end up lacking for not having read Inheritance. The violence is balanced with an interesting plot, relatable and diverse characters (though the girl of the group is relegated to a more passive role where the boys get to take a more active role in events, some of that can be forgiven by the time period the book is set in), and as I mentioned earlier, doesn’t talk down to kids and assumes that they’re capable of understanding larger words and advanced concepts.
There are hints of greater things to come with this series, and I’m looking forward to following it and seeing where it all goes. I believe this is Marquitz’s first foray into YA fiction, and I think it’s been a successful one. I know I’m hooked, at the very least. And really, given that the price of this book is approximately $1, if you have the money to spare for it, I think you’ll be hooked too.
(Book was provided for review by the author.)