Bad girl Natalie doesn’t immediately realize that her wild night with pop singer The Whistler and best friend Sophie has done her damage forever . That’s really forever rather than a lifetime; she has been turned into a vampire. The Whistler hopes to make Natalie his eternal companion. As he sees it, she is his Destiny. He turns Sophie just to give Natalie someone to hang with while she figures out what has happened to them both, while they finish their transformation.
When Natalie does realize what has happened to her and Sophie, both women give their babies to Natalie’s mother with instructions to take off and never let the women know where she has gone with the children. The ensuing loneliness and desire would be enough to keep the reader charmed, but when ‘Mother’–the woman who turned The Whistler–figures out that her eternal companion hopes to forsake her for another, she is having none of it. Mother is amoral, cunning, willful, and violent. In the midst of all the grief and longing, we are thrust into spine-tingling episodes and suspenseful cat and mouse chases.
Not your typical vampire book, Motherless Child is about many things, and most surprisingly–if you allow the title to color your guesses about the nature of the book–it is a book about the ferocity of mother love. Its limitless nature
Motherless Child makes clear why Hirshberg has won so many horror awards. He draws the reader in quickly and never lets her go. All of his characters are well drawn. With the story very nearly concluded, he manages a final plot twist that both shocks the reader and leaves her deeply satisfied.
High school housekeeping: It’s not often that you have the joy of reading genre fiction of literary quality. Add to that the fact that this tight piece of writing is no longer than a typical YA book–it’s well under 300 pages–and you have a great read for any teen horror fan. So often, I have students ask me for horror that is scarier than the usual YA fiction, but that isn’t the 500 or more pages of many adult horror novels. Well, teens, here is that book. Add to that a vampire who uses his Twitter base to hunt his prey. Then throw in the fact that this is exactly the type of writing that your teachers want you to read–that is, it’s high-quality stuff–and there’s nothing to keep you away from Motherless Child. Enjoy!