Revenants Book One
by Amy Plum
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.
When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.
Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.
IB Teen Reviews Die For Me:
Read Die For Me and it will transport you to Paris. I sincerely never wanted this book to end, I could have walked those Paris streets with Kate forever. It is a rare thing to find a book that will exceed the expectations of its reader, and I could be building your expectations right now. But I am confident that you will still be surprised and fall in love with this book. I trust that you will find it youthful but not juvenile, and the first blush of true love within it just as vivid as the city around the two lovers.
I often wonder at a love story how such epic heroes fall for such unremarkable heroines. Admittedly, I often pick up a book ready to fall in love with the hero. A noteworthy heroine is a rare thing, especially if she doesn’t spend the book kicking butt and slaying dragons. Kate is one of those rare finds, and for me she is a very real character. Her shining qualities are enhanced by her flaws. Quiet moments with Kate in this book are just as remarkable as the ones filled with action. I wish I could grow up to be just like her. Sadly I am grown up and not half as worldly, endearing, and sophisticated as she is. Sigh.
And while Kate is loveable, Vincent is delicious. Free from the constraints of zombie lore, Amy Plum has forged a new path while creating her mythology. Vincent is a monster in the literal sense, but is also a hero. A young man very much alone and trapped the very thing that makes him extraordinary.
Die for Me truly introduces a new zombie, or a new idea of what zombie can mean. Yes they are reanimated, but the inner-workings of their magical/supernatural existence is so completely refreshing and unique. The very idea of these Revenants is quite beautiful as well as horrific. You will still get danger, there is still gore, but there is a purpose for it. I don't want to give anything away here, you will want to learn it all on your own!
AP: Revenants start as humans, but die sacrificing their life for someone else. They awake three days later, and are thereafter bound to continue rescuing humans from an early death for the rest of their immortal existence.
IBT: How imperative was it to give your monsters a purpose? So many other mythologies on zombies, vampires, or werewolves don't do that, they simply are.
AP: For me, creating a new monster was a huge responsibility. I wanted everything in their mythology to make sense, since I was positioning them as beings that were as old and venerable as vampires and werewolves (if not older and more venerable!). I knew in the beginning that they were immortal but died again and again, coming back at their death age each time. I just had to figure out WHY they were repeatedly dying. And when the lifesaving idea popped into my mind, I knew it was right.
Also, one of my first steps in setting up my story was figuring out who Kate was. And after I knew that, I had to come up with the type of supernatural being that she would fall for. So all of these different steps came together to make the revenants what they are.
IBT: The sisters are such opposites, which sister do you identify with the most: introspective Kate or social butterfly Georgia?
AP: I identify more with Kate. Her personality is, for the most part, based on my own. But I have had periods of my life when I could be seen as a Georgia. After my mom died, I responded by going completely crazy and becoming a party girl like her. I didn’t want to have to think about things, so I blocked it out by surrounding myself with people and going out every night.
AP: I’m such a blabbermouth, I wanted to tell all of the revenants’ secrets in Book 1. It took my editor explaining what an “information dump” was for me to understand that I needed to space everything out. So yes – there are secrets about both the revenants and Vincent that will be revealed in Book 2: Until I Die. And yes, Kate and Vincent are still the protagonists, but you will find all of the characters from Book 1 (besides Lucien of course!), in Book 2, plus a few newbies!
IBT: What is your favorite type of Hero?
AP: The broken hero, who has been severely wounded in the past. And though he has recovered, he will always be marked by his experience.
IBT: In reading your bio I said to myself, "I'd love to be her if I ever grow up." Then I read Die for Me and I said the same thing about Kate. It must be all the French stuff, the love stuff, and the brave stuff. Meaning that it's brave to be able to be alone, it's brave to let yourself fall in love, and it's brave to move to another country! Do you- or Kate- have any advice for those of us who tend to stick their toe in the pool instead of jumping in?
AP: Yes. Your life will be easier if you stick your toe in the pool instead of leaping headfirst. Easier, but probably not as exciting.
Being an impetuous person, I have always had to learn by my mistakes. And let me tell you, I’ve made some doozies. For some reason, I still haven’t learned my lessons for the most part. The fearless life can be extremely painful. But for me, there is no other choice because—more than anything else—I dread ennui.
IBT: What characteristics do you desire from a Heroine?
AP: Like the hero, I prefer heroines who have been wounded. I don’t like (or, more to the point, trust) perfect people. But my heroine needs to have the strength and independence to pull herself out of whatever mire she is stuck in. She needs to be able to work her way towards redemption.
IBT: Kate asked herself in the book, and I'm asking you now; Is it better to have loved and lost, or never have loved at all?
AP: Love and lost. I’d rather experience pain and loss than to have lived a safe life.
IBT: Not that I'm complaining, but why did you change the prologue?
AP: It wasn’t up to me. I hung on to my original prologue until the very last second, at which point my editor overruled me. She had her reasons, one of which being that she wanted the book to start out with a bang, and that pre-history slowed it down. But I’m glad to be able to offer it separately on my blog, and people have responded well to it.
IBT: As a writer how do you respond to those who think that censorship is a necessary evil?
AP: My own reading was censored as a child, and I reacted very badly to it. For example, my parents wouldn’t let me read Madeleine l’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time because there were witches in it. (They obviously didn’t bother to read it to find out exactly what the “witches” were.) So I went straight out to the Bookmobile and checked out a hardcore book on Wicca to find out what the big deal was.
IBT: When writing YA do you find that you pull back or censor yourself knowing that what you are writing is intended for primarily a younger audience?
AP: For me, sex and violence should be on an equal level as far as protecting young children. Too much emphasis is placed on shielding children from sex, while horrific violence is seen as acceptable. That, to me, is a travesty. So far I have written everything I wanted, regarding both sex and violence, without having to censor. For the future, I will have to see how things progress as the story continues. (I don’t plot much ahead of time, so am not sure exactly how the trilogy will unfold.)
IBT: And finally, excluding any character from Pride and Prejudice, what are your three favorite romantic Heroes and Heroines? (Antiheroes ala Prof. Snape can be included)
AP: Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. And Pippi Longstocking.
- A copy of Die for Me by Amy Plum
- Deborah Lippman's Glitter In the Air nail lacquer (sky blue confetti (sheer) but with enough coats (4-ish) looks like the bottle!).
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