Catherine Jinks, author of more than thirty books for children and adults, is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. She has received many American accolades such as Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year for Evil Genius, which was also a Book Sense Children's Pick and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. In 2001 she was presented with a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian children's literature. Catherine lives in Leura, Australia. www.catherinejinks.com
Teenage vampires are all the rage thanks to Stephenie Meyer's phenomenally successful 'Twilight' series. Respected author Catherine Jinks jumps on the bandwagon with her latest book, centred on Nina, a 15-year-old vampire who cannot deal with the anticlimatic realities of her 'condition'. Nina is a member of a small rag-tag group of Sydney vampires who strive to retain their anonymity, even if it means turning their backs on traditional vampiric activities such as drinking the blood of humans and dressing in gothic attire. After the eldest of the group is exposed and then executed, Nina and her friends must find the vampire slayer without blowing their own cover before anyone else is murdered. Matters get worse when they rescue and befriend a werewolf with some very ruthless and persistent enemies. The Reformed Vampire Support Group has a cast of well-defined characters and never loses its sense of humour. The book has genuine suspense at times, but lacks the simmering tension that most readers associate with the genre, as these modern urban vampires are not particularly captivating. Like Nina, teenage readers may find these vampires unexciting and not entirely convincing. The book does not equal the high standard of Jinks' earlier and superior efforts. Gavin Jones is the literature librarian at Melbourne Girls Grammar
Gr 8 Up-Nina Harris was fanged at 15. Thirty something years later, she is still the same age and living at home with her non-vampire mother, writing books about a vampire heroin, and attending a vampire support group once a week with other sickly vampires who have chosen not to fang. Life is dull until one member is staked and suddenly they are all in danger. Much to her mother's dismay, they all move in with her and Nina for protection. Nina and fellow member Dave, her love interest, and Father Ramon, their only human friend, follow the clues to find out who is responsible. With plenty of blood and near misses with a father-son who run a werewolf fight ring, Catherine Jinks's alternative vampire story (Harcourt, 2009) is a mystery, an adventure, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny as the weak and frightened group of vampires chase evil men to save themselves. Australian narrator Caroline Lee lends an authentic voice to the characters who start out somewhat whiny and pathetic and become more self-assured and strong as the story progresses. This is not a typical scary vampire tale, but teens will enjoy its humor and many plot twists.-Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport High School, TX Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"Jinks's signature facility with plot and character development
is intact as she turns to the topic of vampires . . . Throwing in
delicious details and aper us, the author works her way from the
murder of one of the vampires to suspense and adventure of the
sinister yet daffy variety beloved by readers of Evil Genius. The
plot twists, more ornate than in previous works, ramp up the
giddiness--and, perhaps, camouflage the corpses, blood and other
byproducts of the genre." --Publishers Weekly, starred
review"Support Group is truly like no other vampire story. It is
witty, cunning, and humorous, with numerous plot twists and turns.
Jinks has conjured up an eccentric but believable cast of
characters in a story full of action and adventure." --School
Library Journal"Jinks offers some wry vampire-centric twists on
mystery conventions . . . laugh-out-loud funny."
--Booklist "Jinks's quirky sense of humor will appeal to fans of her Evil Genius series. Those tired of torrid bloodsucker stories or looking for a comic riff on the trend will feel refreshed by the vomitous, guinea-pig-drinking accidental heroics of Nina and her pals." --Kirkus Reviews"Jinks draws her characters and their unique challenges in great detail . . . there's plenty of blood and guts (both types) to go around. One part problem novel, one part comedy, and one part murder-mystery, this alternative vampire story is for outsiders of all kinds, underground or otherwise." --Horn Book "Jinks takes readers on a wild ride, poking wicked fun at vampire enthusiasts of all stripes with her wryly clinical take . . . a first-rate comedy with equal appeal for avid vampire fans and those who wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Twilight." --The Bulletin"With this budding heroine in her own right at the forefront, this ensemble of eccentric characters gives a wry spin to the ever-popular vampire tales." --BookPage Praise for Evil Genius: "Jinks fills out the cast with brilliantly conceived friends and adversaries." --Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewPraise for Genius Squad: "Gripping, devilish and wonderfully dark" --Publishers Weekly, starred review"[Jinks's] ability to craft vivid characters and engrossing action scenes continues unabated." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review