Vampire’s Photograph (Oliver Nocturne)
- VOYA: 3Q3P M
- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (August 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545058015
- ISBN-13: 978-0545058018
Oliver is an average vampire, or so he thought, until he overheard a conversation between his father and doctor. Now everything he believed to be true has been called into question. Vampire’s do not show up in photographs, right? Then why is he a blur in a human photograph, and why is there a picture of a very familiar vampire at school? As his insomnia worsens, Oliver becomes convinced that everyone is keeping secrets from him. His only allies seem to be two humans and his vampire world would never approve. When his quest to understand the photograph leads him and his human allies to Underground Center, his secret is exposed, but not before he finds a chemical to help him understand his photograph. A shared vision with human Emalie concerning his own past shakes Oliver to the core and now he is questioning his very existence. Why has everyone lied to him about his real parents? Can he trust anyone in the vampire world? And why are his father and doctor conspiring to give him treatments? Just as Oliver thinks his life cannot spiral any more out of control, his uber-vampire brother, Bane, steps in and forces him into a sticky situation with his human friends. As he prepares to fight, he is sucked into a strange vision and when he comes to, Emalie’s cousin, Dean, is dead, apparently at Oliver’s hand. Now Oliver is an unwitting hero in the vampire world and he has lost his only true friend, Emalie. As this installment ends, Oliver is miserable, but senses hope when he finds an article from Emalie concerning his human family.
Oliver is instantly likable. His curiousity is believable and teens should relate to his extisential crisis. The entire vampire world, however, is portrayed as blood thirsty and obsessed with gore, and their view of humans is disturbing at best. The mystery of Oliver’s past and future is intriguing, but the reaction from the vampire world seems a bit watered down considering their focus on purity and gore. For readers who have never felt like they truly belonged, Oliver’s story should provide insight and connection. Overall, this is an interesting if uninspired read.