Book Review: "Plain Fear: Forsaken" by Leanna Ellis

Summary from Hannah cannot move on.

She pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her.

But Jacob is gone now, buried.

Levi's love for Hannah burns just as strong. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. And he lives with that lie every day.

So when a stranger named Akiva comes to their community, he carries with him two secrets that will change their lives forever: he is in fact Jacob, whom Hannah had lost. And he is now a vampire.

When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it's more than a choice of passion; it's a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.

I feel like this book has been a running joke in the reading community for a long time. You take the two genres that are so completely different from each other and mash them together to make one absurd novel. Everyone thought it couldn't be done so we always joked about it. And then Leanna Ellis finally did it.

Let's get this started by saying that this is NOT a Christian or faith based Amish novel. While this book does contain Scripture references and statements from the Amish faith, it is NOT meant to be a Christian fiction book. Vampires in this book, while not the ideal way to live, are not seen as evil that must be crushed out. This book does not have the usual good vs evil where good will always win as you see in some Christian fiction books that do feature vampires.

The plot is rather basic if you take away the Amish part of it. Girl loves boy, boy "dies", vampire comes into girl's life, girl is reminded of boy, girl must be saved from turning into a vampire, yada yada yada. Adding the Amish aspect does make the story unique because of their lifestyles and beliefs. I don't think though that the Amish in this story are very well equipped to handle vampires as most of them don't know what to do with them.

Hannah, I'm sorry to say, is a little dense. I'm not sure if it's because of how she was brought up or if in this type of Amish world vampires are just normal. I don't know how she didn't realize who Akiva really was or even what he was. She doesn't question and instead just goes along with everything which in my opinion makes a very poor heroine. To be honest, I'm not really sure why Roc is in this book. I felt that his character could have been eliminated completely and no one would have missed him. I didn't think that he really added much to the story and felt that any time the plot turned to him things slowed down. On the other hand, I really liked Levi and felt that he deserves better than Hannah for all that he's gone through.

I was a bit taken aback by some of the curse words and sex that's in the book. Not because I'm offended by them but since I have read Ellis's books in the Christian market, it's a bit weird to see her use them in this book. Some of it actually looks like it was tacked on later as it doesn't really flow with the rest of the story. I'm not sure if that was anyone's attempt at trying to broaden the story to the general market. There are references to Twilight, which rather annoyed me because I wish people would not keep thinking that all vampires must be judged against the ones in that book.

Overall, I must admit that this book felt a bit campy. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it because I did. It's just with the two different genres mixing together, it's hard not to think of a late night horror movie while reading it. Is this the best Amish book out there? No. Is this the best vampire novel out there? No. Should you take this book seriously? No. Is it fun to read? Yes. Pretty much, if you are looking for a mashup that you just want to spend an afternoon with, this is one of those really unique ones that just calls for suspense of belief and just let the story go.

Plain Fear: Forsaken
by Leanna Ellis is published by Sourcebooks Landmark (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. I'm sorry but I just can't get past the Amish/Vampire, its just wrong! LOL Some things just don't go together.

  2. I still cannot believe the Amish Vampire novel actually came into being!!!

  3. Great review. I really look forward to reading this. Thanks for the "campy" warning :)

    PS I love the wide array of things you read.


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