Still Life

Still Life

With the suicide of her best friend, burned-out rock star Nikki Velvet came face-to-face with death, and she'd do anything not to face it again. When a mysterious stranger offers her immortality, she believes she's found what she's been searching for, but it's nothing like she's imagined .... Sylvan, the beautiful stranger who'd promised to make her a vampire, turned out t...

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Title:Still Life
Author:Michael Montoure
Rating:

Still Life Reviews

  • Linda

    This book deserves four stars. The author, a talented wordsmith, makes his words flow for the reader. His mechanics of good writing are excellent.

    This book is a dark story about Nikki, a girl who wants to become a vampire and thus live forever. She has lost to death the only people who had ever loved her and she had loved in return. Sylvan takes her in and facilitates her desire through Paul, a vampire. Sylvan controls Nikki and Paul by feeding them his own blood. They are totally dependent upon

    This book deserves four stars. The author, a talented wordsmith, makes his words flow for the reader. His mechanics of good writing are excellent.

    This book is a dark story about Nikki, a girl who wants to become a vampire and thus live forever. She has lost to death the only people who had ever loved her and she had loved in return. Sylvan takes her in and facilitates her desire through Paul, a vampire. Sylvan controls Nikki and Paul by feeding them his own blood. They are totally dependent upon Sylvan, living in a world where they are neither alive nor dead. When Sylvan orders Nikki to turn a young boy, she realizes that Sylvan and his friends are vampire collectors.

    Readers, you will enjoy reading this book. I have stated the set-up. It is now your time to move into the shadowland to experience the many twists and turns the author has written. Don't be afraid. There is no doubt this author CAN write, but he won't bite. I promise.

    Thank you, Mr. Montoure, for another good read.

  • Timothy Ward

    Michael is one of my favorite authors because of how he excells at creating empathy and interest in his characters, building worlds that are just as entertaining, and keeping me from guessing what will happen next. All of these qualities are present in Still Life, his first novel, creating a quick, enjoyable read.

    Nikki Velvet was first introduced in the short story, "One Last Sunset," from his anthology,

    , which I loved, and reviewed (

    ). She is a guitarist from a popular rock group who

    Michael is one of my favorite authors because of how he excells at creating empathy and interest in his characters, building worlds that are just as entertaining, and keeping me from guessing what will happen next. All of these qualities are present in Still Life, his first novel, creating a quick, enjoyable read.

    Nikki Velvet was first introduced in the short story, "One Last Sunset," from his anthology,

    , which I loved, and reviewed (

    ). She is a guitarist from a popular rock group who lost her best friend and lead singer to suicide. This loss haunts her still, and because of her fear of death, leads her to seek out a vampire to ensure that she never dies. Montoure's creation of Nikki and her hardships evokes strong empathy to see her find happiness.

    What follows after meeting her vampire creates conflict far more terrifying than just being happy.

    Fear of death leads to enslavement to dark desires as she fails to prevent becoming a monster. Montoure balances her attempts to escape with rising action and failure so that the book stays interesting to the end. The only real complaint I had was wanting a larger scope to this world and her adventure. Most of the book is spent in one location, but this claustrophobia works with the theme of enslavement, and adds to the tension. Montoure eases this later on but maintains tension through new and increased conflict.

    The ending was surprising and fulfilling based on promises made and the main character's desires and failures. Excellent first novel from a writer who has honed his craft writing some of my favorite Horror in short story form.

  • Sherry Fundin

    Nikki Velvet was bereft after the suicide of Gabe.

    She could not get past it. It haunted her and pissed her off.

    Nothing glamorous about it. “You just looked like a fucking idiot.”

    “I found a way out, a way to beat the game.” – Nikki said to herself.

    She had no idea the price to be paid for her decision.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The cover captured me immediately. Nice work, Michael. The blurb did not prepare me for the story. Michael did an excellent job of writing from a woman’s perspective. The story contained

    Nikki Velvet was bereft after the suicide of Gabe.

    She could not get past it. It haunted her and pissed her off.

    Nothing glamorous about it. “You just looked like a fucking idiot.”

    “I found a way out, a way to beat the game.” – Nikki said to herself.

    She had no idea the price to be paid for her decision.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The cover captured me immediately. Nice work, Michael. The blurb did not prepare me for the story. Michael did an excellent job of writing from a woman’s perspective. The story contained between the pages is not your run of the mill bite and run vampire party. It is a psychological journey of Nikki Velvet’s descent into hell, that had my skin crawling.

    If you want to know why someone may want to become a vampire and the process they go through to make it happen, meet Nikki Velvet.

    The description of her change from human to vampire was graphic and detailed. Her attempts to grab a breath of air, not realizing breathing was no longer necessary, had me holding my breath. Her mind was foggy, her limbs unwilling to move to her commands, she was unable to speak. Finally she stops struggling, letting go and drifting away.

    I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when she looks at the toilet and realizes she would never need that again. And books – no limitations. She has forever to read.

    “I gave you what you wanted. It might not be everything you hoped it would be, but its just what you asked for all the same.”

    The physical, emotional and psychological torments Nikki goes through had me shivering with the creepiness, as I TRIED to walk in her shoes. She had never anticipated the toll that turning into a vampire would take on her and the torture Sylvan (a human) would put her through. Creepy Paul was always lingering around the edges of her life.

    Michael describes Nikki’s experience after she jumps off the bridge and I wanted to be there – floating in the water, drifting, letting it take me wherever the current flowed, no need to breathe. Is that what it is like to be a mermaid? Is it like flying?

    Michael Montoure’s Still Life is all about Nikki – being free of life, being maimed and tortured, used and abused. As she navigates the way through her madness to a new life, I cringe and cower, while I question how it will end.

    This was hard for me to rate. I can’t pinpoint what was missing, but Still Life didn’t get me to the level of WOW. But, I had not read anything quite like this,.Kudos to Michael for giving me a fresh and unique insight into human and vampire interaction. His characters are well defined, making me hate most of them. And Nikki – what can I say about someone so lost that they would die to become immortal?

    I received this book from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review. I enjoyed the journey and I look forward to reading more of his work

  • Catherine Siemann

    I read about this book on the Gothic Charm School blog, and it turned out to be exactly what I expected -- an interesting twist on the vampire mythos, as well as an effective exploration of the damage grief can do to those left behind. I picked it up in the middle of the night in a bout of insomnia; it was a quick read, an effectively claustrophobic atmosphere, and a narrator whose fate I found myself caring about despite her self-destructive choices.

  • Rebecca McNutt

    Interesting idea, but not very original at all, and often

    just came across as self-indulgent and overdramatic. That being said, I love the author's prose and style, which is, in and of itself, very unique and makes this book well worth checking out.

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