Cover image for In the forests of the night
In the forests of the night
Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
147 pages ; 18 cm
Risika, a teenage vampire, wanders back in time to the year 1684 when, as a human, she died and was transformed against her will.
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.4 4.0 32149.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 8 Quiz: 21227 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A 2002 Garden State Teen Book Award nomineeRisika is a vampire of great strength and power who still remembers her former life and the morals she held as a human. As a vampire she struggles to come to an understanding of her new life and tries to find a balance between the two.An Accelerated Reader® title

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. Risika is a 300-year-old vampire, born as a human named Rachel Weatere in 1684; but that was long ago. She has had centuries to adjust to what she has become, and has grown distant from the mortal world. Humans are prey, needed solely for nourishment. Risika cares only for Tora, a beautiful Bengal tiger at the zoo. When Aubrey, a powerful vampire and her age-old enemy, threatens to harm the animal, Risika takes her revenge. As yet another modern vampire tale, the story shares common elements with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, and Rice's Lestat novels, to name a few. The story is derivative, would benefit from structural tightening, and, though spare, manages to meander. What works is Atwater-Rhodes' style. Her use of language is surprisingly mature and polished for a 13-year-old writer, and with it she creates a thick, dense mood. Both the book's subject and the age of the author will ensure its popularity, especially with middle-schoolers, and it may encourage other young writers to pursue the craft. --Holly Koelling

Publisher's Weekly Review

First-novelist Atwater-Rhodes writes astonishingly wellÄconsidering that she completed the manuscript for this vampire novel when she was only 13 years old (she's now 15). Even compared with many adult authors, she's skillful at building atmosphere, insightful in creating characters and imaginative in varying and expanding on vampire lore. The sophisticated structure flashes between a 300-year-old vampire named Risika and her previous, human existence as one Rachel Weatere. The weaknesses in this venture, however, point to the author's youth. Risika's world-weary profundities have the ring of easy, adolescent cynicism (e.g., while visiting a favorite animal at a zoo, Risika says, "[Humans] even cage themselves, though their bars are made of society, not steel"). Characters wander in and out of the story; a climactic showdown between Risika and her archenemy depends more on telling than on showing; and an 11th-hour surprise, though neatly planted, strains the narrative logic. But with the popularity of books such as Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, this precocious debut will likely find fans. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Risika is a vampire of great strength and power, yet she hates and fears Aubrey, who was one of the vampires responsible for her transformation. The novel jumps between the present day, and 300 years ago when Risika was a mortal young woman named Rachel. While thinking that she is defending her twin brother from the evil beings, Rachel herself is taken and transformed into "one of them." Risika still remembers her former life and the morals she held as a human, yet has come to an understanding of her new life as a vampire and tries to find a balance between the two. She believes that Aubrey was responsible for the murder of her twin brother, and her need for vengeance is strong. But is it strong enough to defeat Aubrey? The story is well written and very descriptive, and has in-depth character development. Risika has passionate feelings, strengths, and weaknesses. Taking on the characteristics of a tiger, an animal she admires and respects, she finds the wherewithal to defeat her greatest enemy, self-doubt. This first novel by an author with great ability and promise is sure to be popular.-Kendra Nan Skellen, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



A minute or an hour later, I woke for a moment in a dark place. There was no light and no sound, only pain and the thick, warm liquid that was being forced past my lips. I swallowed again and again before my head cleared. The liquid was bittersweet, and as I drank I had an impression of power and . . . not life or death, but time. And strength and eternity . . . Finally I realized what I had been drinking. I pushed away the wrist that someone was holding to my lips, but I was weak, and it was so tempting. " Temptation. " The voice was in my ears and my head, and I recognized it as Ather's. Once again I pushed away the wrist, though my body screamed at me for doing so. Ather was insistent, but so was I. I somehow managed to turn my head away, despite the pain that shot through me with each beat of my heart. I could hear my own pulse in my ears, and it quickened until I could hardly breathe past it, but still I pushed away the blood. I believed for that second, in my immortal soul, and would not abandon it -- not willingly. Suddenly Ather was gone. I was alone. I could feel the blood in my veins, entering my body, soul, and mind. I could not get my breath; my head pounded and my heart raced. Then they both slowed. I heard my own heart stop. I felt my breath still. My vision faded, and the blackness filled my mind. Excerpted from In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.