Select one of the keywords
Never Ceese    by Sue Dent order for
Never Ceese
by Sue Dent
Order:  USA  Can
Journey Stone Creations, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Lindsey Freitas

It has been decades since werewolf Cecelia 'Ceese' has seen Penny, since she ran away in order to protect Penny from her wolf side. Now Ceese has more control over the aggressive animal that takes her over and knows that Penny will be safe in her presence. It is Ceese's greatest desire in the world to be freed from her wolf side, and she knows Penny can help her, though she's not sure how.

If she had known who Penny was living with, she might have reconsidered going to her. Penny is living with a vampire. (Richard to Penny) 'Well ... you failed to mention she would have fleas and might need to be vaccinated. And you also failed to mention she bites and doesn't bathe. Other than those few things, I suppose I could tolerate her, if you forced me to. Please tell me you aren't going to force me to.'

Richard's first impression of Ceese is not a favorable one. He cares for the now elderly Penny in his castle and is not happy with the invasion of a temperamental werewolf into their lives. As a vampire, he has a set schedule (sleep during the daylight hours, gorge on blood at night) and Ceese has his household in an uproar. Ultimately, and to their dismay, Ceese and Richard are forced to work together to find a cure for their curses. Can they fight their dangerous natures and find the strength to trust in a God who seemingly has abandoned them?

Never Ceese gripped me from the very first page. I am so thrilled that someone has bravely stepped forward and written a Christian werewolf/vampire story. What would it be like as a Christian to be a cursed vampire or werewolf? Imagine the despair you would feel, knowing you are cursed to live on this earth forever as an animal and with no hope of eternal life with God. That concept alone makes for an intriguing premise. But there is so much more to the story.

Ceese and Richard are engaging characters with very real struggles and emotions. Ceese's continual battle with her wolf side is fascinating. The detail and obvious thought put into the expression of her inner war is splendidly done. The wolf-to-human transformation is extremely painful and the time it takes to transform can vary, depending on the moon. I was especially impressed by the author's inclusion of scientific information on the gravitational pull of the moon and its effect on Ceese's transformation. It lent plausibility to otherwise unbelievable circumstances. The reader has a window into Ceese's wolf mind as she changes from wolf to human - not just a spectator of a remarkable event, we sense her agony, feel every painful muscle and bone alteration, hear her first faltering human thoughts.

Richard is a fun character. He has a dry sense of humor (what else would you expect from a vampire?) that endeared me to him at once. I had to chuckle when I discovered that he gets his blood by sending out emails like the following: 'My dearest mother requires a transfusion. Her blood type is AB positive and she is in desperate need. Any assistance you could give would be welcome.'

While reading, I was acutely aware of a parallel between Richard's and Ceese's struggles to fight their other natures and the Christian's struggle to fight his/her sin nature. Ceese says of her wolf that it 'lies to me, and I fight with it at every turn to remember what is right. And then I fight harder to do what is right. But it wants very much to make me forget. It wants for me to curse another.' All in all, I was delighted with Never Ceese and highly recommend it to anyone who likes to be challenged by a thought-provoking work of fiction. I'll be watching eagerly for the sequel, Forever Richard.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews