Just when you thought it was safe to take off that turtleneck, along comes another teen vampire novel. Throat brings a new twist to the popular genre with the introduction of 17-year-old Emma Cooper, who would like to be recognized for her achievements on the soccer field, but is better known for the “curse” she suffers: not vampirism but epilepsy.

When she’s attacked by Wirtz, a menacing vampire, his meal is cut short when Emma suffers a grand mal seizure. This isn’t such a bad thing; she ends up with heightened senses and powers, but no taste for blood. Even better, she has no problem with sunlight that a pair of shades won’t fix. But Wirtz plans to come back and finish the job, and eat Emma’s kid sister for dessert.

Out of concern for her family’s safety, Emma makes base camp at a NASA space center. With the help of an intern at the center, three vampire “friends” and a Home Depot theft of amazing proportions, she prepares a fortress and waits for Wirtz to find her. The showdown that follows is a doozy.

R.A. Nelson brings work and home together in Throat. The author lives in north Alabama and works at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and both locales are central to the plot. The mix of modern science and vampire lore gives the genre a new twist, and Emma’s hot temper adds a layer of suspense. Will she exercise good judgment or make a fatal mistake by blowing her top? A fast-paced blend of myth and science, Throat grabs readers from the first page and won’t let go.

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