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The Society of S: A Novel | [Susan Hubbard]

The Society of S: A Novel

Ariella Montero is seeking the true identities of her mother - and father and of herself. She's been taught literature, philosophy, science, and history, but she knows almost nothing about the real world and its complexities. Her world is one in which ghosts and vampires commune with humans, where Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Kerouac are role models, and where every time a puzzle seems solved, its last piece changes the entire picture.
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Publisher's Summary

What if everything you knew about your family was a lie? What if, when the lies began to crack, beneath them lay a truth so dark and deep, yet so compelling, that it pulled you inside?

Ariella Montero is seeking the true identities of her mother and father - and of herself. She's been taught literature, philosophy, science, and history, but she knows almost nothing about the real world and its complexities. Her world is one in which ghosts and vampires commune with humans, where Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Kerouac are role models, and where every time a puzzle seems solved, its last piece changes the entire picture.

When the last piece is murder, Ari goes on the road in search of her mother, who disappeared at the time of her birth. The hunt nearly costs Ari her life, and, in finding her mother, she loses her father. But gradually, she uncovers the secrets that have kept the family apart, and she begins to come to terms with her own unique nature and her chances for survival.

Set in upstate New York, England, and the American South, The Society of S explodes stereotypes: of the home-schooled, vampires, monkeys, FBI agents, and academics. In this strange new world, vegetarianism, environmentalism, biomedical research, and the ability to disappear are options for those who drink blood and face the prospect of eternal life.

A taut, character-driven literary mystery, The Society of S is the future of vampirism, told in a voice that will haunt you and make you think.

©2007 Susan Hubbard; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Identity issues involving a child of mixed heritage get a supernatural spin in this affecting coming-of-age tale." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (147 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
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3 star
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3.2 (22 )
5 star
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3.3 (22 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 05-31-07
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 05-31-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    162
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    Overall
    "Wonderful premise, horrible story, bad end"

    The concept for the story is great. But about half-way through the author totally stopped written the story and then just began throwing characters around with no rational thought.

    I'm not going to put in any spoilers here but:

    Murders happen for no good reason. We are led to believe one person might have killed someone, but never told important information that anyone could have found just by reading a newspaper article.

    It takes the protagonist no effort at all to find the person she's looking for. But there's also no reason why that person couldn't have found the protagonist. And should have!

    People turn out to be vampires who never should have been!

    People want to be vampires when they shouldn't!

    The very end of the book shows no careful construction. It is as if the author decided that she had enough time with the book and then just wanted it over.

    Or perhaps the publisher decided to keep everyone at a status quo so they could turn up in the next book.

    Meanwhile the narrator is good, but her Southern accents are so thick that the book began to sound like an episode of the old "Amos and Andy" radio show.

    The book started out so well that I was actually angy when it ended so poorly.

    "This is the way the book will end...not with a bang, but a whimper."

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott nashville, TN, USA 05-23-07
    Scott nashville, TN, USA 05-23-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    344
    5
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    "I wanted to like it but its boring"

    If you like stories based off the diary of a 13 year old vegetarian vampire girl. Then you will love this book : (

    very slow, boring and unsatisfying . I tried to like it but....

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Tuck 06-01-07
    A. Tuck 06-01-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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    151
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    "Fun, but young adultish"

    Fun story, but it really felt like it should have been categorized as young adult. The narrator did a nice job with the voices and the author has a nice turn of phrase, but the "do you feel that way too?" question throughout the book drove me nuts. All-in-all a fun distraction.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 08-30-07
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 08-30-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    281
    7
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    2
    Overall
    "Coming of age novel; side of vampires."

    Back away if you're looking for Anne Rice or Laurel K. This probably won't work for you. It's mostly a coming of age novel -- far more like City of Light or To Kill a Mockingbird than Angel's Summer Vacation in the Buffyverse. However, for fans of the genre in general, looking for something new, it's excellent. There's a mimimum of mysticism, a decent level of rationality and hard logic as well as the emotional hooks that surround any adolescent story of growth. I found it fascinating for the language, the raw emotionalism and the slowly unfolding mystery; if you need action from page two and aren't at least as interested in the why people do things as the how they do them, then you may not enjoy this book. It's definitely a story of a family, fractured, and two parents doing the best they can to raise their very special child.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aubrey Brush, CO, USA 05-15-07
    Aubrey Brush, CO, USA 05-15-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Absoulute audible treat!!!"

    I loved this story! I finished it in less than a week!! I am a little dissappointed to find there are no other titles from this author on audible, her eloquence was amazing! I am a HUGE fan of Anne Rice, Susan Hubbard has gone above and beyond my expectations in comparison to my favorite author of the great vampire novels!! Great Story!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Jose, CA, United States 04-25-08
    David San Jose, CA, United States 04-25-08 Member Since 2004

    Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Skip this one"

    Ok - I'm a fan of Vamp novels - but not this one. The dialoge and narration, so unnatural, contrived and 'fakey' it begins to really grate on the ear. Frankly it never improved and grew so tedious I set down the story 3/4 of the way through. This was a real waste of a great narrator too. She's quite talanted, but affected a hint slight lisp when reading as the main teenage female character. Annoying!

    There's a lot out there to listen to - best to skip this on and keep looking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 08-30-07
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 08-30-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Liked it"

    I thought that the story itself was well written. The characters were intersting and the descriptions were rich.
    What I didn't like was its similarity to the Father/Daughter combo in The Historian, Calamity Physics and a bit like the Thirteen Tales. Yet another story about a smart girl without the guidance of a mother and her relationship with her father as it reflects on her own special gifts.
    This isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, and perhaps there is just a glut of stories with the father/daughter theme out just now.
    I did enjoy the story and the narration. I look forward to the next offering to come from this author.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Elmore Hendersonville, TN United States 05-22-07
    B. Elmore Hendersonville, TN United States 05-22-07 Member Since 2004

    Random Guy

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
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    Overall
    "Highly Recommended"

    Interesting, compelling, different. A vampiric coming of age story that's at once innocent and provocative.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy Kansas City, MO, United States 07-10-12
    Kristy Kansas City, MO, United States 07-10-12

    A Book Addict who found she could clean house and get her book fix with audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drags A Bit"

    This series took me to book two, but it wasn't worth the investment. This tame world of vampires and manipulation isn't really worth it in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexis United States 04-22-12
    Alexis United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2006

    In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
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    Story
    "Strange and dull"

    After six years of gobbling up audiobooks like cookies, this one stands out as my least favorite.

    The story alternated between boring and awkwardly uncomfortable for the first three-quarters of the book. It felt like the author was trying to take the flashy vampire genre and stuff it into a more literary corner by removing any hint of shine. None of the characters seemed worth knowing and the storyline was plodding, so I was neither attached to any of the people nor the plot. I found myself putting off activities I usually do while listening to audios. There was a flurry of activity as the book came to a close, but instead of drawing the storyline together it just stood out as odd pacing.

    The premise sounded good, and I’m a big fan of all sorts of urban fantasy, paranormals, and young adult stories so this sounded right up my ally. Unfortunately it just didn’t work. There just wasn’t anything here to hold interest. I feel bad to be so negative and would love to be able to offer a suggestion as to who might enjoy this. But looking back, I can’t quite figure out whose cup of tea this was meant to be. The narrator did a good job, but overall I'd say pass on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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