“Vampires, Immortals, Bacchae—they’re all the same. The name may change, but their appetites never do.”
Ever since archaeology student Serafina Finch found an ancient Roman amulet on a dig in Italy, she’s been having dreams. Strange dreams that leave her with an eerie sense of foreboding. But between a busy college schedule and a boyfriend she’s hoping to marry, she doesn’t have time for strange.
Then a mysterious cult takes an obsessive interest in the artifact. Serafina finds her life in chaos as she’s thrown into the supernatural world, where Immortals and witches alike claim ownership of the amulet. Her amulet.
As her connection to the amulet grows, she discovers a dark secret about her past. Serafina realizes she must protect the powerful relic at all costs—even if it means losing one of the people she loves most.
“Invisible. Powerful. Immortal. We are Bacchae.”
BIRTH OF THE BACCHAE is the first book in the Immortal Relics series, a New Adult Paranormal Fantasy series exploring the origins of vampire lore in a modern setting.
Book Review Rating: 3/5 stars
Cover Review Rating: 4/5 stars
Let’s judge that cover!
Why in the hell is she holding a pine cone?
That was the first question that popped into my mind when I saw the Birth of The Bacchae by Stephanie Mirro. There are many mysterious covers in the New Adult Fantasy section, but almost none of them have a girl holding a pine cone, especially like its precious.
Sorry, I had a LOTR’s moment. So let’s get back to the pine cone in question. First I thought, man this has to be one of the laziest designer mistakes I’ve ever seen ’cause like who holds a pine cone as if it’s a gem. Well, boy I had my foot in my mouth as soon as I got through the first few chapters. Designer of the cover, I apologize for my first thoughts of your impending doom of this major screw up.
So this isn’t a spoiler, but the answer actually lies in the above description of the Birth of The Bacchae, “Serafina Finch found an ancient Roman amulet on a dig in Italy…”. This amulet happens to be in the shape of a pine cone. So there, foot in mouth, an apology to the designer, and my confusion of the cover solved.
Bada Bing Bada Boom
Let me tuck my artist talons away, no ripping occurring for a cover today!
Seriously, though, I don’t have much to hate on with this cover. Let’s review what’s right. The intensity of the red draws the eye of the reader to the cover, bringing the focus to the contrast of the gold title. Secondly, the darker tones plus the red creates the mood needed for the Birth of the Bacchae and the area of Fantasy it’s gravitating too.
Bacchae, Bacchae, Oh My!
The placement of the images on the cover reinforces this as well. The partial face leads the readers to the title. From there the eye naturally gravitates to the pine cone gem, and then to the series and author name. The background imagery of the ancient ruins fits in perfect for the blurb, the main character Serafina, and where the story kicks off. Last but not least, everything on this cover relates specifically to the novel! (clapping hands) MOTHER COVER LOVER THANK YOU!
The most annoying thing in the world is to have a cover that relates nothing to the content of the novel.
My only little artist quirk critique… I wish the series and author name were a tad lower to the bottom of the cover. There’s already a natural tendency to look down, the lighter gold color against the darkening exterior creates this too, but it’s so close to the pine cone it feels squished. Placement of cover font is a delicate balance that needs to breathe like in writing. This section needed one more breath.
Otherwise, I have to say good job! 4/5 stars
It may seem like a simplistic cover to some viewers. Upon closer inspection, there are 3 different images layered in this cover. In addition to the shading, coloring, and font work. This takes time, time, time, research of imagery, and paying attention to details of the novel.
Cover Designer as noted in the Birth of Bacchae: Hampton Lamoureux of TS95 Studios
Overall Book Review
So, I haven’t read a vampire or Bacchae story in like forever. Perhaps I had too much overload with the Twilight rage way back when. So when I saw the Birth of the Bacchae, I was intrigued this wasn’t just the run of the mill vampire and blood novel. That and I love when Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres mash.
The interesting aspect for me that Stephanie Mirro incorporated was the lore. For me, it adds a wonderful touch when authors weave it into their stories. So I do appreciate that Stephanie Mirro doesn’t miss a beat with setting us on a ride with history and fantasy mixed in. However, I do feel this is more of a Fantasy-based novel and not so much of a Sci-Fi as noted in Net Galley.
I can look over there isn’t too much of a Sci-Fi. After reading, I really got this vibe the Birth of The Bacchae was more in line with the classification of The Discover of Witches. Writing style too. I appreciated the vampire reinterpretation of how the Bacchae came to exist, that kept my interest in wanting to know more.
For a new adult, it was refreshing there wasn’t tons of heat or sex just because of sex, but I had wished there was a tad more romance. It would’ve made an especially sinister moment of the novel that more heartbreaking.
The pace of the storyline, though, is what made me give a 3-star rating.
That said, the slow, drawn-out, pace almost made me want to skip over detailed descriptive movements after dialogue to get to the point. Which I hated. Truly. The Birth of The Bacchae had so much going for it I really didn’t want to feel that way, but yes, the pace sucked the reading force out of me.
That and some of the characterization. I had hoped for deeper levels or more authentic reactions from some of the characters. Which I hate to say when I know how much heart and dedication it took to write the Birth of The Bacchae. On the basis on the conception of the premise of the Birth of the Bacchae, it’s a solid story with tons of mystery/world-building that if shortened and a bit more one-two punches or romance could be very good.
If I had to pick up the second installation to the Birth of The Bacchae, I would. I think the premise and direction of the storytelling holds that much promise.
I received an ARC of Birth of The Bacchae in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of the review.
Let’s be honest here. If it was great or sucked I have no problem writing it out.
Don’t forget to check out Stephanie Mirro’s Author website for more on the Immortal Relic Series!