Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Maura DeLuca Trilogy Book 1) by Claudette Melanson

The Naked Reviewers
4 min readJul 19, 2018

Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away — except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her — but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron — as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies — become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.5-Stars

I’ve been out of touch with the YA vampire genre, and Rising Tide Dark Innocence brought me back to it in a big way. I love the cover, so full of bright colors and a wonderful character. The writing is strong and well-done with good description that keeps you reading.

I love how Claudette Melanson sucks you into the main character’s transformation and discovery of her vampire roots. The book opens with a familiar trope in YA with a misfit, Maura who is befriended by the most popular girl in school, but it’s a trap. There is a good guy, Ron who saves Maura’s life and becomes her boyfriend.

Personally, I didn’t care for the flashbacks to establish characterization. I felt those could have easily been worked into the present with dialog, and there were some uses of filtering words that I thought weakened the scene. However, this did not take away from my overall enjoyment of Rising Tide Dark Innocence at all.

This is wonderfully written, coming of age story with vampirism. Love it!

RA Winter’s Review: 4.9-Stars

The Rising Tide Innocence DeLuca Trilogy is a coming of age story like few others. The full-length novel is very well written and follows the transition and the confusion of young Maura as she has no idea that she is a vampire. I found the writing to be very sharp and engaging.

Maura has trouble fitting in at school. Since she was a child, Maura can’t go out into the sun without being ill. Pale and cold to the touch her classmates shun her. Then one day a cheerleader and the football star, neighbors who are twins, pay attention to her. They begin eating lunch with her and driving her to school. Confused, Maura basks in the new friendships. Until, one Saturday when they take her to the woods to go swimming. There, every girl’s nightmare begins.

They’d only been pretending to be friends.

Maura is left in her underwear as her ‘friends’ leave her behind. She slips and falls at the edge of the pond, hitting her head. Luckily, a young boy who is slightly smitten finds her and brings her home. Ron and Maura begin a very sweet romance.

I won’t give away any more of the novel. Maura knows that something is going on with her body. Even her dentist is concerned.

There is a bit of a mystery. Who’s her father? What’s her mother keeping from her? Is she dying? Why does raw steak and blood make her ravenous? Lots of questions.

For anyone who loves a sweet clean coming of age romance, vampires, and a touch of mystery this book is for you.

This was interesting to me personally, because part of the book is located in Indiana, Pa, near me. I recognize Kennyworld, a theme park near here that everyone raves about. It’s always nice to read about where you live through other’s eyes.

The cover is gorgeous. The writing is excellent. And the plot is very engaging. You won’t be able to put this one down.

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