The characters in Forever Richard are well developed and compelling, even the annoying ones. A look at the cast helps to know the story.
The main characters: Richard and Ceese
Richard (played by Stevie Mac of Shoutlife.com) and Ceese (played by Hannah Hokstad, daughter of author Caprice Hokstad) are brother and sister, but they didn't know that when they first met in Never Ceese. In fact, they fought like cats and dogs--make that werewolf and vampire. Eventually, though, they accepted who they were and that they needed to work together to find a way to lift their curses. Oh, the curses? Well, it turns out that Ceese had been cursed by a werewolf and Richard had been bitten by two vampires when they were young. Now, the curses lifted, they find themselves back 'home' in England where there are some big surprises for both of them. Richard has mellowed considerably since the vampire is gone. He really cares about people now, but that brings new problems. Ceese was thrilled to get back and see her dear friend Penelope again, but she wasn't counting on the oppressive sway still held over her by the werewolf who had cursed her. She also wasn't prepared to face the truth about her mother and her father.
Supporting Actresses: Penelope and Cassie
This may be a bit of spoiler, but Penelope is still alive. In fact, she's better than she had been for years. Her connection to Ceese was what made Ceese want to return, but Richard was completely thrown off guard. He had thrown a tantrum when he thought Penny was dead, and there she is alive again. Penny is the most spiritual of the characters, it seems, one who has long wanted to see Richard and Ceese come to terms with God. But when her dreams come true, it isn't what she had hoped for. Richard was different from the man she fell in love with, and she is confused about it all. Now add to that the presence of Cassie, who thought Penny was her grandmother (they really are related, but a few more generations removed than that). Cassie has fallen for Richard, so now there is a weird kind of romantic triangle. It makes for some tensions that were unexpected.
Supporting Actors: Rodney, Merideth, and Brendan with significant minor roles by Geoffrey, Josh, and Kyle
Rodney is the main carry-over from Never Ceese. He's a real screw-up who only cares for himself. That is, until he met Ceese. The two of them have a strange attraction that no one else can understand, but Ceese feels better when he's around, and he actually will do shat she asks of him. She can still get inside his head even though the werewolf is gone, but besides that, he's fiercely protective of her. The others only put up with him for Ceese's sake.
Merideth was a surprise entry who was hinted at in the end of Never Ceese. Yes, he's Ceese and Richard's father. How is that possible? I imagine you can guess. Neither Richard nor Ceese want to accept that their father, the godly preacher, could have been cursed. Truth be told, I am still struggling with that one. All I know is that it actually has to do with his love for his kids, and the answers are only hinted at in this book. Mystery still to be revealed in Book Three. Merideth is a bit wimpier than I expected, going off into fits of despair rather easily. For vampires who aren't supposed to get emotional, Merideth and Richard (back in the day) can certainly get upset.
And the family reunion continues with the appearance of Brendan. He makes me think of a Highlander mountain man whose been chewed up and spit out and tougher than rawhide. Yet the big lug is a teddy bear when it comes to Ceese and Richard. He isn't a werewolf, but...well, you'll see.
Then there are the other guys who all add a lot to the story. Kyle is the least important in a way, other than his connections and the fact that he has more of a heart than Rodney does. Poor Josh is the reason they make the trip back to England: he was cursed by the evil scientist-turned-vampire and is such an addictive personality that he is in great danger of passing on the curse in his weakness. He and Merideth hit it off well. Sometimes Josh and Kyle add comic relief; sometimes they make bigger contributions. Finally, there is a marvelous butler named Geoffrey. Butler par excellence who saves the day many times over. Kind of like Batman's Alfred, except he isn't thrown into a tizzy with vampires and werewolves running around the house. He might be my favorite character in the book.
The Bad Guys: Zade and Dr. Henderson
Ah, yes, the diabolic duo whose dastardly deeds drive the drama. Another weird pairing since vampires and werewolves do not get along and play nicely together. Henderson, however, convinces Zade that they can help each other accomplish their individual goals. Zade doesn't realize that the goal for both of them is Ceese, but for completely different reasons. Their evilness is kind of cliché, but it works for this tale. These are the guys you love to hate, the ones for whom we have no sympathy at all. Kind of like the devil and his demons.
Next Entry: The Spiritual Elements
- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: The Writers Cafe Press (January 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934284033
- ISBN-13: 978-1934284032
You can purchase Forever Richard from the publisher, The Writers' Cafe Press (free shipping in the U.S.), Barnes and Noble , Amazon.com, or get an autographed copy from Sue here. If you want a copy of Never Ceese, you can order directly from Sue Dent herself at the Forever Richard site, but it's on the NEVER CEESE page.
Sue Dent's blog and website can be found at http://www.foreverrichard.com.
Oh! And don't forget! I'll be giving away copies of both Never Ceese and Forever Richard on Tuesday, Sept. 22. All those who comment on this week's posts will be included, so if you comment more than once, your name is entered more than once!