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Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) drives to the basket during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

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Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) drives to the basket during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

For the Plot | ‘Vipers and Virtuosos’ review

For the Plot is a blog home to all things book reviews, creative writing pieces and writing tips.
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Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

“Vipers and Virtuosos” by Sav R. Miller is a book that has a whirlwind of emotions behind it. The whole time I was reading, I couldn’t tell if I loved or hated the book. There were also times I couldn’t tell if I was more disturbed or intrigued by the book. Either way, I became hooked on this book after the first three chapters and ended up loving it.

This book is Miller’s second in her series “Monsters & Muses.” Despite being a part of a series, each book can be read as a standalone. Miller writes mostly dark contemporary romances, so if you aren’t into the creepy and dark side of romance stories, then you might want to stray away from her books.

“Vipers and Virtuosos” is inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but is not a fantasy or a retelling. I will preface that this book does have a content warning of various forms of graphic violence, so beware if you decide to pick this book up.

This story follows Riley Kelly, an 18-year-old girl who experienced a vicious assault two years before this story takes place, which left her deeply traumatized. Afterward, she only wants normalcy, but she gets the exact opposite when she goes to New York and meets Aiden James, the main love interest in the story.

Aiden James is a rock star who is the complete opposite of normal. Aiden is surrounded by wealth, and when he isn’t performing in sold-out arenas, he is writing music and dodging paparazzi. His happiness, however, has always been something he puts on the back burner. Only when Riley catches his eye at a fundraiser in New York City does Aiden get a glimmer of happiness, which quickly turns into an obsession. Riley’s blue eyes and peppermint scent are all Aiden can think about even after their encounter takes an unfortunate turn.

After their first meeting, Aiden makes it his mission to track Riley down, even if it means abandoning his life as a rock star just to make sure her life is completely miserable. However, Aiden soon realizes that revenge isn’t exactly what he wants, but something deeper and far more important.

The entire plot of this book was very intense. This book is divided into two very different parts. Part one of the story is far sweeter and the reader gets a chance to watch the relationship of Aiden and Riley form. As a reader, you get to follow Aiden and Riley on their first date in New York City. There are moments where it is sweet, funny and at times a little raunchy, but it makes you fall in love with the characters. In part one, I was rooting for their relationship to bloom and for them to fall in love. However, things quickly take a turn as the second part of the book flips the plot upside down.

Part two of the book is where some people may get grossed out, disturbed or simply give up reading. If you end up reading the book and find yourself wanting to give up, I urge you to push forward and give it a chance, because the ending is worth it. Even though I was weirded out at times, I kept going. I have read Miller’s writing before and this story didn’t stray too far from her usual writing style.

In part two, both of the characters take a much more vulnerable and insane turn. After everything that happens between Riley and Aiden, Riley ends up moving far away. And for a while, everything is fine in the new town she moves to. Riley starts a new life for herself with a new name and new friends who have no idea who she is or knows her past. However, Aiden ends up finding where she moved to and decides to move into a house very close to hers. 

While Aiden’s stalker era was a bit weird and creepy at times, I have to admit I was completely hooked. For the entire second half of the story, I had no idea what was going to happen next, or how the characters were going to act. At times, I didn’t even know if the relationship between Riley and Aiden was ever going to work out. However, when the two characters were able to come together in the end, it was so sweet that it had me swooning and practically forgetting everything that had happened in the previous 300 pages.

My favorite quote from the book is — “And you, Riley fucking Kelly, are beautiful in a way that’d make the constellations weep.” I mean, are you serious? I think if anyone said this to me, no matter what they did beforehand, I would melt and fall in love. I can’t even blame Riley for going back to him — I would too girl.

Throughout this story, it is so evident that Miller has perfected the craft of combining all things dark and twisted with romance. She has amazing characters that I think anyone would be able to relate to. 

I think this book would be great for readers who enjoy dark romances or if you want to get into the genre of dark romances. If you prefer something sappier and sweet, you might want to stay away from this book. Overall, after reading this, I will never be able to look at lotion and peppermints the same but will continue to read Miller for her fantastic dark romances. 

Rating: 3.8/5

About the Contributor
Emily Handrahan, Staff Writer