6 / 10
From the blurb: In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. She must decide what - and who - are worth dying for.
My vampire creator told me this: 'Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?' I didn't then, not really. I do now.
I wanted so much to love this book. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this book. It has a feisty heroine, an adorable love interest, and severe violence. What's not to love?
But it was so slow to warm up. It took 194 pages for what I felt was the set-up to end, and the really meaty middle section to begin. Those first 194 pages were filled with boring routines, chunks of information about a world Allison was about to leave behind, and characters who were well-rounded, but needlessly active.
However, once I got past that section, I really began to enjoy this book. As I said, Allison is a strong protagonist; she's angry and handy with a katana, and has a sense of honour and loyalty. Also, she's a survivalist. Once she accepts that becoming a vampire, the very thing she hates the most, was the only way to survive, there's no angsty self-loathing. The relationship between her and Zeke, a human boy, is beautifully self destructive and I loved watching it unfold (That sounds awful when I read it back, but you know what I mean!). Zeke is the highlight of this book, for me. He's smart enough to look assured on the outside, but behind all that are the introspective questions you'd expect from a young adult. He's stoic and brave, loyal to a fault, and generally a good guy.
The action is fantastic, once it finally gets going. It's fast paced and tense, and kept me up well past my bedtime! Plus it didn't fall into the trap of playing safe. I never knew what would happen next, who would die. Nobody was to be taken for granted, not even the lovely little Caleb. And Jebbediah, the leader of their ragtag family, was impossible to read. Could we trust him, and did we want to? (Well, I didn't want to. I didn't like him. But I enjoyed not liking him!)
Overall, not a bad book. I did enjoy reading it - I just hope that the sequel won't have the same long-winded build up!
Teaser quote: 'Be warned,' he said in a low voice, 'even if I turn you now, there is still a chance for you to rise as a rabid. But I will not leave you,' he promised in an even softer voice. 'I will stay with you until the transformation, whatever it may be, is complete.'
Try this if you liked Julie Kagawa's 'Iron Fey' series, or Andrew Fukuda's 'The Hunt'.