Alrighty-roo gang, he we go again.
When I first started this book I am going to be honest. I didn’t think that I would like it. I have not had very many pleasant experiences with YA as a genre and the first line of the book made my already low expectations sink even lower with the misuse of the word “hung” in the given context.
Then as I start to get into the tale of Allison, our kick-ass MC, my expectations take yet another nosedive as the book starts to read like Blade with the tattooing people as cattle, Interview with the Vampire with the mysterious Lestat type figure, Kanin, who turns Allison to save her and teach her AND THEN I am treated to the feral rabid vampires in the flavour of the comic and recent Paul Bettany film Priest… So to say I was not enjoying the first act was an understatement…
And then it got even more familiar. Allison started walking. A lot… It’s like I was reading the scenery from The Road. But I ended up being pleasantly surprised. As this turned out to be a damned good book in the end.
Now I know there are a few people who didn’t like the pacing of the beginning of the book saying it was too slow, and a little bit boring but I didn’t find that at all. True I mostly read High Fantasy so I have a different definition of the word ‘slow’ to that of other readers but I felt myself compelled to read on. Partly because I like the fact that there is an awesome female lead for once (Yeah I did it, take that generic YA novels with weak female leads who glorify the rape culture!) and partly because of the writing.
I’m going to be honest. I have not read any of Kagawa’s previous work. They didn’t interest me. But I wanted vampires to be made into killers again and they have been. These are the vampires of old. They are remorseless killing machines WHO DO NOT SPARKLE! We follow Allison from coming to terms with her un-death to setting foot on the road to becoming a master, and we meet a fair few different characters along the way, and not to spoil anything but the violence… oh the violence. I’ve not read a YA title with violence like it. People will no doubt liken it to The Hunger Games… these people are idiots and are wrong. It’s more visceral, more real. I felt I was shown every little bit of it rather than had it relayed to me. It was immensely absorbing.
I am truly overjoyed that real, honest to satans scrotum, vampires have returned, yet I feel unsatisfied. I enjoyed the book immensely, sure, it’s got blood, cussing, death, violence and the undead what’s not to love? But it was all immeasurably predictable… But maybe that’s just me. I will tell you one thing though. I look forward to the second instalment because of one thing about this book I am certain…
It’s going to fucking sell itself… and d’you know what… I’d read it again and recommend it to anyone looking for a GOOD post apocalyptic book rather than a romance with dirty set dressings.
A solid 4 stars
Thanks to Halequin for the e-ARC, provided by NetGalley. This title has an expected release of April 24 2012 in the US and May 4 in the UK