Rating: 4 out of 5
THANK YOU TO NET GALLEY AND HARLEQUIN TEEN FOR ALLOWING ME TO REVIEW THIS BOOK AND GIVE MY HONEST OPINION
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
Review:I loved the Iron Fey series and her writing is extraordinary so it's fair to say I'm a Kagawa fan. When I heard Julie was writing a vampire series I wasn't that impressed and pretty much thought 'Oh no, not another vampire book' and 'why, oh why?'
Now, my favourite vampire films are the Underworld series and Blood: The Last Vampire so my opinion changed after reading this book and, well, I loved it! It's written in the same vain as the aforementioned and Kagawa treats us to a very strong lead female.
The story starts with Allison Sekemoto. Living in an abandoned school this post-apocalyptic-viral vampire city is a dangerous place for the dwindling number of humans and Allison, an Unregistered, and her three friends are no exception. Starvation is the biggest killer. If she became 'Registered' she'd get her supply of food, comfy digs and all the trimmings but it comes at a price. A price her mother paid with her life. Being Registered means regular blood lettings and basically being at the mercy of the vampire hierarchy. And the last thing Allison wants to do is ally herself with the very demons that killed her mother right before her eyes. She hates vampires, detests them. But their numbers are dwindling because of a curse. Sadly the number of rabids is increasing and she fears being bitten by one of those more.
Eventually the worst possible thing happens and she makes a choice. She becomes the very thing she despises. Her Sire becomes her teacher and skills her in ways to keep her humanity, teaches her to fight, and reveals the existence of a cure that could change the course of the world. One night they try to escape the city but her teacher is captured. Allison must now venture out into an unknown world to seek out a mythical city that, if the stories of the cure are true, holds the key to saving humankind.
As I wrote before the main character, Allison, is a very strong lead and one I immediately liked her. Her decisions are based on survival, not compassion. But she changes on the course of her quest and realises that she has much humanity still left in her. However she's constantly fighting her demon side and does succumb to her natural instincts.
Zeke is a confusing character for me. I don't know whether it's because he's pro-religious or portrayed as being the only person the group with leadership skills aside for Jebbadiah but he didn't come over as a strong character. Yes, he and Allison showed sparkage occasionally but I couldn't help but get the impression that he was too much of a softy (and he's no Prince Ash although I hate to compare).
The rest of the character ensemble is interesting. The story weaves itself around these characters and brings their importance in at one time or another during the course of her quest.
I really enjoyed this book and I really didn't think I would. Now I have the agonising wait for the second one, and with a cliffhanger like that its going to be a tough wait!