Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 5438
This Book Has Bite
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This YA dystopian vampire/near-horror tale blends many familiar elements that fans of Blade and Blood The Last Vampire will appreciate, casting them in a post bio-apocalyptic setting. Violent and bleak, but without being -completely- devoid of hope. (But yeah...still -mostly- devoid. So try not to get too attached. >.> Just sayin'.)

Allison Sekemoto presents as a strong, survivalist heroine—simple in motivation, relatable, and beautifully flawed. It is entirely through her perspective (first-person) that the story unfolds. The questions-of-humanity theme runs deep throughout. As one could easily derive from the back cover blurb, Allison is turned into the thing she hated most early on and spends much of the story deciding 'what kind of monster' she is going to be. Abandoned by the vampire who created her, she finds unexpected purpose with a roving band of humans who don't realize what she is. Their quest for a vampire-free city is one that obviously can't end well for her--but she is none the less tempted by the prospect of choosing to be a protector rather than a mere predator.

There is definitely a romantic element, but the development is admirably natural and gradual. Zeke isn't the kind of hero you'd expect from this kind of world—he's a genuinely nice, generous, all-around good guy, in spite of his surroundings. Outside of his leadership role, he's something of a laid-back Beta-male, making him a solid and logical complement to Allison's vampiric (and personality-based) aggressiveness. While not a raging ball of adolescent testosterone and bad-boy angst, Zeke is exceptionally capable of slaughter when slaughter is called for. I'm calling this one a win for nice guys.

The prose is engaging and skilled—morbidly amusing at some points, and emotionally resonant at others. The pacing is rapid once you get through the first 50-page setup, and the fight scenes are numerous and well depicted. Most secondary characters have a bit of believable depth to them, but there were a few that felt pretty flat, in this reviewers opinion. *coughcough Stick coughcough Ruth coughcough*

All in all, a satisfying plot for those who aren't burned out on the darker take on vampires. To this reader the writing shows Kagawa is not only prolific, but still honing her abilities as a storyteller. Always encouraging to watch an author grow along with their work. :)
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