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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Review: Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Title: Crusade
Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 09/07/10
For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated -- and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.

Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself -- and her heart.

Plot: 5 Stars
I will always love a young adult novel in which the vampires are evil and scary. I also really enjoyed the way the vampires, or Cursed Ones, wormed their way into governments and basically took over. Some areas had a real martial law feel to them, and it was an interesting take. The Salamancan Hunters were also a very interesting mix. Where most areas had one hunter, these six individuals worked as a team, even if they didn't always get along. The string of events in this novel brought them across the Atlantic and had them running all over the United States in a race against time. The revolutionaries they ran into in New Orleans were an interesting addition to the martial law idea. All in all, this novel had a lot of depth and creativity.

Pace: 4 Stars
This novel was a bit slow at some points. I think it had to do with the separate story lines in the first half of the novel. While Jenn was back in the states, the rest of the team was on another mission. Bouncing back and forth between the two different events seemed to drag each of them out. But once the whole team was brought back together, the pace picked up. There was a bit of slowing down here and there while they're in hiding, but the end picks up the pace to a sprint and is action packed.

Characters: 5 Stars
The interaction between the member of this vampire hunting team really made the book for me. Not only did you get to see them interact from the eyes of other team members, you also got to see the interactions from each characters' head. I feel like I got a pretty good understanding of each character as the novel progressed. Some characters were hiding things that wouldn't have come out if the story was only from one or two characters' points of view. My favorite character was Jenn because she was vulnerable and questioned herself, but still came out fighting. I also really liked Skye because there was a lot more to her than the other members of the team knew. I wasn't a big fan of Jamie, but he did balance the group out in his own way.

Cover: 4 Stars
There were many important characters in this novel, so I'm glad they didn't pick and choose which to include or try to jam them all into this cover. The wrought iron gate makes sense as the cover image for this novel, even if I don't remember one being specifically mentioned. It still brings to mind the idea of these hunters hiding from and fighting against the Cursed Ones. Although the gray on gray of the gate and the sky blend into each other a bit, the blood red accents really draw the eye to the cover and give it an ominous feel.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.


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