Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Series: Crusade #2
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 08/30/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
Vampires -- the Cursed Ones -- have made their presence known to mankind... and declared war on humanity. Most people are too afraid or unwilling to take a stand, but eighteen-year-old Jenn Leitner trains to become a vampire fighter, risking everything in the process.
When Jenn falls for Antonio, a vampire fighting on the side of humanity, she discovers a love that transcends attraction and physical consummation -- but before the couple can reconcile their forbidden affair, they must bring light into the darkness that vampires have spread across the world.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
This novel picks up shortly after where Crusade left off. The fight against the Cursed Ones, or vampires, seems even more dire than before. The team gets wind of a Cursed One in Russia making "super soldiers" by combining the DNA of vampires, werewolves, and humans. The Salamancan hunters set off for Russia to try to stop these experiments, and they find out there's more to the situation than everyone originally thought. This sets off a chain of events that has them running across the globe in hopes of not only defeating the key vampires in this war, but putting their team back together.
Pace: 4 Stars
The pacing of this novel was better than the first novel. Since we learned about each character's past and foundation in the first novel, it allowed the story to develop a bit faster in this novel, even as the point of view jumped between characters. Considering the group doesn't always stay together in this novel, the book needed the different points of view to keep the reader in the loop with many of the events. Also, by getting inside each character's head, it helped the reader fully understand the motivations behind each character's actions and decisions. There were a number of plotlines in this book that kind of weaved around each other through the different points of view, and I can't wait for the next book when these different paths are all going to come together.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
This series has such a strong cast of characters. Jenn, now the leader of the Salamancan hunters, has to make a number of important decisions throughout this novel. She doesn't understand why Father Juan put her in charge, and neither does Jamie, who voices his opinion every chance he gets. Antonio is definitely put to the test in this novel, and only time will tell which side he will end up on. Eriko's body continues to breakdown, due to the elixir given to her when she was chosen as the hunter, and she tries to hide it as best as she can. Her past comes back to haunt her, although the team does use it as a chance to attack the Cursed Ones. I really enjoyed learning more about Holgar before he left his pack to fight vampires because I felt like he was the team member we learned the least about in book one. Skye's past comes back to haunt her also in this book, and it'll be very interesting to see how she deals with it in the next novel. Father Juan continues to be a rock for the entire team, even as the university is put in danger.
Cover: 5 Stars
I loved that we finally get to see Antonio on this cover. The cover model chosen to depict Antonio was perfect, very close to how I envisioned the character. The snowy background and blue colors were perfect for this cover considering a good portion of the novel takes place in Russia during the winter. It also lends a starkness to the cover that really fits Antonio's character and what he goes through. The placement of the cover model on this cover really helps continue the feeling of isolation that Antonio often feels. The cover model himself is very small, with the cold, snowy background taking up the majority of the image. While this cover (and the new cover for the paperback release of Crusade) are a bit of a departure from the original cover for Crusade, I feel like they really embody the two main characters of the story.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel for review from the publisher.
I have one (1) ARC of Damned to giveaway! To enter, just answer the following question: Would you join the resistance against the Cursed Ones?
1. Must leave a comment answering the question.
2. Must leave a valid e-mail address.
3. Giveaway is open internationally.
4. Giveaway is open until midnight on Sunday 09/18.
5. Winners will be chosen on Monday 09-19 using random.org.