Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 04/24/12
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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.
Plot: 4 Stars
I've been reading a lot of dystopian novels lately, but I find myself wishing they had paranormal elements, since that's mostly what I read. This novel was exactly what I have been looking for: a dystopian world filled with vampires. I liked the idea of the vampire cities, and human citizens being forced to donate blood. My favorite part of the vampire lore in this story was that the vampires would go mad if they went without blood for too long. The one aspect I wish could've been elaborated on is the rabids. They came across as zombie-like, but are made when a human is changed by a lesser vampire. They were creepy, but I wish more details had been shared about them. I assume they're going to tie into the possible cure for the disease that caused the vampires, and hope to learn more in the next novel.
Pace: 3.5 Stars
This was a long book. For the most part, the length of a novel will never keep me from reading it. Although I prefer short chapters, long chapters will also not keep me from reading. But this novel could've been a bit shorter in some parts. In the first half of the novel, there were a couple of scenes that could've been a bit streamlined to move the plot along a little better. A few scenes had a bit more details described than absolutely needed. Normally, I enjoy the first book in a series the most, because I love the world-building. I guess this novel was an example of a bit too much world-building too fast. Once I hit the second half of the novel, the pace sped up quite a bit and I gobbled it up. Hopefully the next novel will jump right in and keep up this pace.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
This novel would full of great, well-rounded characters. Allie was a great main character. She was strong and independent given her circumstances. I really enjoyed her journey in becoming something she abhors: a vampire. It was something she struggled with, especially when pretending to be human while travelling with nomads in search of Eden outside of the city. Zeke was an interesting character that I immediately wanted to know more about. As Allie got closer to Zeke, I found myself both rooting her on and hoping something would happen to keep them apart in fear of him finding out her true identity. I also really enjoyed Allie's vampire sire and mentor. He intrigued me, even if he wasn't present for a lot of the book. I hope to learn more about him and his motivations in the next installment.
Cover: 3 Stars
Everything about this cover works... Except for the cover model. There are a number of instances in the novel in which Allie is described as having Asian features, and yet the cover model does not appear to be of Asian descent. There are three things I'd like to see more of: main characters that are college student, LGBT characters that play bigger roles, and covers that accurately depict the main character, especially when said character is a person of color. That being said, everything else about the cover is great. I love the little bits of red against the blue cover. It gives the cover a very dark feel that works well with the book. The font choices are great, and I especially love when a cover included the series name. Normally I find covers that zoom in on the cover model's face a little boring, but the bloody tear sparked my interest and made me want to know more.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I received an eARC via Netgalley.