Publisher: Harlequin Teen
From Goodreads: "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."
I have read a number of reviews where people have stated that this book has been their most favourite of 2012- unfortunately I am not amongst those people. That is not to say that this is a bad book- far from it! In fact, I believe this book to be Julie's strongest book to date. However, I just don't feel that it fully reached its potential on the vampire front. I wish that Julie had brought something new to the table, showed us a completely new race of vampires, vampires literally unlike any we have ever seen fore and not the stereotypical bad-ass, all black/ leather wearing female who wields a katana (seriously, off of the top of my head I can name at least 5 female vampires who wield one of these- I wish that Allie *had* been able to convince Kanin to let her use a flail) she presented in this story.
Furthermore, I also had a problem with the the romance aspect of it- namely being, I didn't buy it. Nothing about Zeke and Allie screamed "Sparks!" and "Chemistry!" to me, which I find quite strange because if there is any even a tiny of inclination of romance in a book I AM ALL OVER IT (me= hopeless romantic). I personally found that they made a better team being friends/ comrades than girlfriend/ boyfriend.
That being said, I think that this book (specifically Allie as a character) has one of the strongest voices I have ever read (in all honesty I don't usually pay attention to things like this, but I couldn't help but not notice this as I read the book). Allie was not only a complex and beautifully constructed character, but a real one at that.
Furthermore, I did enjoy the pacing of the story and the setting- both were so well crafted and finely tuned that it I believe it impossible to not easily situate yourself into the dilapidated and run-down vampire city teeming with rats, mole-men, and vampires, and into the those areas outside of the city that were slowly becoming reclaimed by nature and which were slowly becoming more and more overrun with rapids.
All in all, despite my complaints, I thought that this was a great debut to a new series from author Julie Kagawa- it becomes evident that Julie grows more and more as an author with each book she writes and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the second book in this series!
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.
Memorable lines from the book:
'"If you're going to bite me, just get it over with." Though don't expect me to lie down and take it. You'll have a pocketknife shoved through your eye before I'm done, I swear' (8%).
"I wished I could've said that I would rather die than become a bloodsucker. I wished I had the courage, the strength, to stick with my convictions. But in reality, when faced with death and the great unknown that came after, my survival instinct snatched wildly at whatever lifeline was offered. I didn't want to die. Even if it meant becoming something I loathed, my nature was, first and always, to survive" (14%).
"Hey, what was that?" Easing forward, I tried peering into the box on tiptoe, but he shouldered me away. "Oh, come on. I want to see the big-spiky-ball thing."
"You do *not* need a flail," Kanin scowled' (24%).
"Charming," I muttered under my breath and felt my fangs poking my gums. "Well, we know who's going to get bitten first now, don't we?" (44%).
"You make me question everything I've learned, everything I know" (81%).