Allison Sekemoto is an unregistered human, surviving on the fringes of society rather than be periodically drained by the vampires who rule her city. Until one night she dies and is forced to become one of the monsters she hates if she wants to survive. Fleeing from the city, she ends up with a band of humans searching through the rabid-infested wilderness for a cure that might not even exist.
I loved everything about this book. The writing, the characters, the plot… The writing felt a bit austere and matter-of-fact in a way that was just right for a survivor like Allison. Right off the bat, the author vividly shows us the world she created, letting us know what’s going on without ever pausing the story to just give us information. And wow is it a great world she’s created. Julie Kagawa is one of the only authors I’ve read other than Anne Rice who doesn’t portray being a vampire as all fun and games. They’re predators and there’s something very dark about that. She even manages to create some interesting ethical dilemmas for Allison, who faces them head on and never gets all angsty about it.
Allison is another one of my favorite parts of this book. The references to her ethnic heritage make her unique, as do her bravery, intelligence, and love of books. This book had the potential to become cliche in so many places and it never happened. No love triangle, no falling for the broody guy, no going all mushy or all jealous over the guy she likes. She even rescues her love interest far more often than he rescues her. I loved this book both for what it was and for what it wasn’t. It avoided every single thing that can make an otherwise great YA book annoying. And the protagonist, writing, plot, and world building are all amazing. Highly recommended.This review first published on Doing Dewey.