This book has been on my radar for quite some time. Vampires in today's YA culture have been romanticized. They are a secret and the main character somehow stumbles upon that secret, and then, shockingly, they want to BE a vampire, because who wouldn't want to spend eternity as a teenager (Actually, I would hate that. I would hate that SO much it's not even funny). Having never read any of Holly's many books despite the fact that I've met her I decided that this would be my first, and started it with possibly too high hopes. For years I've been hearing tales of Black's beautiful writing in her Curse Workers series, and I'm not sure quite what I was expecting but I think it was a little different than what I read. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, I enjoyed it well enough, but if you hear so many things about an author and that's not what you get it can be a little confusing. This book has caused some controversy with Black's fans though, so maybe this isn't what her previous series are like. I was pleased with her take on vampires for quite a few reasons. One, they're dead. Okay, yeah, all vampires are dead...or well, undead, but these vampires are dead and cold. They drink blood, as all (most?) vampires do, and there's a very clean-cut process as to what happens if you're bit. It's a VIRUS, which I loved. The one thing I didn't love was that despite obviously getting into the bloodstream no matter how many times you were infected if you didn't turn into a vampire there was no immunity, which isn't how things like that work. The world KNEW about the vampires, which is a pretty new twist (the only book that does this that I'm aware of is the True Blood series, which is by NO means a YA book). Black also didn't make the vampires all mushy, despite the fact that in that world they are considered celebrities to some. They kill people because they are vampires. There are blood and guts and quite honestly some slightly weird vampire kissing happening, so this isn't a book looking for those of you who want a fluffy romance. It's a dark book at times, so come in prepared. Black writes with a LOT of detail, which because I'm new to her writing might or might not be what she always does, I don't know. Things are wrapped up well enough in the book that it COULD be a standalone, and at this point in time I can find no talk of a sequel, but I can see it being made into at LEAST a two book series, and I would enjoy seeing what happens next. Sure, I didn't love this book, but it was enjoyable and different, and it kept me captivated enough that I would read another book set in the same world with the same characters, and I will definitely be picking up Black's other books, hopefully sometime in the near future (although who knows?).
Out September 3, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.