Okay, I feel my thoughts may be a little disorganised on this one. Mostly because this seemed like a tome of a book with so much happening that I was thankful for the subtle reminders throughout of events that had transpired earlier in the story.
First up, I would like to say what a refreshing read this was for a vampire novel. If pushed to describe it I’d say it was vampire meets dystopian in a truly original way.
From start to finish, the world building, the character building, the plot, all kept me reading. And the romance gave me hope that there could be something to ‘look forward to’ in an otherwise grim tale.
Even though the romance ended up leaving me teary-eyed because too many forces worked against Zeke’s and Allison’s odds, I shall still grasp my ever-present-hope that they may reunite in a later title. I have to hope for that because I ADORE Zeke and NEED to see more of him. And I felt so bad for the choices Allison had to make regarding him. Choices that would have appeared impossible to any regular run-of-the-mill teenager. Choices that, despite Allison being taught vampires are soulless, seemed 100% selfless to me as a reader.
And those touches of humanity she refuses to let go of are what draws the reader in and assures they connect with an otherwise dark and almost formidable mind. Almost every decision Allison made, I found I could relate to.
The biggest of all? The choice she has to make which is the crux of the story. In Allison’s shoes, if given the choice of dying at the hands (claws and teeth?) of the rabids—even risk becoming one of those mindless monsters—or being Turned into a vampire, the very beings that Allison has already come to despise, I’d have probably chosen the option of an undead life, too. To grasp at that final chance of survival whilst on the brink of death would seem a natural reaction—because sometimes heading toward what you don’t know is more terrifying than heading toward that which you do.
Did Allison’s decision make me condemn or judge her?
As I already said, this was the pinnacle point of the story where I 100% related to her strength of character and had a full understanding of ‘who’ she was.
Because of this, I then found myself anticipating all the proceeding choices she made throughout the book. Not necessarily because it became predictable. But because I expected nothing less from her strong and compassionate character—a character that is developed to the max and evolves right up until the very end with more room to grow.
From her unhesitant leaps into danger to save others, for her ability to walk away when she believed being close to someone only placed them in danger, to her willingness to assist those who have scorned or snubbed her simply because she is moulded that way … because of all of these points, I’m very excited to see where the author takes Allison next on her moral journey.
This is my first venture into Kagawa Land and I’ll certainly be visiting again. So … when’s book 2 out then?