Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Type: E-galley from publisher, via NetGalley
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'm a bit mixed on this one. There were some things that I really enjoyed, and some things that really, really irked me.
On the one hand, there were a lot of positives:
I liked the honesty of it, that Allie wasn't worshiped as some perfect creature; she was flawed, very much so, and that was acknowledged.
I liked the romance; I liked that our love interest wasn't even introduced for two hundred pages, and that they didn't spout any instant claims of undying love. I felt as though they did have genuine chemistry.
I liked Zeke, though I can't say he lists as one of my top Fictional Characters to Swoon Over. He was sweet, and thoughtful, but not flawless.
I liked that Allie could actually fight and take care of herself, unlike the large majority of YA heroines today. In many situations, she was the one saving everyone's asses.
I liked that the vampires in this story were actually evil bloodsuckers. It was refreshing as hell.
And most of all, I liked how very easily I could picture it all. Though a few scenes were particularly vivid, this entire book panned out before my eyes. I could see it, hear it, almost feel it, if I really stretched my imagination. Cheesy as it may sound, I felt as though I were there, watching it all unfold. That made this a far more engrossing read than it otherwise might have been.
But there were also several things that I really disliked. I disliked that Kanin was such a token figure, the wise old mentor. Sometimes, once she'd left him, she'd remember things he'd said, and I'd just sit there and scratch my head and wonder how anyone could talk like that and take themselves seriously.
For another, Ruth. I hate that her character was so demonized. While Allie may have kicked some ass, she was the only female character capable of holding her own. Ruth? Ruth was not only completely helpless, but she was the cruel, nasty tormentor, the one that's clearly meant to be hated. She had almost no redeeming qualities. She was flatly awful until the very end. There was so much mental hate directed toward her, and every time Allie considered killing her, I wanted to facepalm. Why, why is it such a terrible thing to have a prominent, likable female character besides your heroine?
My problem with Ruth goes hand in hand with my last big problem: the villains. They were evil. They were just evil. There was no spark of decency, not even an explanation. Just villains being their typical villain selves. Making devilish plans, doing terrible things, etc. Personally, that made it far harder for me to be really impressed or horrified by them. The most terrifying villains are the ones that I can understand.
This book was enjoyable. I liked the idea, I liked some of the characters, and for the most part, I liked the plot. But there were a few factors that made it difficult for me to enjoy this as much as most readers have. If you are a purist fan of vampires, and if you like badass heroines, then I would recommend this book to you, but I can't say that it really wowed me.
3.5 stars, rounded down to 3, because I am sick and not feeling generous.