CATCHALL So, Andrew's first book, which is much lesser known than this one, is called Crossing. I first read Crossing****FINAL RATING: 4.15 STARS****
CATCHALL So, Andrew's first book, which is much lesser known than this one, is called Crossing. I first read Crossing a few years back and I literally fell head over heels in love with it. It broke my heart. It made me feel wild and crazy emotions. It made me cry my eyes out. And I knew then that if an author could make me feel like that, I would follow him wherever he would take me. And though I have taken forever to review this on account of being somewhat lazy, this book absolutely did not disappoint. I understand that it isn't for everyone, but that absolutely did not keep me from loving it.
THE HERO GENE Our hero is Gene, a human in a world of vampires. He is different from most people in the fact that he wants to stay human. I know that that's one of the main places where opinion splits for this book, but I really admire him for that. He doesn't abandon his ideals, and he wants to stay true to who he is and not give into the monstrosity. I also think that Gene's methods of survival weren't always perfect, but he deserves credit for going through it all by himself. I loved Gene's courage, and I didn't find hid choices cowardly. I also think that he had wonderful character growth, and I was pleased to see that.
THE LOVE INTEREST ASHLEY JUNE Ashley June is our love little love interest. At first, I had a really difficult time relating to her. She was almost boring, and didn't seem to have much substance. But as time went on I found myself connecting to her more and more. She didn't choose her place in the world, and in general she does try to make the best of it. She could be whiny, but she could also be strong. She doesn't let people tell her what to do, but she isn't a brat. She certainly isn't perfect, but she has a fiery nature and a good head on her shoulders.
THE PLOT By some twisted mistake, Gene manages to find himself entangled in the hunt, in which vampires track and kill humans for blood sport. But not as a human. Instead, he's on the side of the vampires. Determined to keep his secret and remain human, as well as survival, are Gene's primary goals. He is determined to hold on to his humanity, and so he does his best to blend in with the vampires without becoming one of them.
I thought that is was genius, honestly. In our society vampires are often an overused ideal. In this book, they're not. Sure, there are books that are similar, namely The Immortal Rules, and I'm sure there are others. Even so, there are several defining factors that make it completely unique.
I found the hunt itself to be an absolutely fascinating and horrific concept. It's absolutely disgusting, and it isn't glorified or justified at all. It's simply something awful that is, but nothing that anyone can do anything about. It was really interesting to see the dynamics of exactly how it played out, and to hear Gene's views on it.
I was pleased and surprised by the amount of action. For some reason, I truly was not expecting so much. But I loved action, and I especially love blood (at least when it comes to books) so I was thrilled by this. I loved the way it kept me tense, constantly at odds and never sure what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed the tension and suspense, which added another layer to the story and more excitement for me.
Overall, I totally loved this and absolutely enjoyed it. There are definitely mixed opinions on this, but in mine this was truly fantastic.
THE ROMANCE Romance. Gene and Ashley June definitely have chemistry, but it takes a while for that to become clear. At first, they have a natural mistrust and antagonism, or so it appeared to me, and understandably. But as the time goes on, they find themselves somehow drawn to one another. They can't help the attraction they feel. And as they slowly begin to acknowledge this, the connection between them starts to come out. Overall I feel like there wasn't too much romance here, but I am actually truly looking forward to its continuation.
THE WRITING I have loved Andrew's writing from the first time I read it, and that hasn't changed. It's phenomenal. The amount of emotion that he is able to portray in one sentence in incredible. Anger, desperation, joy, terror…it's all there, at different appropriate moments. I love that he can make me feel the way that Gene does. It makes it very easy to connect to Gene's voice and his story. I also love the way the characters are developed, and I especially appreciated the world-building. It's a unique build for a unique world.
THE ENDING I was actually shocked by the ending, and I didn't see it coming at all. Though the cliffhanger is cruel I also think that the way it was employed is pure perfection. Everything gets drawn together, and a sudden clarity descends upon the entirety of the novel. I really felt that this was the best way to pull everything together, and I like the way that a lot of the conflict is resolved, but there's still plenty to look forward to. It is, essentially, the perfect balance.
WRAPUP So basically, I loved this. I thought it was amazing. It definitely made me think, and I truly do feel like it is different from all the other vampire books out there. There's an more real emotional aspect to it, and there's something in it that feels very alive even amidst all the death. I definitely recommend this, and though not everyone loves it, I know that a lot of people will. I myself will definitely be eagerly continuing this series.