A lot of the negative reviews on here seem to stem from the readers having been mislead that this is a dystopian novel. It is not, and was not intendeA lot of the negative reviews on here seem to stem from the readers having been mislead that this is a dystopian novel. It is not, and was not intended to be. Instead it's an interesting play on the vampire/paranormal romance genre mixed with a realistic cult story. The book raises a lot of questions: What is faith? Are our motivations for what we do noble or selfish, and how can we be sure? What is love, and what happens when it is withheld, taken for granted, or abused?
Unlike a lot of teen fiction the author does not neatly answer these questions for her readers, but allows them to search out their own truths.
To answer some of the many questions I've seen asked about the book:
1. This is set in modern America. 2. Yes, Ruby has supernatural blood. 3. Otto is not coming back - he came out of the woods and Ruby's mother fell in love with him. The had sex and Ruby was conceived. He moved on for his own reasons, leaving some of his magic blood behind as a gift for Ruby's mother. Ruby's mother invented their whole Otto worshiping religion because she is in denial that Otto would knock her up and leave her. 4. Darwin thinks that the only water that is magical is that which is scraped off of those particular plants in that particular way from those particular woods. He thinks this because Ruby's mother told him that so that he wouldn't suspect that it was the blood that contained the power. Presumably if he knew that he would just hang Ruby up by her ankles and bleed her continually forever.