Author: Andy Gavin
Genre: Fantasy YA
First Published: 2011
Page Count: 379
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
A dark fantasy novel that packs a paranormal punch.
*Creative blend of religious lore and a variety of mythical creatures *Darkness of the story gives it an edge
*Complicated core story *Unsatisfying conclusion
“The horn sounds our sacrifice. My death, your blood, your death, my blood.” Sarah Engelmann begins to have horrific, bloody visions that all have one common factor, the loud drone of a distant horn. With her two friends, Anne and Sam, and an attractive new neighbor named Alex, Sarah must try to discover what her visions mean. Her journey will lead her to discover that vampires, warlocks, demons, and a myriad of powerful religious figures exist in the real world and are all descending on her town, Salem, Massachusetts.
I love a good vampire story; I always have and I always will. They all might have different plots but the feeling you get reading them is the same because they all share core elements such as a vampire being immortal and centuries old, or, whether it’s a romantic or horror driven story, they all still have to drink blood. But this book felt completely different from any vampire story I’ve ever read. It has the core elements a vampire story should but Gavin also populates his fictional world with power-hungry Egyptian gods, wanton demons, and notable religious figures. I absolutely loved how he meshed all the different lore together because I’ve never seen anything have such a mixture of cultures before. It really moves the story along because you never know what mythical creature could pop up next. The story also, at first, had the feeling of a subdued teen paranormal novel. However, there are more than a few dark twists that transform it into a much grimmer and exciting story.
Though Gavin seamlessly weaves together all the different lore to create a complex fictional world, he can’t seem to seamlessly pull off his equally complex storyline. At first it seems clear what the villains of the story want, and what the protagonist must do to stop them. However, somewhere in the middle the story gets muddled with too many flashbacks and characters whose purpose becomes confusing and causes the story to lose its clarity. It seemed like for the sake of having more action, there were scenes that happen in the book which felt climatic but really weren’t the climax, sped by too fast, were too easily resolved, or just left me feeling plain unsatisfied for some reason that I couldn’t quite grasp. Maybe it was a bit of all of the above? The conclusion was a great example of my dissatisfaction. It was definitely interesting, but I didn’t like it. It felt like the book was leading up to some epic scene, but I have no clue where that scene went. It just ends at a dead halt and I was left with the feeling of “ohhhh ok.”
For the paranormal elements alone this book is worth a read. It goes by fast and the plot knows how to move. However, it could have been better and you can almost see how great this story would’ve been if it had taken some different turns. While the ending is not boring in the least, it is up to you to decide whether it’s a satisfying conclusion.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.