Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: Harlequin Teen (April 24, 2012)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: This isn't going to be my usual kind of review. If you follow blogs at all, you have seen many thoughtful and glowing reviews. I don't have much to add to that conversation. I certainly thought that the book was remarkable. It was well-written, had an exceptionally sympathetic main character, and had excellent world building. What I want to tell you is the kind of reader that I am going to be recommending this book too.
If the reader loved The Hunger Games, they will also love the post-apocalyptic setting for this story. You see, there was a plague that wiped out most of the human population, turned many of the humans and animals into Rabids (mindless, killing machines) and caused the vampires to comes out of hiding and take over. The humans that survived are living marginal lives and are constantly struggling to survive.
If the reader loves vampires or even thinks they are a little tired of them, this book introduces vampires in a new light and features very villainous vampires and very heroic ones. Faced with the choice of dying or becoming something she hates, Allie chooses to become what she hates but then decides not to be a monster. Her mentor Kanin is one of the heroic vampires or, at least, not a villainous one. He teaches her what she needs to know to survive her new life.
If the reader loves adventure, they will love Allie's journey as she looks for a place she belongs and travels through the wilderness outside the city where she was born.
If the reader loves star-crossed romance, they will love the relationship between Zeke and Allie. There doesn't seem to be a happy ending for a girl who is a monster and a boy who was taught to hate and destroy them.
If a reader likes to ponder the big questions, this is the book for them. Allie struggles with what it means to be a human in her world. She sees examples of extreme cruelty and extreme kindness and has to forge her own set of values.
I know that I will be recommending this story to anyone who will listen to my pitch about it. I think that any sort of reader will find something to love and something to think about within these pages.
Die as a human, or become a bloodsucker. Either way, the choice was death, because the vampires were dead, they just had the audacity to keep living--walking corpses that preyed on humans to survive. I hated the vampires; everything about them--their city, their pets, their domination of the human race--I despised with my entire being. They had taken everything from me, everything that was important. I would never forgive them for what I had lost.I got this eARC from Harlequin TEEN via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here. I have already pre-ordered mine!