Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 272 pages
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Mercian trilogy
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 2/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through Netgalley.com. This is the first book in a planned trilogy. I wanted to love this book, but everything about it was pretty mediocre.
Will was destined to be the Earl of Mercia in the thirteenth century, that was until he was bitten and came down with the Sickness and died. Then he awoke as something other, something undead. Now seven centuries have passed for some of the time Will has been awake and trying to blend in among humanity, for the rest of the time he has been in a hibernation-like sleep. One thing has always plagued Will though, why was he bitten? When will kills a squatter who knows Will’s name, Will finds out that he may be part of a larger plan. Then Will is drawn to Eloise, maybe she is the key to the why behind his vampirism?
Okay I am trying to think about something positive to say about this book. The writing was okay and there weren’t any glaring technical errors. Also the idea of a vampire as a solitary creature over centuries is intriguing, if a tad unrealistic.
Will has spent his past nearly 800 years between periods of hibernation and living among the human race. He wants to know why he was changed. This is the first problem I have with the book, I mean seriously what has he done the last 800 years? Why is he still stuck at square one regarding his own history?
Then Will stumbles upon Eloise and saves her from some gang-members. He is drawn to her, Eloise is THE ONE. Okay I have mentioned before how much I hate this immediate love at first sight, destiny kind of thing. Seriously why would Will be drawn to her of all women in the last 800 years? Then there is Eloise she is a runaway who left her privaleged life because she felt ignored by her parents. Okay. Problem is, she is kind of a brat and when this crazy Will guy starts telling her he is a vampire she is all like “That is so awesome, I completely trust you now”. Not kidding, she is galavanting off with him to his secret lair in no time flat. She does this after explaining to Will that she is super cautious and never tells anyone her real name.
So I wasn’t that impressed with the two main characters. What about the secondary character? Well the secondary characters consist of a couple of Vegan coffee shop owners who are called Chris and Rachel. They are supposed to help Will somehow, but they basically become a glorified taxi service for Will and Eloise. So no winners there. Even the bad guy is pretty underdeveloped. We never are never given a motive for the bad guy’s actions outside of “well a guy who is badder than me made me do it”
You don’t even get to the meat of the story until the last fourth of the book. It isn’t until this part of the book that we are finally given a break from Will’s whining about his ignorance and Eloise’s blind devotion, here we finally start to get drawn into the mystery of why Will was turned. Then the book ends without resolving anything, it is totally just setup for the next book.
Overall I didn’t enjoy this book. While it is technically decently written, it had a number of flaws. The premise behind Will and his history felt contrived, the characters were shallow and bland, the pace drags in the beginning of the book, and nothing is resolved in this book. Eloise contradicts herself often, Will is drawn to her immediately and I hate that kind of basis for a character relationship. The idea of a solitary vampire who hibernates was an interesting one, but just not a very good premise for this type of story…or maybe just not well done in this case. I will not be reading more books in this series and recommend readers check out other MG/YA vampire paranormal series; Vampire Academy Signature Edition: A Vampire Academy Novel
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