Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Revenants series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I listened to this on audiobook. The second book, Until I Die, has already released and the final book in the series, If I Should Die, is scheduled for a May 2013 release. It was a very well done paranormal book that’s Parisian setting and creative take on zombies make it something special. While I loved the beginning of the book, I wasn’t as enamoured with the ending.
Kate and her sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents after their parents are killed in a car crash. Kate is struggling with her grief and drifting around reading books in cafes when she meets Vincent. Vincent is beautiful and somehow different from everyone she knows. Her and Vincent start to spend time together, but then Vincent’s best friend is killed in front of Kate and Vincent doesn’t seem to care. When Kate sees Vincent’s friend walking around the next day she suspects that Vincent and his friends aren’t as human as they seem.
I loved the idea behind the zombies in this book, it was fascinating and super creative. Basically Vincent and his “family” are Revenants. These are humans that die when sacrificing themselves in place of someone else, because of this sacrifice they rise as Revenants. The Revenants have an urge to sacrifice themselves to save humans. They do this over and over to help save humans’ lives. The rules behind how the Revenants work are interesting and really well done.
Kate makes an excellent and down to earth heroine. She is struggling with grief but doing her best to dig her way out. There are multiple places in this book where her sadness just about broke my heart. She really loves art so there is a lot of art-talk in this book.
Vincent is your typical super sensitive, yet dark and mysterious type. He is sensitive and romantic to the extreme. There were parts of the book where I felt that he was too perfect and so syrupy sweet that it was a little sickening. Still the romance between Kate and Vincent is touching and full of mutual respect; I really enjoyed it.
The setting is awesome. The whole book takes place in Paris. I loved hearing about the beautiful sights and it made me want to travel back there to find all the beautiful little nooks and crannies that Kate and Vincent found. I wish more YA paranormal books were set in international locations; they are just so fun to read and learn about.
The story focuses mostly on Kate discovering what Vincent is and how to deal with it than anything else. This is more of a mystery type book than an action-based one. Although, the Revenants do have enemies and there is a pretty well done fight scene between the two groups at one point in the book.
The book is well written and engaging. I ended up enjoying the beginning of the book more than the end. Plum did an excellent job of building and unfolding the mystery about Vincent. The ending where they fight the enemy Revenants felt a bit forced and rushed.
As you might imagine there is a heavy theme of death throughout the book; death is very prevalent in Kate and Vincent’s life. So those sensitive to the topic of death be warned.
Overall an excellent YA paranormal. This book presents a very creative take on zombies and I enjoyed it a lot. I also enjoyed the down to earth heroine, the sweet respect based relationship between Kate and Vincent, and the exotic Parisian setting. I enjoyed the beginning of the book more than the end, the ending felt a bit rushed. I can’t wait to see what the next book holds for this truly bizarre couple. Highly recommended to those who love YA paranormal reads without cliched love triangles and insta-love.