Ever since I saw a few of the new dystopian books have vampires in them I've been practically foaming at the mouth to get my hands on them. So far I've had good luck with the few (maybe 2?) dystopians that I've read. The genre interests me even if I’m just dabbling my toes at the shallow end. Now the idea of mixing vampires in? Oh, that is a heady rush. When Kagawa is one of those authors coming out with a vampire dystopian world, is a great place to dive in.
A plague (Red Lung) ravaged the human population and no one could find a cure. The vampires food supply was dwindling down: the humans. One vampire stepped forward believing that Vampire genetics are the cure to saving humans. But the cure the humans tried to develop warped and created new monsters, monsters that even the vampires fear. A new strain of the Red Lung was born turning anyone infected to rabids. Now humans live in communities where vampires rule over them. Humans give them blood, and vampires protect them from the rabids on the outside of their huge walled cities. In the city Allison Sekemoto (AKA Allie) lives in that is the way of things. It's forbidden for humans to read and the vampires control the humans. Anyone with "smarts" or extra knowledge are pulled and taken into the inner city to help the vampires. Allie can read and question her existence, but she is nothing but a drifter. Foraging for food living each day by the hope that she can find something to eat.
Soon Allie is pulled tragically away from her world of survival and becomes the very monsters she despises: a Vampire. She's entered a new world, but why she struggles to deal with the type of monster she'll become as her hunger for knowledge slowly is fed along side her lust for blood. The truth behind the legend of the rabids and the world she now lives in soon comes to the fore front of her new survival. Once she leaves her city she soon learns of a city the humans seek, Eden where there are no vampires or rabids. After joining a group Allie decides she will get them there at all costs.
Kagawa is skilled at creating a cast of characters that readers fall in love with and can invest in. Which only makes it more painful when they're killed off. Kagawa is not afraid to let a character die. This is a harsh world and at times the book reads just like a horror story. Creatures rising from the dark and grabbing the living away. This only makes those moments of human kindness more vulnerable and hopeful.
My favorite part about Kagawa's dystopian vampire world is that she doesn't try to glamorize vampires. As Allie’s sire tells here, "We are monsters. You must decide on what kind of monster you wish to be." The story holds plenty of action, mystery, romance (sweet and forbidden romance at that), pain, and plenty of grey lines of right and wrong that I love in a book. Clearly for me this is one of the top Young Adult debut's of 2012!! Sexual Content:
Not much beyond kisses. Some sexual talk and curiosity thoughts about sex. 4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.