[I was given a digital edition via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review]
I start by saying I enjoyed very much this book and I couldn’t put it down till the end. I loved the characters and in my opinion they were very well built, I loved as well the context in which the story unfolds and even how the idea of love at first sight was presented. There are however some details I would have wanted the author to pay a little more attention to – these explain the minus one star in my rating.
The story is told from Bianka’s perspective, a teenage girl who is taken from her home by some strange men, with her parents’ permission. She will discover an underground world of vampires, with its own set of rules and rulers, where humans are just some blood bags or an entertainment in fighting contests. Between vampire lords and princes, she will understand that her “upside” world is nothing more than a mirage. Adult humans are aware of what lies underneath, bur are helpless when harvesting season comes. Bianka decides to train and strengthen her fighting skills so she can return home to protect her friends and family.
Being the first book of the series, it focuses more on Bianka’s development as a fighter, on what determines her to become stronger and a potential threat to the vampires. As a character, she is brave even in the beginning, looking for opportunities to escape and return home. Her impulsiveness will be corrected in weeks of training, as she learns to ponder her options before launching an attack. Even if she feels a strange pull towards her owner, Prince Phillip, she still does not forget her initial decision of becoming a fighter for humanity. She doesn’t fall for him; we don’t see much of the “love at first sight” emotions from her side. Yes, she feels drawn to him and yes she can feel his presence or his deep blue gaze, but he never forgets he is still a vampire, draining people of their blood (even if not as bad as the others).
Prince Phillip is also a fascinating figure. He knows she is his destiny, but does not force his issues on her. If in the beginning his first intention is to lock her in a room as his most precious possession, he understands and accepts her free will and spirit. He respects as well Bianka’s interest in the well being of her friend Marc, even if he is jealous at times. When his single attempt to convince her to stay is denied, his reaction is one of a mature person, as he doesn’t beg her or force her to become his companion.
I would have wanted to understand more about how Lord Hector became regent and how the system in Dawn Hold came to exist, or even how the other fiefs worked. But I bet this will become clear in the next book. What were a little weird was when the men in suits first appeared at the high school and how none of the students seemed to not notice them and would have expected a little more drama when Bianka was taken from home. Other than this, I have no complains. Well, maybe the book cover – I believe not appropriate for the story and could have been better choices.
To conclude, I recommend you to read the book, especially if you are a fan of vampires. It’s a very good read, with some interesting turns and views of the vampire society. I, for one, am looking forward for the new book in the series and I do hope I will not have to wait too long 🙂