Friday, 25 April 2014

Crimson Love

Finally, a series of YA books with vampires and romance that has actual vampires in it. Yup, the vampires in Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series are blood drinking, undead monsters, and they know it. The series is brutally intense and filled with bloody action scenes and dangerous characters. Let's face it– you can't have a vampire series without some serious violence, and that's only one thing that Julie Kagawa has mastered in this trilogy.

The series is set in a dystopian world from the perspective of Alison Sekemoto, a young, angry, cynical seventeen year old who is one day brutally attacked by diseased vampires known as 'rabids'. Her life is more or less saved (depending how you look at it) when a vampire named Kanin Turns her. Allie is forced to adapt to life as a vampire, and the harsh realities of living with her Hunger while going back and forth between being a vampire, and being a monster. Since as Allie is a huge pessimist, take a guess as to which route she tends to take.

Her life only gets more difficult when she comes across a sociopath with an unknown connection to her, a charming, brave, wonderfully naive human who can only see the good in her, and a powerful, psychotic vampire who loves pairing poetry with torture. I'm going to be reviewing the last book in the series, so the MAJOR spoiler warning starts now.

After the horrific death of Allie's love, Zeke in The Eternity Cure (man oh man, did I nearly pull my hair out at the end of that one), Allie's rage reaches catastrophic levels as she, Kanin, and her blood-brother Jackal hunt for Sarren, the vampire hellbent on destroying the world, and the monster who killed Zeke.

Just as Allie is beginning to let go of him, she's led on a trail that leads her to a terrifying truth: Zeke is still alive, and was Turned by Sarren. I'm not going to say I didn't see it coming (believe me when I say that I spent a lot of time going over possibilities and remembering the writers rule: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong), but Kagawa is such an exceptional writer that I was still cringing and biting my nails when Zeke was revealed.

The focus of the story isn't just about whether or not Allie and her group can stop Sarren, but whether or not Allie can overcome her own monster and help the man she loves.

I've always loved Allie and Zeke's relationship, and one of my favorite parts of this book was Allie dealing with her personal demons so she can help him. Everyone reaches their arch in a way that makes your heart sigh with relief. Though I'm a little sad the series is over now, it ended just the way I hoped it would.

Spoilers are over now.

I'm huge on moral dilemmas with main characters, which makes Allie one of my favorite female leads. She's tough, uncompromising, and never quits, but she can be bitter, cynical, and has a serious anger problem. Sometimes I don't agree with her actions, but it isn't as if she can be blamed. For all her faults, she hangs onto her humanity so tightly she leaves claw marks in it.

I've only read three of her books so far, but Kagawa is a truly incredible author and I'm eager to read more of her work, which includes The Iron Fey and The Call of the Forgotten. Her writing is fluid and strong, her action scenes are fierce, she seriously knows how to crank up the tension, and all of her characters are in depth, complicated, and very interesting.

My friends will remember me ranting and raving about this series and how I felt at the end of the second book. Trust me when I say that's a rarity and it takes a really amazing piece of work to make it happen. So to all the vampire-lovers out there, put this series on your reading list if it isn't already there. Eat your heart out, Twilight.


No comments:

Post a Comment