Review originally posted on Examiner
To be honest, I'm a bit over vampire stories. If I'm being really honest, I am entirely over them. I actually picked this up not knowing what the premise of the story was, but because I felt that it was high time I read a Holly Black book. I recall several years ago when I was originally getting into The Mortal Instruments Series, her books were considered on par with Cassandra Clare's. I made a mental note at the time to give her books a shot. And then I never did. The other reason I picked this book up was the cover. Simple and it manages to draw you in.
All that being said, I started the book and was immediately sucked into this dark world. Vampires are typically romanticized in YA but this story painted a grim picture of what our world could be if it was overrun with blood thirsty creatures of the night. I think my favorite bit of world building was the foreshadowing about the dangers of leaving the windows open at night. Even if one just needed a bit of air. An absentminded crack of the window is all it would take to change your life forever.
Holly Blacks, character building and writing style are wonderful and the only complaint I had on that front was that Gavriel wasn't as fleshed out as I would have liked him to be, but fot the sake of keeping a bit of mystery where he is concerned I can see why she chose to leave us a bit in the dark. Tana, is a sympathetic main character and I found myself trying to stear her away from bad decisions with my mind. Ms. Black really makes you feel like you are on this dark and twisted adventure with Tana and her companions.
The other aspect of the story that I loved is how modern it is. This is a story that is written for the world we live in. A world where all races, genders and sexual orientations are represented and Holly Black made sure to give them all space.
Overall, this was a great read and one that I would recommend to lovers of dark YA stories.