Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

     Jenn Leitner has been living at Spain's Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. There she has been training to become the next Hunter in order to rid the world of vampires. Despite their promises of peace, Jenn doesn't trust the vampires.
     The vampires have been gaining power, so when Jenn is called back to the US after he grandfather dies, she is in terrible danger. She has to watch her back at every turn. Then she is betrayed and the fight for her life is on.

     I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was interesting and well thought out. Plus, the writing was great! The premise of the book was cool. I liked how it was reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but still far from it. The world that Holder and Viguie created was not unlike our own. It was modern day, but with a twist: vampires not only exist, but they are taking over. This sets up the rest of the story because Jenn and the rest of the Salamancan team have to protect humanity from the rising powers, something that is not an easy task.
     I'm not entirely fond of Jenn. She was too condescending. Not to other people, but to herself. In her eyes, she was 'just Jenn'. She doesn't see anything special about herself, which kind of makes me mad. I wanted her to take charge of her life instead of floating behind, worrying that she wasn't good enough to be a hunter. I think her partners wanted the same thing for her. They wanted Jenn to come back to reality and see that she was much more than she thought.
     Antonio, what a character. He was fighting himself more than anything in this novel and it was heartbreaking to watch him go through that. Antonio is probably the character I rooted for the most. I think that we were able to get inside his head even more than Jenn's. Despite everything, he somehow managed to keep his faith, and I admire that.
     Eriko was the team's Japanese leader. She was not what I expected. You would think that a leader would be strong and comfortable with their role. You might even think that they would have control over those they lead. Eriko was different though. She was more meek and mild than fierce. She was quiet and just there instead of commanding.
     Holgar was awesome! He was witty, but very kind. I felt bad for him though. It couldn't have been easy being the only werewolf at the academy.
     Jamie and Skye were the hardest for me to figure out. I mean, we learned a little about their pasts, but not enough for me. I really hope the next book(s) will delve deeper into who they are as people, separate from the team. Jamie was definitely fiery enough to make up for not knowing much about him though. I simultaneously wanted to smack him and burst out laughing. He was just so rude! Skye wasn't my favorite character because I couldn't connect with her. She was an awesome witch, but so naive.
     What made this book unique in comparison to other vampire-related books for me were the passages from Jenn's diary at the beginning of some of the chapters, or the snippets of the Hunter's Manual. They helped you understand what was going on in the world by describing the past. While I did enjoy this book, I thought some of it seemed a little too strained. It didn't flow as well as I would have liked and the dialogue left a bit to be desired at times. Regardless, I am looking forward to a sequel. I hope that the characters personalities will be divulged in more detail as the series continues. Well, I think it is going to  be a series... it was left wide open.
     Rating: 6

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