by Heather Brewer
First sentence: “Abraham’s heels clicked along the marble floor as he moved the length of the room.”
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Review copy provided by the publisher.
Release date: September 20, 2011
When Joss McMillian was 10, his life was practically perfect. Happy parents, great relationship with his younger sister. Aside from his unfortunate tendency to excel at sports without trying, which didn’t help with his making friends, he was perfectly happy.
The one night the unthinkable happened, and Joss saw it all: a vampire killed Joss’s younger sister.
At the funeral, Joss’s uncle Abraham offers Joss a way to get revenge, and three years later Abraham has come to cash in on the promise Joss made: it’s time to be trained as a Slayer.
From this point, the book gets incredibly harsh. I’m sure there’s some book out there somewhere which says “all training in any supernatural fighting must be incredibly abusive to the teenager involved”. Because the training in this book was harsh. As a mom, I cringed; how on earth did Joss survive this punishment? As a reader, I cringed: is revenge that great a motive that you’d basically kill yourself to achieve it? I suppose it’s partly because I’ve decided vampires are passé: everyone’s done the whole vampire/slayer/whatever angle to death.
That said, the book did have one nice little twist coming at the end that redeemed it for me, and actually made me want to see where the next book takes the series. But, that said: be prepared for the harshness of the journey here. It’s not a pretty book, and the tale has no glory.
Perhaps that’s for the best.