This is among the best few books I've read so far this year. I really enjoyed it!
At the beginning of the book, Allison is a Fringer, a human living in the poor edges of a vampire city. She had to worry about being potential vampire food, and about finding food for herself. Not far into the book, she becomes one of the vampires that she so fears and hates. Then, she's trained by the vampire that turned her, until she is forced to leave the city.
Allison is a winner. On second thought, all the characters are winners, but I'll start with Allison. She's a determined survivor, trying her best to cling to what remains of her humanity. One of the things I love about her is that she isn't all-powerful. Too often in books, an inexperienced main character somehow manages to win fights by unbelievable ability. In contrast, Allison's abilities were believable. She got battered, and when she won fights against bigger badder opponents, it was through ingenuity or assistance from friends. I liked her. I rooted for her.
Other characters are also great: Kanin, Zeke, Jackal, Jeb, Ruth. I feel like I know and understand all of these characters--except for aspects of their backgrounds that were purposely kept secret from me. Each character had his or her own personality, and their actions were consistent with those personalities. Some I rooted for; some I wanted to die.
Now the one big negative: There was a point, at about the 60% mark, that I started looking for the plot. What is this book actually about?
, I asked myself. Yes, it's about a girl who becomes a vampire. But that's who
it's about, not what
it's about. Truth be told, this book didn't become about anything in particular until almost 70% of the way into it--when Allison decided to help a bunch of humans reach their goals. Before that, she was proactive in each situation that presented itself to her, but everything that happened to her was mostly by coincidence. The story wasn't really going
anywhere--although there were hints about some big stuff that would happen later.
I call this "first-book-itis." I suspect that the lack of direction can be, at least partially, attributed to the fact that this the first book in a series, and it took a while to get the whole series set up before major issues and goals could be presented for this book in particular. Usually, I'd make a big issue of this. But in this case, it just worked. I was interested in the various episodes of Allison's life and struggles, even without knowing where they were going. So despite this issue, I still enjoyed this book to pieces.
I'm really excited about the next book!