When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.
The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa’s instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS *****
Before I begin this review, I have a few things I should note. One; the hype surrounding this book had me wary upon reading it as I didn’t want to be one of the only people disliking it. Two; I am probably what you call a harsh critic and giving five stars to a book isn’t something I do for just any book. And finally three; I received this book from the Read 2 Review section of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fanatics group on goodreads in return for an honest review. With that said, can I just say that this book is an absolutely glorious read! I loved it from the first page to the very last page and hated myself when I had to put it down.
It’s difficult to know where to start with this review as I don’t want to miss anything out, or give too much away! I think I’ll start by describing just how the book grabbed my attention. It’s not often I come across a book that fully manages to grab me by my ankles and transport me to somewhere completely different but this book definitely did. I’d loved how the book initially started out, with the bird on the window and the powerful imagery that it left throughout the rest of the book. I adored how in two pages the author had already told you so much about Alexa’s personality and really managed to get the reader’s attention. It was cleverly written and I just loved it.
Alexa is such a brilliant character. She is so real. She’s strong and brave and powerful but she’s also weak, emotional and flawed and I simply love that about her. She doesn’t feel like she can save everything, she feels like she wants to. She knows her strength but at the same time, she doesn’t really. It is this conflicting parts to her personality that truly make her feel like a realistic character. She is easy to understand and find sympathy with and I just felt myself wanting to follow her on her journey, to point her in the right direction and to give her the comfort that she needed. I also found it easy to relate to her as she had some very similar characteristics to myself which I always love when I read a book.
Nelly was also adored by me, I wanted to reach in through the pages and soak her up in a bear hug. She was just as well-written and realistic as Alexa and that is just another good reason why Gordon deserves all the praise that has been coming her way lately. I loved Kayden. Absolutely, heart-wrenching in my chest, loved him. He was so… guarded and he had been through so much and all he wanted was to help but he didn’t know how and just… ugh… amazing. Really well written, and I loved that you really got a feel for his character even though the book was written in the point of view of Alexa. There were times I understood him and wanted to scream at her to get it as well. That just showed how good Gordon is at writing a story that truly captures the reader.
Further adding to the writing skills, the world that Gordon created was so imaginative and brilliant that I was simply enthralled. The different races were so interesting to read about and to witness. The way the city ran and the way that things flowed throughout the book was just so well-thought-out that I just loved it. I was reading with new-found eyes, wanting to soak up the world and to find out as much about the world as I could. I loved how the information wasn’t thrown too much at you at once. It was given to you piece by piece, just as Alexa herself was getting to grips with it, so were you. It was just, brilliantly done and filled me with awe.
Emotional. That is definitely a word I would use to describe the ending of this book. Emotional and catchy. All I want to do now is pick up the next book in this series and devour it from front to back because I am certain that it will be as good, if not better, then the first in the series. I want to know what is going to happen, I want to know where the story is going, where it will all end up, and I want to know right now. I also want to continue reading a story that has amazing and skilful writing that I can lose myself on the page.
A few things that did annoy me was Tommy, he just got on my nerves quite a bit and I didn’t feel that his character was really needed in the story. Although, the scenes between Jackson and Tommy were nice to see, I just didn’t see what it really added to the main arc of the story but then again, that did sort of come to light at the end but I just didn’t particularly like him I suppose. Aside from this, however, finding things I didn’t like about the story is hard. I simply adored it and cannot wait to continue reading.
I would recommend this book to any young adult or adult readers who enjoy fantasy novels with some good old vampires and werewolves and hidden cities and page-turning plots with just brilliantly written words.