I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Crusade by Nancy Holder
Series: Crusade #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2011-02-03
Genres: Young Adult
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The Cursed Ones, or vampires, have made their presence known to mankind. They promised to help bring peace to the world but then declared war on humanity. The identity of their leader is unknown. Most people are too afraid or unwillingly to take a stand against them. Others, like eighteen-year-old Jenn Leitner, train secretly to become vampire fighters and risk everything in the process. Alongside her is fellow Hunter, Antonio de la Cruz. But Antonio has a secret - he is a vampire fighting on the side of humanity. Jenn must battle with her hatred of all things vampire, and her love for Antonio. For together only they can bring light into the darkness the vampires have drawn over the face of the planet…
I do a little jig every time I read a book where the vampires don’t glitter and have blood lust. Can I get a hell yes for a story that evokes Buffy? I won’t lie, I love a good kick ass story. I enjoy a whole lot of action, especially when that action involves stakes.
Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie is set in the future. Sort of like the Sookie Stackhouse books, vampires have revealed their presence to the world at large. However, the vampires don’t want to make nice and they do not have an artificial blood substitute like TruBlood. The vamps are known as The Cursed Ones. Some of the humans have decided the acquiesce to the Cursed Ones and let them do whatever they want for the illusion of safety. Other humans, however, have decided to fight back. They are known as hunters. In my mind, I call them slayers. You know why.
There is quite a large cast of characters in Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. This has the potential to be confusing, as the book, while told in third person, often jumps in scenery. For example, I was reading about a fight going down in Spain, then Crusade would jump to a character in New Orleans. I did not really mind the jumping, as I felt it kept the story fresh. As for the characters, it was give and take for me. There is a priest named Father Juan, who is the teacher of the slayers. I thought he was fascinating. Then, of course, there was the main character, Jenn, who I will admit — I felt was a bit stale. I mean, I have read her character before, girl who thinks she is not unique or special, but it turns out she is a snowflake after all. I thought the side characters were much more engaging. Jamie, one of the hunters, is a former IRA member. He’s hot-blooded, quick tempered, and ready to jump into any battle. He’s clearly battling with some inner-demons. THEN we have Eriko, who is the Hunter, meaning she got to sip the magic juice. Eriko is Japanese, and the story of why she decides to go to hunter school is fascinating.
As far as the writing goes, the story is very fun and full of action. However, I did not think Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie was on level with the writing quality of, say, A Northern Light or The Book Thief. Although, I feel when you read a vampire novel, do you really expect a literary masterpiece? I certainly do not. I expect escapism, blood, and perhaps a bit of fun, which is precisely what I got from Crusade.