Sloane Murphy introduces us to a world where Vampyrs, Fae and humans live alongside each other, trying to stop the Demon King from starting a war. Seventeen year old Adelaide Tate is in her last year of the Academy, with plans of being the first female to join the Red Guard. She has a happy, regimented, kind of dull life with her friends where she trains and learns about the world she lives in. Throw in Xander Bane, a Vampyr, to complicate things a little, who has his eye on her and Addie can’t work out why.
But what if everything you were taught was a lie? If your dream was ripped away from you? What if evil forces attack the school and have an unhealthy obsession with you? What if you are not who you thought you were?
I really loved this YA book, it reminded me a little of Vampire Academy and a little bit of the House of Night series. I think Murphy builds a strong setting, with a vibrant history and I wanted to see more of the supernatural creatures. The first few chapters were a bit slow and I didn’t really understand where the story was going, that said, once the action started it was easy to get drawn in and I really didn’t want to put it down. I saw one of the twists coming, but not the other which always gets points from me.
Despite the slow first chapters, I did find that some bits later on moved a little fast for me, for example her relationship with Bane and his attempts at restricting her to keep her safe. It also doesn’t quite fit with the stubborn strong female character Murphy is trying to build. Addie is a bit naive for me, she wasn’t really as badass as someone whose one goal is to join the Red Guard. But I did like her, I just felt that she wasn’t a strong character on her own. She always seems to need a best friend/love interest/bad guy to help her along in the book. I feel like she just needed a touch more attitude, distrust of everyone and sassy one liners and then I’d be more convinced. But that’s me being fussy!
All that said, I can’t wait to read the second one. I think it was a fantastic debut novel, that was well-written and action packed once it got going. I loved her writing style and I did get pulled in. I need to know what happens next.