(Cover picture courtesy of Alexia Purdy’s Blog.)
“Never tease anything that wants to eat you. My name is April Tate and my blood is the new gold. Vampires and hybrids have overrun my world, once vibrant with life, but now a graveyard of death shrouded in shadows. I fight to survive; I fight for my mother and brother. The journey is full of turns that I am quite unprepared for. And I’m just hoping to make it to the next Vegas sunrise…”
In a post-apocalyptic world, a viral epidemic has wiped out most of the earth’s population, leaving behind few humans but untold numbers of mutated vampires. April is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in the remains of Las Vegas one year after the outbreak. She has become a ferocious vampire killer and after her family is abducted, she goes searching for them. What she finds is a new breed of vampire, unlike any she has seen before. Unsure of whom she can trust, she discovers that her view of the world is not as black and white as she once thought, and she’s willing to bend the rules to rescue her family. But in trying to save them, she may only succeed in bringing her fragile world crashing down around her.
[Full disclosure: I was sent a free ebook by Alexia Purdy in exchange for an honest review.]
With the vampire over-saturation of only a couple of years ago, it’s difficult to write about vampires. What’s even harder in general is reading about vampires as I love vampires that are portrayed as stone cold killing machines. Most YA vampires at not like that at all.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by Alexia Purdy’s vampires. There are rabids, which are stone cold killing machines with few emotions or thoughts and then there are vampires as we’ve come to know them: sophisticated, intelligent and strong, but still undeniably human. Both types of vampires drink blood, but with humans in short supply how they adapt is fascinating. The thinking vampires also have a few more traits I found interesting but won’t really get into because they’re spoilers.
What I liked the most about Reign of Blood was April herself. In the beginning, she sees the world in black and white: humans good, vampires evil. Simple, right? Obviously by the end this viewpoint has changed drastically but I love how she changes over a longer period of time. April doesn’t wake up one day and think “Hey, vampires are okay”. No, she gradually comes to befriend some of them and learns that maybe she isn’t entirely innocent herself in this world.
Characters like Blake and Rye were interesting and just when I was getting ready to cringe (two males, one female = love triangle), Alexia Purdy spared me. She even sort of inverted the love triangle trope by the end, but I’m not going to get into that. Either way, Reign of Blood was action-packed but still slow enough that character development and world-building were present. My only complaint about the book is that the dialogue can be quite stiff at times. I don’t know any seventeen-year-old, let alone one that lives with only her mother and baby brother with no human contact, that speaks like that. But the dialogue problem was minor compared to the world-building, character development and pacing.
I give this book 4/5 stars.