I just finished reading books in the Crusade Series. The first book is a Novella that was written as part of an anthology, it lead to the creation of the series. As of right now, there are only two books that are published. Damned release date is today! I am going to post my review in the order written. You may notice that my ratings increase with each book. I have the newer cover for Crusade at the top and in my review is the cover of the book that I read. I think I like the newer better, it goes nicely with Damned. I have kept the reviews as I reviewed them on Goodreads. I like to get my thoughts down right away after reading the book. It gives my impressions of the book as I read it instead being tainted by additional information in subsequent books.
Passing by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: I purchased this on my kindle.
Description from Goodreads: "Passing" is the short story that launched the smash dark fantasy series, CRUSADE.
The vampires have declared war on humanity--and they have won. Now it's New Year's Eve in Salamanca, Spain--and the Academy's graduating class of vampire hunters are taking their final exam--stake the Cursed Ones attacking in the fog, or die. Jenn has a fighting partner named Antonio de la Cruz...and he has a big secret...but Jenn's got a secret, too, and it nearly takes them both out.
My thoughts:My advice would be to read this novella before you read Crusade. It is a fun start, but I couldn't get over the things that they changed from this novella to the series. It just didn't feel right to me and I was cringing. I read the note by the author's at the end and felt a little better.
This is a quick read, it took me less than an hour. It is a great introduction to the series. There is not content that I would feel uncomfortable in recommending this series to. Note that there is violence.
Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: I purchase my copy.
Description from Goodreads: For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.
Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.
My thoughts: A group of six young adults trying to get past prejudices and cultural differences to form a cohesive unit to slay vampires.
Vampires have come out and pretty much control the world. They have taken over governments with the promise of changing the leaders into immortals. They terrorize humanity and basically governments and law enforcement turn a blind eye.
In Spain, a Catholic Priest has helped train and empower youth to take up the fight against the vampires. Father Juan used magic and his faith to form a group of hunters. Though he knows that he picked the correct people, they cannot seem to get their act together. There is a lot of animosity and bickering. Three of the group have supernatural powers. Two are warriors, and then there is Jenn.
The story revolves around Jenn. Her struggle to fit into the group and the betrayal of one she loves. She finds herself on a journey to save her sister, and in turn finds herself.
I enjoyed the plot line and the fast paced story. The first part left me with a feeling of deja vu. I can't figure out why. This is an interesting and great beginning to a series. I look forward to the second book, "Damned".
Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab and the ebook version that I purchased.
Description from Goodreads: There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….
Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question.
With an even more sinister power on the rise, Jenn must overcome her personal vendettas.
Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.
My thoughts: I read about 3/4 of the book from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab, but then it expired on me before I finished the book. I then purchased the book (in the middle of the night) from an eBook store. One of the things that I love about eReaders. You can have instant access to books right when you need it.
This book follows the Salmanca team. They are trained at a Catholic campus in Spain. The team is loaded with strife. There is personal, family, cultural, supernatural, and emotional strife. The team can't get it together emotionally. The thing that they have in common is their desire to rid the world of the vampires. I do like that they were able to come up with a society that a Jew and a Muslim were able to work together and put aside their differences to save the human race. (Wish the world were more like that without a crisis to bring us together.)
It was wonderful that the author's included the personal struggles that the characters are going through. They showed us a glimpse of their past and what brought them together to hunt vampires.
I really enjoyed this book and had to purchase it in the middle of the night. My biggest regret is that I have to wait a year until the third book.
My overall thoughts: I am officially sucked into this series. I feel that the story gets stronger with each book addition. I am anxiously awaiting the final installment due in the fall of 2012. In looking under the author's names for the books on goodreads, I discovered that I own the Wicked series that they teamed up together to write. I like the way that their books in this series have a great rhythm in the writing. I am excited to read the Wicked series and see if they are just as good. I just need to catch up on some reviews first....sigh.