Saturday, April 30, 2011

Double Take - Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Published: September 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 470
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: 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.

Christinabean = black
Curlypow = blue

I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  I have been looking forward to reading it for several months and then I just never ended up getting it.  I placed a hold on the title at my local library and once I started reading, I was sucked into this amazing story.  Ok, so right here is where we start to differ with this one.  I actually bought a copy of this just a couple of weeks after it came out and started reading it right away, only after about 80 or so pages I stopped reading and it is still sitting on my bedside table where I left it.  I decided to try listening to it  instead and I started a little while ago. While it's ok, I'm just not feeling it, if you know what I mean?

For me, the characters aren't working.  Jenn is so opposed to her parents views on vampires, she leaves the US on her own, at 16, to go and train with the Salamancans in Spain, but once she graduates as a fighter, she is so unsure of herself throughout the story that I just got fed up. Without adding a spoiler, her relationship with Antonio never quite worked for me.  Jamie - well I didn't like him at all - he's just nasty. In fact, I think I got a little fed up with everyone's insecurities.  Somehow it didn't seem to make sense with the 'team' being such high fallutin' fighters - where was their confidence in themselves and each other?
(The funny thing is, I first noticed Crusade when Curlypow first told me about it and was raving about how excited she was to start it!  hahaha!)

As the summary mentions, Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her.  I didn't see that one coming.  It kind of outraged me as I watched it unfold and I was pretty angry.  Funny how we sometimes hold a vested interest in our book characters, isn't it?  Alright, I agree that the betrayal was a big surprise, but  Aaarrgh!  I can't say anything more about it without giving major spoilers

Even though I enjoyed the whole book, I was a bit disappointed at the ending.  To be honest, it was anticlimactic.  The rest of the story was so strong but the ending just felt a bit weak for me.  Still, I'm onboard to read book 2 of the Crusade series - Damned ( that Antonio?  Why am I having flashbacks of Ralph Macchio??)  which will be coming out in August 2011.  I'm thinking it was anti-climactic because there will be more to come in #2, but to be honest, I won't be rushing to read it. - although, if that is supposed to be Antonio on the cover, I might have found my new crush!  I'm just waiting for someone to put up an Orlando Bloom lookalike on the cover of uh, anything.......

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