Crusade by Nancy Holder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book as part of a blog tour, but this does not affect my review in any way.
Don’t go into Crusade, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié, expecting to like most of the supernaturals in this series. This is not one of those books where the vampires and werewolves are the good guys. Instead, the human race is at war, and they either don’t know it or they’re ignoring their plight. Many have fallen for the illusion that the vampires, known as Cursed Ones and led by Solomon, have presented. They see the romantic, suave persona, not the blood-thirsty, rip your throat out truth. Fortunately for the human race, there are a few who are willing to stand up and fight, though it may be too late. Jenn Leitner and other teenagers have trained for several years at Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones in Spain, and they are coming together as a team to fight the Cursed Ones and take back their world. Some of these recent graduates have secrets of their own though. Antonio is a Cursed One, yet for unknown reasons he is able to control his urges, most of the time, and can also withstand crosses, holy water, and other religious symbols. Holgar, another graduate, is a werewolf and Skye is a white witch. Joined by their other teammates Jamie and Eriko, they are severely outnumbered yet willing to give their lives in order to bring an end to the war.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is much different from my usual paranormal reads (I’m used to the supernaturals being good guys, and while there are a couple of “good” ones here, they’re the unusual ones.) I think its going to be interesting to see if Jenn and Antonio will ever be able to overcome their differences and be together somehow. A relationship seems impossible, what with Antonio being a Cursed One, but I’m hoping that over the course of the series things will work out somehow. Holgar and Skye are very likable characters as well. I love the bantering of Holgar, and how he teases Jamie throughout the story. To be honest, I really can’t stand Jamie’s character. I know he has his reasons for hating Cursed Ones and werewolves, but still, his hatred for his fellow team members is hard to deal with. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of action between Jamie and Holgar and Antonio later on. This team of hunters will need to actually learn how to work together as a team if they ever have any kind of chance to win against the Cursed Ones. There will have to be a lot more growth in later books for them, and it will be interesting to see if this happens.
Overall, this was a very solid start to a new series, and there’s an interesting mix of myth, magic, and religion. It was different from my usual books in a way to give paranormal readers something fresh and new to read, and I was excited to move on to the second book to find out what would happen next to our team of hunters. Their survival looks impossible, and I’m sure there are many more surprises for the reader over the course of the trilogy. We’ll get to see if this group becomes a team, or if their individual issues will destroy them and let the Cursed Ones take over the world for good.
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