Goodreads summary: When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.
The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa’s instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.
So when I first received this book for review, I was a little apprehensive. A lot of my Goodreads friends loved this book and I was worried about not liking it myself. It sounded fun, but at the same time the vampire-werewolf-mysterious girl/last of race has been done. Despite this, I found it a fairly refreshing read and the ending in particular just proved to me that HD Gordon is a talented author, but more than that, writes female characters that are strong.
Although this debut carries many of the same tropes of many other YA novels, I found it really engaging and fun to read.
I loved the ending. I will discuss it now so here are spoilers, be aware! Not only did it make me want more, come on Half Blood Soul, but it also really went against what I normally expect and feel a little frustrated at with YA novels where the heroine goes off on an adventure with the boy and love will happen and so on. By not doing this and having Alexa go without Kayden or Jackson it made me really sit up and think here is a YA heroine that may in fact be a heroine.
The story is quick paced, with very short chapters that I think could overall have combined in places, but worked generally. I think I personally would have liked more of Nelly, Jackson and Alexa on their own before they discovered the settlement, but the set-up there was interesting and I thought the group politics were well done and chilling in places.
I think while love triangles are really prevalent in YA at the moment, I kind of liked this one. That said I think I’m Team Jackson because I always like to root for the guy who liked someone from the start than the new person who just sweeps in. Both characters are engaging.
An engaging, fun read I do recommend. I look forward to reading more of HD Gordon’s work!