This is another one of those reviews where I have to state the fact that sometimes my honesty isn’t always nice. I was not looking forward to reading this book. At BEA, when we walked around to all of the different publishers, we had perfected our pitch of who we are, what the site’s about, and how their books would fit in well with our site. This usually led to getting the advanced copies of books to review. When I gave our pitch to this publisher, she got excited and handed me Blood on the Moon by first-time author Jennifer Knight. I cringed inside a bit at the title, but since I had just taken the book to review, I swallowed my worry and asked what the book’s about. “It’s about a girl at college, falling in love with a vampire and a werewolf.” Oh NO! What had I gotten myself into!
But, being the ever-polite reviewer, I took the book and, when the time came, sat down with a sigh to read it. Is it about werewolves and vampires? Yes. A girl at college finding herself and dealing with roommate and boy crap? Yes. But I found, as I turned the pages, that the old, familiar story had a fresh feel. That, combined with good writing, made reading it quite the pleasurable experience. I even lost a bit of sleep finishing it, since I didn’t want to put it down.
Faith starts college, best friend Derek in tow, and is dealing with typical things like strange roommates and Derek wanting to repeatedly cross the friend line into something more. Her one roomie starts dating a seriously odd and creepy guy named Lucas, who she ends up sitting next to in one class. Though at first he is rude and ignores her, as time goes on Lucas seems to take more and more interest in Faith’s life, which surprises and confuses her. But there is more going on than she knows, happenings that come to a head when she meets the sexy, beautiful Vincent, and Faith is sucked into a supernatural world that is spinning out of control.
I liked this book. Knight’s writing has a really fresh feeling. The characters weren’t dragged down in typical teenage angst, and though there was a crabby, distant, hot, brooding man to capture Faith’s interest, the story didn’t feel bogged down in it. I thought she handled Faith’s personal struggles with crisp, clean words, and it made it fun to read. I enjoyed the dilemma of Faith and Derek as well, the best friend who wants her and can’t seem to take no for an answer. It was well-done and again, didn’t feel cookie-cutter.
The author is only 22, and though overall I wouldn’t have guessed that, there were a few areas that needed a bit more development that might have been an age thing. I thought the move of Lucas in Faith’s mind from creepy co-ed to hot sexy man went really fast. I didn’t seem to notice the doubts creeping in as much as I would have expected. It seemed like all of a sudden he was the hottest thing ever, and it actually made me go, wait, what? That however was really the only weakness I noticed in the writing.
The story does mimic Twilight in some ways, if you substitute a werewolf for a vampire. He can’t touch her because it makes him change, and he can’t seem to control himself. He feels drawn to her, and he can’t understand why she triggers this in him. His werewolf family uses her as bait to draw out the big baddie vampire, much to his loud vehement disagreement. But I didn’t think it was cut and paste. Certain things triggered the Twilight comparison in my mind, but it was just a passing thought as I kept turning the pages.
Having said that, I would recommend that you read this book only if you liked Twilight, or are into paranormal romances, because there’s no getting around that. But don’t knock it, for sure. I ended up being pleasantly surprised, and I want to see where the characters go in book two. The ending also was extremely interesting, in the world that the author created, and the mystery she left me hanging on is one I definitely want solved.
I’d say this was a great first book for a young newbie author, and looking back I’m glad I put my stereotypes aside and decided to read it.