Teenager Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is renowned. But his whole world is suddenly turned upside down on the night his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters - immortal vampire-slayers who risk everything to save humanity - and he quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one that's filled with all kinds of evil. However, before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students start turning into flesh-eating members of the undead. Nick knows he's in real danger and he soon has a lot more to deal with than starting high school: he's under pressure to hide his new friends from his mother and his chainsaw from the principal while trying to impress the girl he has a crush on ? all without getting grounded, suspended...or killed.
I loved the sound of this book from the synopsis but was a bit concerned that I wouldn't understand the intricacies of the plot as I haven't read the Dark Hunter series.
I thought the start to this book was amazing, a debate as to whether our lives are governed by a pre-ordained destiny or whether we have the freedom to choose our own paths. I really like these sorts of debates, just ask my hubs. I can talk a glass eye to sleep over this one :D
Mainly written in 1st person narrative from Nick's point of view. A wonderfully sarcastic 14 year old (you should know by now how much I love the sarcasm). He has been raised alone by his Mother (who if I have done my maths correctly was only 14 herself when she had him). They have struggled for money and Nick has developed a pessimistic, slightly cynical and misanthropic outlook. You can see these are all defence mechanisms that he has had to develop in order to cope with the way he is treated. I just loved his snarky attitude :D He has some of the best one liners I have ever heard :D The reader is given access to Nicks thoughts/insights with the use of italics, also drawing the eye and focusing on specific aspects of the plot (aka Poe style).
The depiction of bullying is brutally honest. Showing how even adults/teachers can be biased in relation to money/status as opposed to intelligence/actions. Nick possess a great deal of inner strength, showing that it takes a strong mind to cope with the stresses of bullying, etc. It shows how the events that occur within our lives define us as a person.
The changes in narrative were a little disconcerting and I felt that the flow of the story was greatly interrupted because of it. The action is very fast paced making it sometimes difficult to keep up with the intricacies of the plot. There are a lot of threads to the plot which tend to go off at tangents without weaving back together. I am hoping that some of the issues I have with the plot will be addressed in the next book.
The use of Greek mythology added depth to the story. Although I was a bit confused as to Artemis's role within the boundaries of good versus evil? I was also left wondering if this was a pivotal aspect of the plot? Nick seems to be pivotal in the battle of good versus evil, the path he chooses for his life deciding the fate of the world :D
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, the basic storyline is excellent. I do have issues with the plot as the threads went in a lot of different directions and never really pulled back together. In the end it comes down to the fact that I am now smitten with Nick and will definitely be reading the next installment in order to follow his progress :D