Wow, this is so original!

Crusade  - Nancy Holder, Debbie ViguiƩ

Bullet Review:

DNF at 14%.

Yet another cliched ridden attempt at cashing in on the Young Adult Vampire phenomenon. Part Buffy, part Twilight, part OC, the book focuses on a Captain Planet and the Planeteers type team dynamic, only all the characters are cliched and/or boring. Eriko is the worst leader; Skye is defined by her job as a witch; Jaime is an ass (because all Irish are asses); Antonio is your standard "I'm a vampire, but I am in love!"; Holgar is a complete cypher. Oh, yeah, and there's Jenn, this nothing girl who needs to be saved and yet somehow graduated from Teh Best Supernatural School Evah.

The ONLY positive I can give this book is that there are numerous female characters and while Jenn is a complete incompetent fool, at least Eriko and Skye are more than capable of defending themselves and standing on their own two feet. Also, in the portion I read, there was no slut-shaming, and Jenn and Antonio didn't have any weird purity dynamics going on (it was just your standard, "I'm a vampire and want to drink your blood, but I also kinda love you too" bit).

I am 100% done with this genre; I would have quit sooner, but until today, I had nothing else to listen to.

Full Review:

"Crusade" is yet another in a long line of Young Adult cash-ins to the then-vampire phenomenon. While on one hand, it fairs much better than the Twilights and the Hush, Hush's of the genre, on the other hand, there really isn't much of anything to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Jenn What's Her Name is one of a very few "hunters" (think Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who graduated from the Salamanca University of Blahbitty Blah. Only, she constantly needs to be saved by everyone around her. Or people need to catch her while swooning. Or she's bawling.

In this world, Vampires sweet-talked their way into society until bam, the entire world is in the crapper and the hunters are the only hope. The hunters being a handful of kids who can't even vote yet. And yet, somehow these people idolize the hunters, hanging them on walls of bedrooms and fangirling over the hot ones. Why, say, the adults and all the gun-toting red-necks of grand old 'Murica haven't risen up against the vampires is anyone's guess.

DNF at 14%.

I kept holding back on this book because from the cover, there seemed to be a thread of something that might be interesting. But as soon as I actually started listening to it, I could tell it was exactly like every other Young Adult Urban Fantasy in existence. Same stock characters; same silly romance; same barely-there world-building.

The characters are mediocre; honestly, the only one I cared anything about was Jaime and that was primarily because the narrator gave him an Irish accent (I have a thing for Irish accents). I am floored that Jenn could even graduate this amazing school, given how awful she is at her job. Antonio's vampire has been done so many times (Vampire Chronicles anyone?), Skye is terribly cliched as a witch, of COURSE we have to have werewolves if we have vampires (sorry Holgar!), and Eriko is just bleh as a leader.

I don't even know what the story is supposed to be; I would think you should get a bit of a hint by 14% but there was nothing in sight, beyond a trick action scene at the beginning to suck you into pages upon pages of steaming piles of needless infodump. And honestly, the only reason I made it to 14% was because I had NOTHING else to listen to on audiobook.

As for the audiobook: there is a "G" in "strength" and "length". Nothing quite so annoying as hearing a narrator say "strenth" and "lenth".

About the only positive I can give this is that there are a LOT of females, a lot of competent females (minus Jenn, of course), and some decent non-white characters (Eriko, for instance, and I pretended Skye was African-English).

Maybe something miraculous happens and at the 15% the book becomes kick ass; I will not be finding that out, nor will I be rushing to purchase these author's next books. If you are tired of the same-old, same-old of Young Adult and Urban Fantasy, I would recommend you do the same.