I’m sure this book is a great read if you’ve been following the series from the beginning. It seems like it would be a lot of fun if you were already on friendly terms with the main characters. Unfortunately, it’s rather unforgiving on newcomer’s even though the plot doesn’t actually start until a third of the way through the book because of the confusing attempts at backstory. And if I had started reading from the first book, I might have been slightly more forgiving when this book hit on two of my biggest grievances with fiction.
Towards the end of the book, there’s a huge battle and Shia is handed an AK-47 to use. She’s never held one before. Yet somehow when the battle starts, she manages to hit all her targets. Let’s be clear, the official accuracy rating of the AK-47 is “good enough.” A trained marksman, from a standing position, can only hit his target in about 1 in 10 times. Yet the snowflake heroine manages to shoot a vampire through the eye with a single shot. Have her miss once or twice first. Not only will it build the tension, it will also make your gun scenes more realistic. I’m not suggesting all authors who write guns join the NRA, but doing some basic research would make the story more engaging. Also, where is all the damn American pride? Let’s see some M-16’s every once in a while.
My other major problem was that all three of her gay characters were evil coated douchebags with bastard filling, and all three of her evil characters just happened to be gay. Gay characters who came off creepy and predatory to boot. Granted, two of them are vampires, but the third one has no such excuse. Listen, perhaps in other books she has well-rounded homosexual character who aren’t evil (she definitely has evil characters who aren’t homosexual), but from where I’ve been introduced to her work, it’s not look very pretty.
Like I said, the series is probably a lot of fun for someone more familiar with it (we had zombies!) but as an introduction to Haines’ writing, it’s not particularly strong. Had it not hit upon two of my biggest pet peeves, or had I had an earlier introduction to the series, I’m pretty sure I would be looking forward to book 6.