Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kindred (Book 1 of The Kindred Series) by Erica Stevens

  Seeing as to how I recently had an interview with Erica Stevens, I felt it would be good to do one more review of her books.  It's another vampire love story...but just as good as her other books!

   Cassie grew up not knowing much about her parents.  They had died when she was a baby, along with her best friend's dad.  Chris and she had known each other since they were born.  He lived with his mom and Cassie lived with her grandmother.  They knew almost nothing about their dead parents because no one liked to talk about.  That is, until Luther and Melissa came into their lives.  Melissa was their age, and Luther took care of her.  Her parents had died as well.  When he found them, Cassie and Chris were shown what the world was really like: crawling with dangerous vampires.  And they had been born to hunt these savage beasts.  In that moment, when their hands joined, her life was irrevocably changed.  The course of her destiny forever altered.  Over the years that followed, Cassie often wondered if she would have run screaming from him, and the changes that he would bring to her life if she had known.  So they began to train with Luther, to become what they were destined to be.  It took a lot out of them, hunting and killing things that were once human before they had died, turning into vampires.  Their innocence was lost and it wore heavily upon their hearts, souls, and bodies.  It required intense training to learn how to fight and kill a vampire.  They were superior in their strength, speed, and other abilities.  But the hunters were not without their skills.  Most hunters were born with some special gift.  Chris was able to read people.  He could tell immediately whether they were good or evil.  Melissa got predictions about the future.  However, she could not control it.  It just happened.  But Cassie had no special gift.
   At school, all three were popular with other teenagers always hanging around them.  And while rumors floated around that Chris and Cassie would probably get together sometime soon, there was only a platonic sibling love there.  And Cassie never really noticed any of the guys at school anyway.  That is until Devon came along.  Who couldn't resist such a hot guy?  Although all the girls at school were drawn to him, Cassie and Devon have a strange connection between them.  Intense feelings begin to form between them.  They never want to be away from each other, but it's necessary.  Unfortunately, Devon is a vampire.  A very old vampire.  And if he wants to be with Cassie, he is going to have to play by humans rules: dating and being patient, and going to high school.  For some reason they both stay completely ignorant of who the other is until the very end of the book.
   School gets more challenging for Cassie as she starts to acknowledge her feelings for Devon, and he is willingly returning them.  But all of the girls are jealous of her, and it is clear to Devon that the guys want her.  Things get even more strained when a fight breaks out between Mark (a guy who's been trying to get with Cassie forever) and Devon.  Although it was not much of a fight.  When Cassie sees the type of raw strength that Devon has, she begins to question just how much she knows about him and what exactly he is.

He could only hope that she didn't hate him for what he was.  He couldn't stop to think about that, if he did he would lose it.
   This brings a whole new meaning to love your enemy.  Cassie and Devon have a very intense connection with each other, even though he is a very old vampire who can walk in the day light and she is just a 17-year-old girl.  Because of what she does outside of school, Cassie feels much older than she is though.  Having to kill like that can make one age overnight.  Her friends, Chris and Melissa, seem to have a much easier time reconciling themselves to what they are and the fact that their lives will be much shorter than the average human.  It's just a fact that in this world people didn't live long once they started becoming a vampire hunter.
   Then there is Julian, another old vampire, who comes to town and starts wreaking havoc on the innocents.  The hunters know that they are dealing with something that will probably destroy them.  They have no idea just how much power he has.  The only one who can possibly keep them all safe is Devon.  And towards the end of the book, Cassie starts getting an idea of what he is and it's awful.  She questions whether his ulterior motives to hanging around her is to kill her.  The end leaves you in a cliff hanger as Devon speeds off through the forest with a very injured Cassie, and Julian is still alive and well.  My question: what exactly is Cassie?  By the end of the book, you get the feeling she is no ordinary hunter.

...she eventually came to realize that there was no outrunning destiny.  It was very much like the Reaper in that way, and like the Reaper, destiny could be cruel and indiscriminate. 

*images via Erica Stevens
*quotes viz Erica Stevens

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