Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall #1)
by Elena May
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
In a world, where vampires took over a weather-controlling device, people were reduced to small groups of resistance that hide and try fighting for their survival. They’re becoming desperate. Hiding in caves, away from the sun is slowly killing them. The only way to win is to kill the vampire prince and try to take over the Weather Wizard.
Myra’s mission is simple – ambush and kill the vampire leader. She volunteers for the task to prove she can be useful and strong. Their plan seemed to be good, but it would be way too easy if it all worked out, would it?
Now Myra is prince’s prisoner.
Why wasn’t she killed or tortured for information about the resistance? The answer’s simple – she’s a writer. Grant it, she’s got a lot to learn to become a good one, but there’s one thing you loose while becoming a vampire – an ability to create.
It was hard to believe this was Elena May’s first published novel. Her style was very appealing, I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the moments when Vlad thought Myra how to enhance her writing skills, I loved the twisted Sheherezad reference :). I didn’t mind the weird bloody scenes [after all, these are vampires we’re talking about]. The twists, Vlad’s plotting, and planning, all the support characters – I liked it all.
This was a very surprising read for me. First of all, it’s a vampire novel, where a young heroine is the main character and there’s no falling-in-love with the prince of evil [except maybe on my side, but it’s still a love-hate relationship]. You have no idea how refreshing it was! No love at first sight, no triangles, forbidden love, etc, etc. I probably sound like a romance-hater, but don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of love in the air, but after reading so many YA books it’s fantastic to find one without it.
So, yes – a girl that hated vampires haven’t fallen for the first one who trapped her and remained herself. All the time Myra was planning to kill him, just as she intended from the beginning.
It was great to read how she’s growing, learning, discovering the world that was inaccessible to her earlier. She’s still a dreamer, but at the same time, she keeps track on what’s happening around her and how can she change, or at least help to change, the current situation.
And prince Vladimir is simply fantastic! A complicated, highly intelligent character. He plans, plots, deceives, but he also has hope and curiosity inside him. Yes, he’s scary and dangerous, he does some horrible things to get what he wants, but somehow I can’t hate him. He’s one of those too-awesome-to-be-hated types :P. A fantastic creation! I’d love to read his story, maybe from earlier days?
Story moves at a steady pace, always interesting, always keeps you wanting more. It concentrates on character’s interaction, Myra’s development as a writer and the ideas how to help people, how to save them. It’s just a first part and I love how it ended – not exactly with a cliffhanger, but in a way you simply need to read more.
Should you read this book? YES! And fast, because it’s worth it. I’d recommend it to all young-adult, fantasy lovers especially if you need a rest from all the romance.
What was the last young-adult novel you’ve read without romance? Was it good?
Do you think you’ll give this one a chance?