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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Isle of Night (The Watchers #1) by Veronica Wolff

Beware of strangers.
It's the only sentence I can think of to perfectly describe this book.

Title: Isle of Night (The Watchers #1) by Veronica Wolff
Pages: 302
Release Date: September 6th 2011
Published by: NAL Trade
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

Battle Royale collided with a beauty pageant and gave birth to this very entertaining novel. I simply loved the premise. Girls who came from all walks of life, beautiful and young, desperate and dangerous, brought in an island and trained in a "boarding school" to become proper ladies and serve as "Watchers", an elite group of women working for the undead, the Vampires. But aside from lessons in etiquette and manners, the ladies have to learn how to fight, because it's either they kill or be killed. If you want to be on top, you have to eliminate the competition.

For a girl with a 180 plus points IQ, Annelise sure was easily fooled. Despite all the years of beating from her father, Annelise is too trusting of guys, and like all female protagonists, good looking guys are her weakness. It's what brought her to the Isle of Night, her almost instantaneous attraction to Ronan. And despite her denial, only desperate people agree to what Ronan offered Annelise. A crappy life exchanged for a harsh, dangerous one. I thought I will be disappointed since everyone at the Isle of Night pegged Annelise as a smart person, and I was relieved to know that she used her smarts to survive. She wanted to get out of the island, and through her determination, bravery and a use of her wits, she was one step closer to gaining freedom.

Ronan, thankfully, is not a vampire. But like most of the otherworldly characters in the book, his character is still shrouded in mystery. It makes me wonder why he was even serving the vampires when he himself seem to be forced with what he is doing. I liked Ronan mostly because he contradicts a lot of things you will come to expect in the Isle of Night. He comes off more like a mentor to Annelise than a romantic interest, but there's definitely a potential there. Compared to the laid back, mysterious Ronan, Yasuo is such a charming character. His personality reminds me a little bit of Kenji from Shatter Me. I like a character who can make me laugh, and Yas is an entertaining vampire to be trainee.

Nothing spices up a novel better than having a diabolical antagonist, and Isle of Night has a live, breathing, evil incarnate herself in Lilac. I cannot even begin to describe how messed up this young lady is. She's a devil hiding behind an angelic exterior. Lilac is one of the few female characters who made the hair behind the back of my neck stand up while reading. There is no hope of redemption for someone like her. No one in their right minds will burn their younger sibling alive and stay to hear her scream to death. No one.

Master Alcantara creeped me out more than any other character in the book has ever did. It bothers me that I can't read him or his intentions towards Annelise. It bothers me more to even consider him as a potential romantic interest for Annelise. It just sounds wrong. The vampires in this book are masters of playing mind games. It makes even the readers weary if they will just snap your neck and split you open or if you will be safe. Another refreshing point this novel presented: the vampires are to be feared. Yes, they look youthful, but they are not one to be trusted, and they can kill you if you so much as blink. Underneath all the worldly charm and captivating exterior lies a dark, cunning creature that can destroy humans, and that's the way I like my vampires. They are creatures of the night, and humans should beware.

The story is still surrounded by a lot of secrets, and a lot of questions seem to be popping up more than those answered, but I love that those leads to a nice build up for the sequel. There was enough action and adrenaline pumping scenes to keep the readers entertained. I liked how that sinister feeling stays with the readers to the very last page. It's a vampire novel which worked, surprisingly, even without much vampires. I can probably count in one hand the "vampires" in the book, and I would like to see more of them especially since this is a vampire novel. Suspenseful at times, thrilling most of the way and over-all a nice read.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:
Love the colors, but the people in the cover did not give it much of a 'YA' feel.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds pretty neat. I'm curious about this Lilac but not too sure about Annelise and her insta-love & foolishness. NOt usually my type of female lead but the premise still kind of gets me intrigued. Lovely review Amaterasu!

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