Book Review | Crusade
Author: Nancy Holder, Debbie Viguie
Crusade, written by authors Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié, is a bit different than other vampire fiction currently on the market for YA readers. I was really drawn to the premise, in which there is a training school in Spain where young hunters are taught to fight and kill vampires. In this alternative world, vampires announced their existence on television through their leader, Solomon, and stated that they wanted to coexist peacefully with humans. Humans became divided, some worshipping the Cursed Ones and others recognizing them for the demons they are. Now the world is at war, and the vampires are slowly taking over, eradicating all humanity.
Jenn Leitner is 18 years old, and is a hunter. When she learns that vampires have taken over San Francisco, where her family lives, she goes back to provide them with protection. In the process, she is betrayed by her own flesh and blood while another pays the ultimate price.
Jenn is just one of several hunters that are at the heart of this YA paranormal adventure. But Crusade kind of reads like a TV show, and there isn’t a lot of detail to the characters because of how much the book jumps around. I think that Jenn is the only human of her team, but I kept trying to remember what everyone’s “power” or “species” was while reading, and couldn’t keep up. At 470 pages for the paperback version, the authors could certainly have spent more time fleshing out the characters, but they were put on the back burner at the expense of the epic plot.
Crusade promises “the ultimate love” on the front cover, and the relationship that fits that tag line is between Jenn and a vampire with a soul, Antonio. If this is starting to sound like Angel and Buffy, it might have to do with Nancy Holder having written many of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels. The vampires did have a very Buffy feel to them in a lot of ways; I wish the authors had tried to be a little more daring and original with the vampires rather than relying on what has already been done.
Crusade will definitely have some hardcore fans, but it just didn’t impact me in the way I was hoping. The romance and connection between Jenn and Antonio were barely there, the writing is really basic, and it just feels like it’s been written to be produced for television. I’m not entirely put off of this series, but I will be a bit hesitant of trying other collaborations by these authors.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*