I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb: The moment she steps foot inside, Grace knows there is nothing normal about Katmere Academy, or the students in it. Her uncle’s exclusive and secretive boarding school is the last place she wants to be, but after the tragic deaths of both of her parents, she is left with no choice. It’s not long before she discovers that she has entered a world like nothing she has ever known. Shapeshifters, witches and vampires roam the halls, existing in uneasy cooperation, a fragile web of alliances the only thing keeping them from war. As the lone mortal, the only thing Grace is sure of is that she doesn’t belong. Then she meets Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. Something in him calls to Grace – something that could spell her death. Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And as Grace is drawn further under his spell, she begins to wonder: did she come to Katmere by accident, or was she brought here… as bait?
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Genre: Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Romance
When Grace’s parents die in a car accident, she’s left alone. Sent to Alaska to live with her uncle and cousin Macy, Grace is plunged into a world that she can’t begin to understand. Katmere Academy is more than just an elite boarding school for privileged youngsters, with vampires, witches and shifters living in the very place that Grace is to call her new home…
If you’re a fan of all things paranormal romance, complete with mysterious love interests and secrets galore, then I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m a long time fan of this genre and was so excited to see this book pop up! The world building was probably my favourite thing about this story as everything from the Academy to the expressions of the characters were described in a lot of detail. I could really imagine walking along the halls, taking the tunnels to class and cosying up with a book in the library! The characters were another point of interest for me, especially Jaxon and Flint. It might be a little cliched but I loved that they were described as such opposites – one being dark and broody with everyone giving him a wide berth, and the other being smiley and funny, drawing people to him like a magnet. It gave us a hint of a love triangle without becoming the main plot point which I really appreciated. We experience this story from Grace’s point of view which worked really well in the sense of introducing us to the supernatural world slowly – we were just as clueless as she was and the hints that other characters give her had me hooked to see what would happen. She’s a strongly written character, being bold and brave one minute and obsessing over boys and her phone the next, keeping her relatable in an otherwise very different world.
In regards to the plot, I really liked that it wasn’t a simple human falls for vampire romance. There’s a murder plot, plans of vengeance and a very thin line between who’s good and bad. This definitely had me coming back to this book as often as possible to find out what was really going on. This is another point in favour of Grace being the sole narrator as I often found myself as stunned as she was when things were revealed!
As for what I disliked, my only gripe would be that it takes a long time for Grace to find out about any of the supernatural goings on at the school, despite several characters slipping up and making strange comments. For a character that otherwise seems pretty clever and inquisitive, it was a bit of a slow start. However, this did build the tension and had me guessing which supernatural creatures the characters would turn out to be. I’d also note that there were times that Grace’s need to be with Jaxon made me cringe a little, especially as it seemed as though he wasn’t as interested as she was. We later find out that this wasn’t the case but it did have my teenage self wincing.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s a sucker for paranormal romances with broody vampire boys and a whole host of secrets! Perfect for fans of House of Night, Twilight and Vampire Academy.
Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!