Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigue
Source: Received as a gift
Release date: September 7th 2010
Summary (from Goodreads): For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.
Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.
I honestly don't know how to start, as there is a lot to say. I have quite a few mixed feelings about Crusade, but enjoyed it overall.
The characters were all really good. I particularly liked the main character, Jenn, along with all the other hunters on her team. Jenn was very easy to relate to, because she has such realistic thoughts. There are so many people in the world that think that they are nothing special next to others, and that's what Jenn is like. Another hunter in her team is Antonio, and few people know that he is a vampire. He has trained himself so that he doesn't get injured by holy water and such like other vampires do, and can control his bloodlust. He has a hatred for other vampires, although he is one himself. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about him, because he is so different. I can't quite say that I love him as I do other boys in books, but I certainly don't like him, either.
At some points the writing in the book was smooth, almost poetic, and at other points it seemed a bit choppy. I'm not sure if that was the difference in the two authors or not; it's hard to say. Most of the time, the description was perfect, not giving too much or too little. The only thing that I had problems with was the plot. In the beginning, everything was happening really slowly. There was nothing really in it to bring you on into the story. I had to push through that until I got to where the plot started getting interesting, and even then it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Later on, at the climax, it lasted so long that it started to get boring, and it didn't explain it well enough that I really understood very well what was going on.
Crusade has a really good take on vampires, I found, that was quite original. Even if you don't like vampire books, I'd suggest picking this one up and giving it a try just for the little twist.