by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012)
Mark on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon: Crusade, Damned, Vanquished
No spoilers for the series:
The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.
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 seriously love this series! There are only a handful of books out there that can cause this much anxiety and emotion in me, but this is definitely one of them. I love it!
Crusade and Damned were non-stop action, and Vanquished certainly followed suit. In fact, as far as bloody battles go, I think this book topped the others. The vampires (Cursed Ones) are absolutely relentless, and so the hunters have to be just as relentless, fighting constantly for their lives, their sanity, and their souls. Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie must be two seriously kick-butt ladies because they definitely know how to write a fight scene (or twelve). I can't tell you how many times, while I was reading, I realized that all the muscles in my body were tensed up and I was holding my breath. And I'm pretty sure they also like to torture a poor girl, because my heart is seriously BREAKING for these people/vampires/werewolves. I mean how much can they take??
One of the things that I love about this series, is the way that it's written. Debbie and Nancy are accomplished authors and it really shows. The point of view is constantly shifting, as is the setting, and the characters we are following. This seems like it would be confusing, but they pull it off brilliantly. It is obvious that there was so much thought, history, and detail put into this story. I love seeing it all unfold. It's complex and dark and harsh, but underneath all of that, it's hopeful.
The characters are so perfect and so completely screwed up. I love them all for so many reasons. They're constantly struggling with themselves and with each other. The relationship between Jenn and Antonio, the only vampire who fights to overcome his desire for blood, is subtle but so compelling. And in Vanquished even more than Damned, their struggle is just heart-wrenching, as are the relationships of all the team members.
If you read Crusade and Damned, you will not be disappointed with Vanquished. It is more intense, the characters are more evolved, and the story just takes twist after twist. It's a fantastic ending to a phenomenal series. If you haven't, you should check it out! If you love non-stop action, deep plot lines, and being completely sucked into a story, I think you will love this series!
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