The Survivors by Amanda Havard
Publisher: Chafie Press
Pub. Date: March 29th, 2011
Series: The Survivors, #1
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from author.
Synopsis via Goodreads
In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.
The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.
On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all...
HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR?
The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie's life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you'll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself.
And it is only the beginning.
With her debut YA novel, The Survivors, Amanda Havard has painted a whole new perspective on the typical paranormal beings we've all come to know.
Sadie was a very different kind of heroine for me. For starters, she's older than what I typically come across when reading YA, but this is a good thing, in my opinion. The YA division really does need more protagonists that are actual young adults, like in their early twenties, rather than just teenagers. Next is her refreshing perspective of the human world, one of both confusion and fascination, which stems from living her whole life in almost total seclusion from anyone not of her kind. There was something intriguing about reading from Sadie's point of view and while I never fully connected with her, I still liked her and look forward to watching her continue to grow throughout her journey. There was a decent quantity of supporting characters but I felt that I never really got to see enough attention focused on them. For example, I could tell Corrina and Cole were characters I could have really loved but their presence in the book was minimal and I really wanted to see more of them. I did get a little more of Sadie's family as well as the Winter's family. Both of these groups were shrouded in mystery and had me wanting to know more and more about them. Ginny was probably my favorite of the Winter's family, followed by Mark, and then the love interest, Everett. The family dynamics and their situation reminded me a lot of a certain other family in a certain other book that shall not be named. When I found out their secret, the similarities seemed even more so and part of me was a bit disappointed as I watched my affection for them die just a wee bit.
The Survivors gets off to a slow start but, after a while, the pace picked up. I was constantly wondering about the truth behind the Survivors and the Winters family. There was a variety of twists and turns all throughout but while I liked most these surprises, there were some that I had been hoping would work out differently. While the overall scenarios in The Survivors were really original, I was expecting a little more unique-ness when it came to what everyone really was. I guess I was looking for something I'd never encountered before, but even so, things worked themselves out pretty well and the incorporation of different myths and legends was well done. The story was never what I'd call predictable and I enjoyed being kept guessing. One thing I really liked was when Sadie went to Russia and I'd like to see her travel more in the future. The romance aspect was lackluster as far as I'm concerned but with any luck there will be some improvement with that in the next book.
While not bad, the writing was easily my least favorite aspect of The Survivors. Don't get me wrong, I liked it well enough and it drew me in like it should. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it aside from some typos and a few slow spots. It's just that nothing really stood out as being great either.
The ending may have been one of the best parts. More plot twists were revealed and I was left looking forward to reading the next book while allowing the first book to be wrapped up in a satisfying manner.
All in all, I had a couple of issues with The Survivors but it was still a great story that provided me with a paranormal read that stands out from others in its genre. I'm anxious to see where things head in the second book and I would recommend giving this one a shot.
1st in Series: B-
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