From the day he showed up on her front porch, he desperately needed three things: a new beginning, a place to belong, and someone to stand beside him.
By the time she figured that out, it was too late.
In a world where being half-vampire is a dark secret that tears families apart, 16 year-old Katie Watts must untangle the web of lies that is her so-called life. No one is who she thought they were. Her father is keeping secrets and everyone knows the darker truth except her. She has no direction, no answers, and—when she searches for the truth—no home.
As the web untangles, the truth pulls Katie and Tristan closer together, and they find themselves connected in more ways than she can believe. But—is honesty worth more than blissful ignorance? Can she live with the truths that begin with her dead mother and end with The Keeper’s Vow?
I feel a little out of place with this review because most people on Goodreads seemed to really enjoy this book and I just didn’t. I finished reading it because I wanted to find out the answer to the mystery but I ended up disasppointed. It’s like everything worked on paper but when I actually read it, it didn’t click with me at all.
Let’s start with the characters. Katie was a bratty teenager – fine. She’s sixteen and you want realism, you get bratty teenager who doesn’t know how to react to the world changing around her. But I really disliked Katie. Oh, I sympathised with her a lot, but I disliked reading about her. Same thing with Tristan, I found the both of them unlikeable. Then, about 75% of the way through the book, Katie gets hit by a clue bat with how selfish she’s being, and is then proceeded to be told this by pretty much all the characters. I have to say, I don’t think any of the characters acted well. It wasn’t just making mistakes, the whole cast of characters were the most selfish bunch of people I have ever read about. All of them, including the adults who don’t have the excuse of being young and inexperienced like the teenagers, were focused on their problems and didn’t give a fig about anyone else. Katie made a very good point when she said (near the start) that she had only been introduced to this world recently and she was still trying to get her head around it, but no one gave her any help. Lucinda, despite being told she is like Katie’s mum, doesn’t have a talk with her about how she’s coping or making sure she’s alright telling her dad despite her knowing how Katie’s dad is concerning the whole Guardian thing. We never find out what’s going on with Brian, both of Katie’s dads are awful parents and nothing is really done about it (seriously Katie’s reaction to her father wiping nearly all her memories out of her head was so bland). Tristan is not a nice person, I know he’s struggling with shit and hearing Katie how horrible he is doesn’t help, but why doesn’t he teach her more about blocking off her thoughts? She can do it, we saw it, and if her thoughts irritated him so much, he could help her pull back. I liked the whole bonded thing but I despised how unequal it was. Then the ending relationship between Tristan and Katie seemed to come out from nowhere – we get one line explaining how the relationship ended up and that was it. No more explanation.
The plot only really got going in the last quarter of the book and when it ended, it felt like it was wrapped up really quickly. I thought I would like the world-building, because it’s paranormal, but I really didn’t and I couldn’t figure out why until I read another review that said it seemed similar to The Mortal Instruments and that’s when it hit me. Guardians of the supernatural world = Shadowhunters. D-Levels (is that what they were called?)= Downworlders gone ‘bad’. The discrimination against vampires etc. That’s figured out at least, I didn’t particularly like The Mortal Instruments worldbuilding so I wasn’t going to like this. I did like the whole ‘Keeper’s Vow’ bit and the history behind it because that was interesting but I can’t believe that Katie found it out in a book. All the time she had been complaining about people not telling her anything and then ignoring the piles of schoolbooks that might help her figure stuff out.
I feel like I’m missing something with this book because everyone else seems to really enjoy it? Everything I liked, there was something I disliked about it as well. Katie being a realistic teenager who avoids schoolwork = answer to one of the biggest mysteries in the book is in her textbook. Soulbond between two strangers = only Tristan is able to read Katie’s thoughts, while Katie has to drink blood to read his. For plot reasons, of course. Past best friends = no one mentions it to Katie because of reasons so she ends up hurting Tristan. Character realises they were unfair and nasty = all the characters tell her this as they ignore all the crap they’ve done in the book.
This isn’t a bad book but I didn’t like it and I won’t be continuing the series. Two stars.