Monday, July 18, 2011

Crusade by Nancy Holder


When I first started reading this book it took me a bit to get into it. After the first three chapters I couldn't put it down!

When we enter the story, the world has been taken over by vampires, or Cursed Ones (C.O.). They have taken over the world by force, using fear as a motivation to herd the Nation's leaders into compliance. Of course, initially they were very `human friendly' stating they only fed off animals, never `converted' anyone against their will and were willing to live peacefully side by side with humans as equals. After the President's daughter is kidnapped a nationwide search is started with the help of the vampires. She is found and as a soldier is carrying her to safety, she mercilessly rips out his throat. Of course, this is publicized and is the beginning of the vampire/human war.

With the World being dominated by the C.O.'s, any resistance is met with swift repercussion. This leads us to our protagonist, Jenn. She is the daughter of a passive man who will turn on his own to stay safe and fly under the radar of the C.O.'s. Jenn, greatly influenced by her radical grandparents who always fought for what they believed to be right won't be compliant and leaves home at 16 to go to Spain to a Missionary there that trains people to become hunters.

As the story starts, Jenn and the team, some of which have paranormal abilities, are engaged in a mission in a small Spanish village that is being terrorized by some C.O.'s. They have been set up, someone has notified the vampires that they were coming and the hunters were ambushed and they realize there is a traitor in their midst. Is it Antonio, the seminarian who was converted almost seventy years ago yet remains a devout catholic, or Skye, a white witch who works magick's to protect and heal her team? Perhaps is Holgar, the Belgian werewolf or Eriko, the Japanese leader who received the only elixir designed to make her stronger, faster & more like the enemy they are fighting? Maybe it is Jamie, the ex-IRA Irishman whose family was killed by werewolves while the C.O.'s watched. Their team is fragmented and full of mistrust, it is only their trust in their mission and Father Juan, their mentor and leader of the Sacred Heart Academy that keeps them going.

Throughout the story, the authors give each characters POV, I loved this! It gives the reader a chance to get to know the character in the present and also their individual pasts. Each characters flashback gives us a chance to understand why they chose the hard life of a hunter.
Each of them experiences betrayals, heartbreak and angst which makes this story dark and a bit foreboding but there is also strength, learned trust and a bit of romance to even it out.

I wish that Jenn's character was a bit stronger, she came off as a bit of a cream puff and I didn't really see her bone up. I'm so hoping the sequel shows us a stronger Jenn, a bit more romance and definitely more triumph for the good guys. Along with that, I hope to see them become a bit more cohesive and trusting of one another. The action in the book is fantastic along with the thrills and horror. The descriptive scenarios are very realistic i.e. the sewer scenes in New Orleans. Altogether, this book rates as one of my favorites and I'm getting ready to read Damned, the follow up to Crusade which promises to be an exciting read!


  1. Hi Kristi! I just wanted to say that your review of Crusade is really great. Of all the reviews of the book I read, yours is by far the best. I hope you do a review for the second book, Damned, when it comes out. It'll definitely be the first review I read (though I'll probably end up rushing to buy and read the book first just because I'm so excited about it. :D).
    Thanks for being so amazing! I love all your book reviews!
    P.S.Are you by any chance a Supernatural fan? :)

  2. Thanks so much! That is the most awesome complement!

    I have Damned right now and I'll be doing a review on it soon!

    I love my Winchester Boys! Supernatural is one of my Fav shows, LOL as if you didn't notice the awesome pics! Teeheez!

  3. Glad to hear you liked this! I need to pick up a copy so that I can read Damned. :) Too bad to hear the MC is a cream puff... I'm all for the kick ass heroines. :) Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to starting this. :)

  4. Oh good balanced review. I would like more strength in my heroine, but still the action sounds good! Looks like I need to get it. :)

  5. Sounds like a crazy world with the CO's taken over. Thanks for the review. This is a new book for me to look into. :)

  6. Hey Kristi, just stoppin by, I recently read this book and I loved it, like you said the descriptions were great and I can't wait to see what happens with Jenn's sister. Great review!

    Tristan @Reads With Wreckless Abandon