Pages: 288 pages
Publisher: Egmont Books
Published: September 27th, 2011
Form: E-Book (Review Copy through NetGalley)
Series: Mercian Trilogy #1
Genre: YA (Young Adult)
“Back in the Thirteenth Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia, although he never lived to inherit his title. In the centuries that follow, Will has led a lonely life, learning to deal with whatever the present day throws at him, always searching for answers but never finding any.”
William wakes up in the twenty first century, he’s been sleeping, if you call it sleep for the undead, for good twenty years since he last was awake. Over 750 years old he’s forever trapped in a body of a tall 16 year old young man. As he awakes he notices that something is different this time around, from his first spilled blood things turn from ordinary to odd, prophecy reveals itself and he finds the girl of it near by the river alone without a home to go to and someone is attacking him which rarely happens.
Will is trying to figure out just what makes this time around awake different, why all the things that have never happened before happen now. It is tied to his maker, the man who made him ‘sick’, the man he’s never seen or ever heard from who made him and then just left him to fend for his own, he’s sure of it.
Will’s character is almost numb from being alone for so long not wanting any company and it makes an interesting protagonist. See most vampires (though Will likes to be called undead) are animalistic, emotional, slightly showy in the books I’ve read previously – but Will… Will is subdued, calm, and unemotional. It isn’t until he gets to know the girl that some emotions surface, but even those are subdued.
The impression is he’s very sad, even when he’s forced to tackle things that require emotions it’s written in a way that is not bland, but very calm even when he’s nervous or afraid, it’s almost foreboding a very grim future and reflecting a grim past as well.
With the sadness and the sense of growing foreboding there are lighter elements in the book like Will’s lack of knowing the current slang or what some technological advances are, most memorable laugh came as he wondered what born-again Christians were and just what making out was. ;)
The story is something that teenagers can relate to, the feeling of loneliness – and Eloise brings the bit of life and excitement to the story that is lacking in Will. I’d almost call this dark, but in a way that it is hazy not full blow dark. I’ve never read a novel quite written like this, I’d say it’s going to be one of those books you either love or hate, depending on your view of life.
I'd say this book is going to go down well with boys/young men, it has that feel to it.