*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Violence doesn’t worry me anymore. It happens all around and I know there’s nothing I can do to stop it. In my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, news about another war or another violent shooting has become part of the daily routine. We have the highest crime rate in the country, with 813 violent crimes per 100,000 residents – hearing there’s been another murder or that another person has gone missing doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’ve seen those acts of violence happen to others. They’ve happened to me as well.
Maybe I had it coming. I think I’m a pretty clear target. I might as well draw a big, red circle on my forehead. Anyone could take advantage of meek little me.
Anchorage, Alaska. A place where people don’t care if someone goes missing. A place where Leia Walker tries her hardest to hide from the world, wanting a normal life without anxiety and OCD.
But Leia’s bubble pops when an old friend is back in town and twists Leia’s reality . A bloody event proves what Leia is scared to learn—Sophie Gardner, her old high school friend and saviour from the bullies, is a vampire.
Forced to run away with Sophie, Leia’s life takes a terrifying turn when vampires and hunters come after them.
The only thing preventing them from losing themselves is their friendship..
But will it be enough to escape the inevitable blood bath?
Nocturnal Blood, the first book in the Nocturnal series by Villimey Mist, is a vampire YA novel that doesn’t hold back. Filled with blood, guts, tears, and a friendship that goes beyond the simple ties of right place, right time, Nocturnal Blood is the story of a journey of two friends, thrust into a violent and unrelenting world that wants both of them dead. If you’re squeamish about blood, I’d perhaps sit this one out.
Our protagonist Leia (yes, named after THAT Leia) is a reclusive young adult dealing with myriad psychological issues, including anxiety. I can’t to her other diagnosis, but I can say that Leia’s experience of anxiety and it’s symptoms were very close to my own. felt reflected in her difficulties and worries around other people, yet her strength to keep going when the odds were stacked against her rings true as well – the irrationality of the disorder is presented brilliantly here. Still clinging to the friendship she had with Sophie, the girl who saved her from her bullies and took her OCD tics as just another part of her, Leia is overjoyed and traumatised when Sophie reappears after four years to save her yet again – though this time with fatal consequences.
On the other side, Sophie’s character is cool and tough, but just under the surface of that hard exterior is a girl who had to fight tooth and nail to survive as a monster she never wanted to be. Kidnapped and turned vampire as a teenager, she never got the guidance she needed, the protection she deserved, and as reckless as it may seem, she has now pulled her best friend Leia into the midst of a world gone mad, determined to cling onto the last vestiges of humanity she has left.
As far as friendship goes, this story is built on the unshakable bond of these two girls, the devotion they have for each other, and the lengths they will go to protect one another. Neither can make the journey that needs to be made alone, and for readers, despite knowing that you would be first on the lunch menu if you ran into these two, you want to root for them anyway, because they deserve a nice warm meal.
With a twist and an ending that was unexpected, Nocturnal Blood is a hard hitter for the first book in a series, and makes it all the more difficult not to immediately pick up book two.
Nocturnal Blood is a vampire novel that takes the genre back to it’s bloody beginnings. An unstoppable thirst for blood, an unshakable friendship between two young women, and a fight to save both of their lives. Not for the squeamish!
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