by Chelsea M. Cameron
11th February 2012
Seventeen-year-old Ava-Claire Sullivan isn't one for doing the expected. Especially when she finds out her mother's cancer is terminal. After a crying session in the local cemetery where she's attacked by one strange guy and saved by another, she doesn't call the cops. Because those guys definitely weren't your average hooligans.
And the one who sort-of saved her? Well, he's odd. He doesn't seem to breathe or smile or have anything better to do than wait in the cemetery for Ava to come back. Which she does. Call it morbid curiosity. Even after he warns her that he's dangerous, she can't stop wanting to see him, talk to him, be with him.
There's something about Peter that provides a much-needed escape from her mother's diagnosis and her tenuous relationship with her father. Even her best friends Jamie and Texas don't know what it's like to face death. But Peter does. He already has. He also made a promise a long time ago that could destroy both of them.
When everything in your life is falling apart, what are you willing to give up to hold onto the one thing that could last forever?
I did enjoy this book but I can't say it wowed me, in fact at points I was ready to put it down and forget about finishing it but because I hate to leave things half done I carried on and I'm glad I stuck with it because I ended up liking the story even though it felt like more of an introduction than a full book. I feel like I've been introduced to a story and a bunch of characters but I don't feel like I really know any of them.
The story started out strong with Ava finding out her mother's cancer is terminal in the first chapter and with the arrival of Peter shortly after i thought it was going to continue at the same pace but it slows considerably and with the next fifteen chapters I found myself daydreaming because there was nothing remotely interesting happening.
There isn't much I can say about Peter, he doesn't have much of a personality and I understand why. His character only works because he's supposed to be devoid of human emotion but this does make the book rather boring because there isn't an exaggerated, over the top personality to balance out his lack of one. In my mind this should be Ava but she's too preoccupied with her depression, which has filled the book with melancholy. I found it really hard to connect with Ava because I can't relate to her situation, all I can do is speculate about how I would react and feel if I found out my mother was going to die. It was frustrating because i could understand her feelings and her actions but I couldn't relate to them.
The only thing that had me laughing out loud was the moment Ava finally finds out the truth about Peter because she reacts like a NORMAL human being. She doesn't smile and pretend it's fine, she freaks out even though up until that point she'd known there was something off about him. It's a real display of human nature and it was refreshing to have a real human reaction to a situation that is far from normal.
I also felt that the book was all about Ava which for the most part is fine but I wanted to know more about the other characters. I have a vague understanding of their back stories but I'm still not sure of who they are or what role they play in this instalment.
I love Ava's mother and she is definitely my favourite character because she has me believing that things are really going to work out well for Ava and that even though the situation seems hopeless, there is always something to be thankful for. She is the one thing that made this book even remotely cheerful, which is ironic considering she has terminal cancer.
This book may have been slow to start but I won't hold that against the series and I'm looking forward to the next instalment. I'm hoping Cameron provides more information about the Noctalis and I want to see more of Ava's relationships with her friends.
Check out Chelsea M. Cameron's blog here
Rating * * *