Dru has always known about the poltergeists, vampires and werwulfen that inhabit the Real World since her father has traveled the country battling them, often with Dru's help. But when he is killed after they move to the Dakotas--and sent back as a zombie to kill her--Dru digs deeper into her history, trying to find out who murdered her mother and who is after her. Graves, an orphan, joins up with her and is soon turned into a loup-garou by a wolf bite, and Dru is able to get some answers from Christophe, a djamphir (part human, part vampire). In her YA debut, St. Crow (who writes adult novels as Lilith Saintcrow) creates with masterful prose a vivid and dark world that will mesmerize readers. Dru's mix of strength and vulnerability peppered with teenage observations (as when she compares mean teachers to sharks, "machines made for eating, with a finely tuned sense for blood in the water") make her a fully relatable character, and teens will dig the Buffy-like blend of supernatural action and wit. Ages 12-up. (June)[Page 45]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Dru Anderson has grown up traveling the country with her demon-hunter father. When he tries to tackle a powerful "sucker" named Sergej in the Dakotas, he is turned into a zombie. After stopping him from killing her, Dru must save herself when she, too, becomes Sergej's target. She is befriended by Graves, a classmate who is quickly bitten and turned into a loup-garou (half werewolf), and meets Christophe, a djamphir (half-vampire vampire hunter). Dru also learns that she is growing into her own special powers. This is the first book in a series, and a large portion of it is spent developing the three lead characters, which occasionally slows down the action. While Graves seems to be the love interest, it is clear that both young men are attractive enough to draw Dru's attention, promising tension in future installments. However, the book is plagued by frequent odd descriptions (a werewolf the size of "a Shetland pony" and Graves, who is half Asian, described as a "half breed"), and the choppy pacing is sometimes distracting. Dru's inner monologue is a bit wordy during action scenes as well, which drags down the pace. Despite flaws, the similarities to Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight Saga" (Little, Brown) will make this book an easy sell (though Dru is, by far, a tougher heroine than Bella, both in her language and her behavior), and the cliff-hanger ending will leave readers eager for the sequel.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH[Page 93]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.