Feb 15, 2012

Isle of Night

Publisher: New American Library / Penguin
Publish Date: already out
Series: The Watchers
Other books in Series: Vampires Kiss (3/6/2012); Blood Fever (08/2012)

Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise goes off to college, it means good riddance to her abusive father and stepmother, but a bureaucratic screwup leaves her without a high school diploma, flat broke, and facing a future that seems more elusive than ever.  Then she meets Ronan - tall, dark, and way to seductive for her own good.  He promises Annelise a new life...if she has the courage to change the unknown.  One look at him, and she certainly has the desire.  He offers her a lift, and sure enough, accepting rides from strangers does yield surprises.

Whisked away to a mysterious island in the North Sea, Annelise is pitted against other female recruits in tests of skill, smarts, and strength.  To win is to become a member of the Watchers, a unique elite partnership with vampires that dispatches its teams on the most dangerous missions imaginable.  It's not exactly what Annelise had in mind for a new beginning, but it's livelier than the alternative.  Because on the Isle of Night, to lose a challenge doesn't mean just dishonor.  It means death.

Let the games begin.

Annelise Drew lives in Christmas, Florida with her father and her step-mother.  She cannot wait to leave this abusive home and go to University of Florida in Gainesville where she got a full scholarship.  When she gets there, things don’t go as planned.  She tries to register for classes and cannot due to a new rule that they made at her old high school: she has to pass a swim test.  Annelise, who goes by Drew, doesn’t swim.  She doesn’t know how and is afraid of the water.  It is there that she meets Ronan.  At first, she sees him in the registration office.  When she finds out she cannot register for college, she goes back out to her car and then sees Ronan again.  When her car doesn’t start, she agrees to let Ronan give her a ride.  Little does she know that the ride will change her life.

Ronan talks her into getting on a plane and traveling to Eyja næturinnar or the Isle of Night.  This is a place where Annelise will compete against other women who were specifically chosen to become a watcher.  Annelise was chosen for this because she is a genius. This is where she first learns of vampires and that they are not the cute kind that you normally see in movies.  Annelise soon realizes that it is either win or die on the Isle of Night.  They have strange rules and even stranger classes.  The culmination of this is when they have the Directorate Award competition.  Will Acari Drew (as she is called on the Isle of Night) win or die?

I origianally read Isle of Night because I was sent the sequel, Vampire’s Kisses, to review.  I don’t like to read other books in a series without starting from the beginning.  You lose a lot of what the book entails when you do that.  When I first read the first line of the synopsis, I was drawn in and anxious to read it.  I couldn’t put Isle of Night down!  It was that good.  It was nice because it had vampires in it, but it wasn’t what you normally think of vampire/ya/romance book to be like.  I think Bram Stoker would be proud of the vampires in The Watchers series.

While I was reading this book, I kept looking back at the cover.  A good cover will do just that: it will make you involve in the book.  The cover has Annelise and Ronan on it.  Below them is a castle of sorts.  I like the colors on this cover.  I also like the fact that both Annelise’s and Ronan’s eyes stand out and they look mysterious.

Annelise Drew.  She is the main character in The Watcher series.  It starts out by describing a little of her childhood, her abusive father and how she had to overcome this along with being a genius.  It doesn’t wear her down.  She still shows good attributes, good priorities and knows what is important.  She is, mind  you, young (having just graduated from high school) and shows it in her actions sometimes.  Nevertheless, she is a good character.

Ronan.  What can you say about Ronan?  According to the cover of the book, he is nice to look at.  He is so much more though.  Annelise gets to know him a little in the book, but there is still a lot of mystery that surrounds him.  He is her Tracer and that brings different responsibilities.  In this book, it looks as though Ronan is torn, but he tries to lead Annelise in the right direction.  He still calls her Annelise, even though he is supposed to call her Acari Drew.

Amanda.  She is Annelise’s proctor.  She tries to make things easier for Annelise and explains things to her that she wouldn’t know otherwise.

Yasuo and Emma.  These are the two friends that she makes while on the Isle.  They are loyal to her.

Lilac Von Straubing.  From the very beginning, Annelise and Lilac don’t get along.  Lilac nicknamed Annelise “charity case” after a shirt she was wearing which is later shortened to “charity.”  Annelise calls her “bunny,” but later decides on another nickname.  Lilac is out to get Annelise and wants her dead.

The Vampires.  They are eerie.

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