Tuesday, January 8

Vanquished: Book Review


Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Simon Pulse
August 28th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
Following the “globetrotting supernatural adventure” (Publishers Weekly) of Damned, the riveting conclusion to the Crusade trilogy pushes the power of love to its limits.

Hope is in short supply, but courage runs deep as the Salamancan hunters recover from a devastating loss. Jenn knows she must rally her team against the Cursed Ones, but her focus is shattered. She’s torn between passion for Antonio, who once fought by her side, and hate for the bloodthirsty vampire he’s become. His volatility is tearing apart their team...and Jenn’s trust.

As the Cursed Ones amass new strength, Team Salamanca must strike together if they hope to survive, let alone defend humanity. Jenn wants to believe Antonio’s loyal to their cause—and their love—but she’s slowly losing her heart to Resistance fighter Noah. And if Antonio’s not careful, he may just end up with a stake in his.

This gripping conclusion to an epic trilogy pairs steamy romance with heart-stopping action, and delivers an ending as dramatic as it is unexpected.

I definitely loved the portion of the book where Jenn's grandmother tells Antonio off. He has been moaning and complaining about his lot for many pages. She puts him in his place not a moment too soon. I envy her this moment. Even Father Juan got on board and tried to pull him out of his self induced confinement. I have encountered many similar characters in my reading. I often wish I could smack a little 'so what' sense into them. Do something, anything just make a decision.

Loved the ending or more precisely the epilogue. It made me laugh. "Not again." So very funny coming from the Catholic Father.

So awesome! Not perfect but definitely worth every page. What a ride. The bad guys who spread so much terror and torture through the first two books turn out not to be all that scary or bad compared to what waited in the shadows. As horrifying and terrible as the evil in the shadow it seems the light had better plans in the wings. What a battle!

I really enjoyed the view of religion and more specifically God and Love. It was nice to watch how each character came to grasp with those two things.

I loved the different languages and cultures of the characters. So much life in them. Fabulous trilogy!

Violence: Heavy

Moments Divine:

"They took our beer? And no one fought back?"
"Hard to find any fighters back home," she retorted. "Fangers have killed most of 'em. All that's left are children and old men and cowards."
"Say you're a liar."
"I'm not. They took our whiskey, too."
"You're a sorry excuse for a man, vampire or not."
"Excuse me?"
"You heard me. Sorry excuse for a living creature."
He felt his lips twist into a snarl. "You don't understand."
"Then enlighten me," she said, raising an eyebrow.
"You should back away from the bars. You're standing too close. I might . . ."
"What? Bite me? Kill me? Bore me to death with your sad tale about how you just wish you could be good?"
"What is wrong with you?"
"That's what I want to know about you," she said with a snort.
"I'm a vampire," he said, pulling back his lips to reveal his fangs.
She shrugged. "So what?"
He felt as though she had slapped him. He shook his head. "I don't understand your attitude."
"And I don't understand yours. You love my granddaughter, right?"
"With all my heart," he admitted, though the words tore at him.
"Love's stronger than hate, or fear, or anything. Except maybe faith. And from what I hear, you've plenty of that. At least you say you do."
"I have faith," he insisted. "I do."
"Prove it," she said, not even flinching.
Without hesitating, he placed his hand against a cross tacked on the wall of his cell. After a moment he showed her the skin, unburned.
"I'm not talking about parlor tricks or magick or superstition," she said, shaking her head at him. "I'm talking about real faith. And real love. Either you have them or you don't."
He stared at her. No one had challenged him like this in a very long time.
"Last time I read the Bible, it said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains," she continued.
"I know the passage."
She looked at him full on, challenging. "So if you have faith, you can overcome the evil urges in your heart." He lowered his head.
"And Antonio? Mustard seeds grow in the dark."
"I want to believe that you're right," he whispered.
Esther exhaled, exasperated. She looked as if she wanted to strangle him.
"Then do it. Don't want to believe--believe. Or maybe that's your problem. You just don't have the will."
"I do, senora," he insisted, but he couldn't look at her.
"When it all comes right down to it, what a man has is his will," she said. "If his will is weak, so is the man. If it's strong, the same applies."