A new young adult vampire series set in dystopian California will have eager to read the next book. This story drew me in from the beginning. I really enjoyed the premise and paranormal elements set in a fantasy dystopian era. It was short and really more of a teaser than anything else, but had all the punch to keep you intrigued, involved and in search of the next in the series.
In a postmodern world where Cloud Lords rule the skies and the human population below them with an iron fist like gods, society as we know it is a thing of the past. With no modern technology, a new solitary religion, mandatory black outs, and strict rules of society it is rare teenagers get a chance to just relax and celebrate any occasion together, in fact doing so is strictly forbidden. When a group gets together in secret to celebrate a birthday a chance wish turns into something more when Chloe uses witchcraft to help make her dream come true. In a world as backwards as we can imagine and flush with paranormal creatures the idea of a witch is easily accepted as is the imprisonment and burning of one.
On the run from the authorities who seek to rid the world of her evil presence with Wayne (her best friend, crush and the very subject that outed her magical ability to the rest of the local teens), Chloe makes her way across the deserted and destroyed landscapes of the near apocalyptic world. When in the midst of her flight from those powers bent on seeing the end of her existence Chloe and Wayne witness a battle of epic proportions in the air above them as Draconian Dragon shifters, and Vampire Night Flyers. When one of the Night Flyers is injured and plummets to the earth Chloe rushed in to give aid. Before passing out the gorgeous man who a pair of Dragon Lords referred to as The Prince introduces himself as Aethan rendering him unable to defend himself. Feeling intuition that the man is still alive despite all the evidence to the contrary Chloe insists Wayne and her take the man with them when they seek shelter form the fight.
Drawn to the area by the fight the local authorities catch up to the two runaways now in the presence of an unconscious and seemingly dead Vampire Lord. When all seems lost for Chloe’s future a group of government soldiers also drawn to the area by the battle show up and change the outcome of what was looking to be a dire situation.
After sending the local authorities on their way the soldiers quickly take custody of Chloe and her Night Flyer patient. With a few moments of confusion and bartering it is revealed that the soldiers belong to a branch of the military simply known as the Program and have every intention of making Chloe their latest member. Little is known about this task force, but left with little to no choice but to accept their offer she agrees and we are left on a giant cliffhanger waiting with bated breath for book two.
I was a little miffed by the rose colored glasses response Chloe has to Wayne and certain revelations about him. She definitely seems overly naïve which I found mildly annoying. I was also sad we didn’t get a chance to learn more about her family dynamic and more of what had happened in the history surrounding the Cloud Lords arrival and subsequent takeover.
I was a little surprised by the fact that the book is about teenagers but also appears to have several adult themes running through it. Personally I think I'd be much more inclined to read the book if it was written as an adult romance type series as it seems very easily adaptable for that. Not that I'm not a fan of young adult romance, but some of the Cloud Lords’ statements and the fact that Chloe is going to be joining a militant task forces of some kinds speaks a little more adult than teen to me.
I was intrigued by the idea that there's some connection between Aethan particularly his thoughts and the fact that she's adamant he's still alive. I thought the fact that the general is also aware the Night Flyer is still living was interesting as well. Both of those coupled with the statement regarding the Pillar of the Firmament make me very curious about the first full length book of the series. I definitely am intrigued. I just hope the author can make the heroine a little more of female we can like and be interested in.
** I received a free ARC of this book for my honest and unbiased feedback and review**