The war against the vampires continues, with things getting progressively more bleak for the small group of hunters from Salamanca. Jenn is now leader, but she is insecure in her leadership and is distracted by her concern for her sister. Antonio feels his vampire nature tug at him more strongly than ever, and although he loves Jenn, his resistance threatens to give way at any moment. Even the Hunter herself, Eriko, is not as strong as everybody thinks she is. The hunters will need to stick together and fight harder than ever just to survive one day to the next, let alone destroy the hordes of vampires taking over the globe.
Holder and Viguié’s Crusade series has a sweeping, apocalyptic feel to it, and this second book does not disappoint. There is plenty of action, right from the beginning, and lots of gothic darkness and angst. It’s always darkest before the dawn, so I really hope that things start looking up for the Salamancans in the next book, because this one is pretty darn grim.
On more than one occasion I found myself comparing Antonio and Jenn to Angel and Buffy. Antonio is good, but only just so, and we see that his hold on his humanity is hanging by a thread. The other vampires view him as a traitor, but he’s Jenn’s most powerful ally. This book definitely focused more on Antonio’s inner conflicts and character, and we learn more of his backstory as well–all of which was a welcome development. We also get to see a lot more of Holgar in this book, and he quickly became my favorite character. More than anyone else, he’s exhibited the most strength, the most faith, the most self-restraint and unwavering support of Jenn. Team Holgar!
If you enjoyed Crusade, you must read Damned. All of the main character intros are out of the way, so you get nothing but intense action and character development. And if you haven’t read Crusade, this is a great series for fans of evil vampires and tons of global butt-kicking.