Book: The Scarlet Dagger by Krystle Jones
Series: The Red Sector Chronicles #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Young Adult / Dystopian
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Ebook
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2011
First Sentence: "The bus driver eyed me up and down, confusion sweeping across his weathered face. "You lost or somethin', doll?"
How Did I Get This Book: From Author, For Review
Description: The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.
After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.
When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will, and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life. But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. The city is harboring a devastating secret, one that could change the tide of the war and threaten to destroy everything Sloane has come to believe in.
Heart-stopping action and scorching romance collide in this dystopian, urban fantasy thriller.
I’m kind of on the fence about The Scarlet Dagger; there were elements are the story that I enjoyed, but there were also elements that I didn’t. The book starts out strong and amazing. Jones does a remarkable job drawing you into Sloane’s world – she is quite good at world building.
With Sloane, Jones has created a strong, likeable heroine that readers are sure to enjoy. Sloane is quite unique in the fact that while she is strong willed and independent, she realizes that she isn’t invincible. Sure, she makes some questionable decisions, but she is also willing to admit when she needs help. Plus, she is cheeky as all get out.
I am still on the fence about her main love interest, Aden. We are really given any firsthand knowledge on Aden. We just have to go on what Sloane thinks and feels about him - which is a problem because she is constantly changing her mind about him and it taints the reader’s view of him.
I must admit that the first half of the book was immensely better than the second half. The first half is filled with just the right balance of action and excitement as well as description and plot. As the story progresses, so does the pacing. Unfortunately, the pacing becomes too fast and leaves the reader with a bit of whiplash. There are a number of tight squeezes that Sloane gets out of rather quickly and the ending itself is incredibly rushed. I felt like we weren’t really given a lot of answers for the final plot twist, so it felt rather forced.
I enjoyed The Scarlet Dagger, but I certainly wasn’t in love with it. There were plot elements that didn’t make sense to me, the pacing at the end of the book was off and Aden did not really make an impression on me. But, at the same time, I liked Sloane and the world building was incredible. So, now for the million dollar question - am I going to continue the series? I hate to disappoint, but I honestly don't know. I'll probably read some reviews before I dive into it.
I tried to move as quickly as I could away from him, praying he couldn't hear the jangling of all the guns and knives hidden beneath my clothing.
That comment stabbed straight into my heart, which should have been completely calloused over from the emotional beating it had endured these past three years.
Subconsciously, my lips twisted into a carnivorous smile.
I stared at it, part in awe, part in grim satisfaction, as its muscles and bones glowed orange-red like embers before what was left of the vampire disintegrated into a pile of ash.
I immediately decided I didn't like her. She seemed awfully hostile for a doctor.
Well, if he thought this girl was going to play the part of love struck damsel-in-distress, he obviously didn't know who he was dealing with.
He beamed at me, and for a few precious minutes, it felt like it did before, when we were younger and the world hadn't fallen apart.