In First Kill Joss has everything a boy could want until the night of Cecile’s death. Paralyzed with fear he watched a Vampire snuff out her life and did nothing. Wracked with guilt over his sister’s death he shuts off inside. Joss slowly begins to plot vengeance, a task that consumes him. When he discovers that his family is part of an ancient Slaying Society that kills Vampires Joss knows he will be able to avenge Cecile’s death.
This is a very different feel than the Vladimir Tod books… and it’s pretty good. There is a lot of plot points about Joss gaining strength and becoming the (fairly) invincible slayer we know and love. There are also some interesting thematic dynamics that quickly humanize him – How can he earn friends? Who can he trust in the Society? How can he live with himself since he let his sister die? How much does his own fear play into the grand scheme of things? Will he be able to do it when the moment comes? Like I said, this book humanizes him in the best possible way.
I slightly lamented the fact that it’s not set in Bathory and the cast of characters I have come to know and love are largely absent. But it’s a prequel after all. Brewer has four more books to bring us round to the story we remember. I’m still really curious to see how this series plays out.
4 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –