Title: The Scarlet Dagger
Series: The Red Sector Chronicles, Book 1
Author: Krystle Jones
Published: October 2011
Format: Ebook provided by author for review
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.
Three years ago, during an eclipse, the world changed forever. Vampires attacked and about a third of humans were killed. The land is now divided by sectors, and not all of them are deemed safe. Government as we know it ceased to exist, and a new government popped up in its place. The White Sector is clear of vampires, and a new sovereign is in charge. That new sovereign is Sloane’s mother, and that means everyone’s eyes are on Sloane, which makes her plan to cross to the Red Sector to save her twin brother a bit difficult. But Sloane is no ordinary seventeen year old. She’s a hunter, a member of the Black Cross Guild, and they are identified by the tattoos of black crosses on their wrist.
While she is in the Red Sector she is attacked and changed into a vampire. Sloane learns that vampires aren’t just mindless killing machines, they are people with thoughts, hearts, and feelings. And a hidden society underground. And furthermore, she carries the mark of The Creator. Oh yeah, things are about to get real for Sloane.
The world that Krystle Jones created is a terrific post-apocalyptic lover’s fantasy. The vampire society underground is, in many ways, much better than how the humans are living above ground. It was absolutely so cool to read about all the different aspects. There is housing, entertainment, law, hospitals. It’s really a sight to behold. Every time something new was introduced I was absolutely in awe.
And that’s not only the amenities – the vampires inhabiting it are terrific too. She’s created characters to adore and fall in love with… or despise. Of course there is Aden, the vampire who turned Sloane. There are times you wonder whether you can trust him or not. He certainly seems trustworthy, but the man has some secrets, that’s for sure. I really loved him throughout the entire story.
There are other characters I really liked. Angel, for one. She is bubbly and fun, and not at all what you’d expect. And she turns out to be a true friend to Sloane, in many ways. I really enjoyed reading about her. Rook is another vampire who intrigued me. I won’t blow the secret about Rook, but I definitely want to see more of him. Whatever makes him tick has got to be one heck of a story!
As for romance, don’t expect too much of it in this story. There is a bit, and there’s potential for more, but it’s definitely not a PNR. If you want good ol Urban Fantasy action and mystery, then this is definitely the story for you. The author has proven she has a terrific imagination and the story will keep you turning pages until the end. There is a bit of treachery, wahoo! And surprises are around every corner. I definitely recommend this story to vampire lovers! And once you learn the meaning behind the title, The Scarlet Dagger, it definitely adds a game changer to the vampire/vampire hunter story.
Book 2, Dark Horizons, was just published last month - but definitely be sure to read the books in order!
Find Krystle Jones Online