17 year old Annelise Drew is supposedly on her way to the University of Florida @ Gainesville where she hopes to attend classes and escape from her hometown of Christmas, Florida. She graduated from high school a year early with a genius IQ and perfect SAT scores, which she continually has to remind the reader over, and over, and over again.
While it appears Annelise has all that going for her, she had to deal with her abusive and alcoholic father and step mother who she calls Yatch. The only thing she has left of her biological mother is a picture of her in a yellow jumpsuit which she keeps close to her at all times.
Annelise's whole world turns on its head in a blink of an eye. While at UF, she is told that she doesn't qualify for early admissions because she missed a swimming class that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Her 1992 Civic dies on her and she barely has enough money to eat let alone find a place to stay.
Then, a mysterious stranger named Ronan, who is a tracer with a tattoo, shows up and asks Annelise "Are you brave enough to find out? Are you ready to embrace a while new life?" Annelise makes a snap judgment and agrees to be taken to the Isle of Night where it turns out she will be trained as a so called Watcher and work closely with Vampires. The only catch? She has to compete against 100 other girls in a battle of survival and where not everyone leaves the Isle of Night alive. Of course, she later learns that Ronan used his hinky luring capabilities to convince her to get on the airplane and leave everyone and everything behind.
Annelise learns that Watchers are women only who represent, defend, and sometimes kill in order to survive. They are the agents of the vampires will and extension of their powers. The women also have unique abilities, like fire, and the ability to feel no pain. There are boys on the Isle, of course. But, these boys are youngling vampires who will become full-fledged vampires over time.
"Teen hormones plus a few hot guys equals Barbie Bloodbath." Pg 102
I'm going to start my thoughts/rants on the book by saying that Annelise is a smart person, yet she makes some stupid ass mistakes. The first mistake is in trusting anyone, let alone Ronan who she just met. She trusts him and allows him to bring her to the Isle of Night where she is nothing special but another girl who was supposedly flagged in some system which we don't get a look at or an understanding on where all these girls actually come from.
She gets lured into situations where she doesn't know the outcome and then makes an enemy out of Lilac von Straubing and other girls at the school because she refused to listen about no personal items.
This is yet another story where vampires are able to walk into the sunlight without spontaneously combusting on contact. No, they don’t wear special rings, or where SPF 500 in order to enjoy the sunlight. I have seen where this story has been linked to the Vampire Academy which I find unusually benign. The one main difference I see is that the girls are forced to drink vampire blood and fight to the death in order to survive their training.
There is, of course, the sexy vampire named Hugo De Rosas Alcantara who takes a sudden interest in Acari Drew’s every move because she is so smart and intelligent and he hasn’t seen anyone like her since he became a vampire. So much so that he actually ends up helping her survive the battle royal against several girls who wanted to kill Drew on sight.
Let’s just say that this book has its moments and let it go. Drew does end up with several friends including Emma Sargent who help her along the way. However, the ability to piss off this reader with her nonsensical cattiness with other girls, especially Lilac, was annoying. I wanted to like this book, yet find myself conflicted on how to actually rate this book. This reviewer can only hope that book two is better than this one.
Author - Veronica Wolff
Title - Isle of Night
Publisher - NAL Trade
Released - September 6, 2011