After the review I posted of her first book, Amanda Havard’s publisher contacted me an offered an advance reading copy of The Survivors: Point of Origin. Of course, I was thrilled! Here’s my review of the book, available one week from today.
The second installment in Amanda Havard’s Survivors series, Point of Origin creates nearly as many questions as it answers. We join Sadie on her quest to reveal the origins of her family, a group of immortals exiled during the Salem Witch Trials. The elders founded a colony in Montana that nobody every leaves. Except Sadie. Never comfortable living apart from the world, and distrusting of the elders, Sadie ran away to live as a human. Her departure set in motion a restlessness among other survivors and now 28 more have left. A vision from Anthony foretells a coming war a between the rouge survivors and the rest of Sadie’s family. She is searching for a way to prevent the war, or, barring that, to find a way to overcome their immortality.
Along for the ride is Sadie’s betrothed (boyfriend is too light, finance is too formal) Everette, and his family, also immortal. Everette and his siblings are vampires, as are those survivors that escaped from the commune. These aren’t the sexy we-only-eat-animals vampires either, they are people killing blood drinkers. A group of shape-shifters also join in the hunt, having nursed Sadie back to health after a battle in Book 1.
Havard does a fantastic job putting us inside Sadie’s head. While on this life-and-death quest, she is also dealing with the intense emotions and confusion of first love. She is unquestionably in love with Everette, but she’s also attracted to her human friend, Cole Hardwick. Where Everette is an immortal vampire, Cole is a normal guy, able to let Sadie live like a normal human, if she so chooses. I was sucked in to the love triangle, enjoying the feelings of falling in love with Everette while at the same understanding the amount of pressure she was feeling. I found myself rooting for both men, as unable to chose as Sadie seems to be. It’s the allure of being “normal” versus the obligation to protect her family.
This is, at it’s core, a mystery, not a romance. While the relationship with Everett and Cole is there, this isn’t a Twilight-knockoff about how hard it is to fall in love with a vampire. There isn’t a lot more I can say about the plot without spoiling it, but I will say this: for a while, I felt like I was watching Lost all over again. Havard ties up just enough throughout the story to keep you going, but she leaves you with even more unanswered questions that you started with.
The one caution I have for the reader: The ensemble cast in this book is huge and sometimes a bit hard to keep straight. I was never so lost that I couldn’t pick it back up, but just know that you need to read this book with your full attention or you may get confused.