Published: February 28th 2015
Ava has spent her life running from the monsters that lurk in the shadows, always the prey. She finally thinks she can settle down, have a normal life, and work on not being so scared of the world around her. That is until she runs into her worst fear.
He has finally found the potential family he has always wanted. All he has to do is make his little bird sing. Will Ava escape with her humanity intact?
Genre(s): New Adult, Paranormal, Suspense
Page Count: 415
Used for the Popsugar challenge: A book by an author I’ve never read before
Note: I received a free digital copy of this book via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
I was super excited when my review request for this book was approved! This has been one of the few New Adult reads of mine this year, and it was quite the read!
Reading the premise, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was intrigued, and that was all it took for me to request a review copy! I’m so happy I got to read this!
Ava is constantly moving from place to place along with her cousin Toni. She had to, if she wanted to keep Toni and herself safe. But just when Ava was thinking everything was alright, she gets kidnapped by what she was running from in the first place. Now she has to fight against becoming a prisoner—and for remaining human—before it’s too late.
Going into this, I had no idea this book was a spin-off to Nikki Rae’ series Sunshine, and found out only afterwards. Kudos to Nikki for being able to write a spin-off that is able to stand entirely by itself!
Anyway, the plot was amazing. What Nikki Rae did with Animal, was incorporating the traditional vampires we know of, while still putting her own spin on them, and for that Animal especially stood out to me. The plot is also not based on a girl-falls-for-vampire ideal, instead shows vampires for what they truly can be: cruel and twisted. Most vampire books I’ve read uses ‘good’ vampires, and it was so refreshing to see a darker twist on them. There were so many twists and turns that I was constantly on edge. Alongside Rae’s writing and characters, the plot was something really special.
I truly loved how Nikki Rae portrayed the characters! Every single character was tied to the story in some way, and they were crucial to the book. The protagonist, Ava was a strong, character who, while had her ‘stupid’ moments, was overall a very smart character. She suffers from an anxiety disorder, and has panic attacks several times throughout the book. This was a needed realistic addition to Ava’s character which I greatly appreciated, as well as how it was carried out. Although I couldn’t see myself ‘connecting’ with Ava, I loved her narration, as well as her overall character.
The main thing about the characters that stood out to me was the antagonist, Michael. My heart and mind went on such an emotional roller coaster here! One second I hated him, the next I was sympathizing and pitying him. Rae really stripped the stereotype for antagonist (unbreakable, fearless) to what they really were: people with vulnerabilities. In this case, Michael physically isn’t human, but his morals, values, his thoughts are still like a human’s, and for that we still got to see who he really was. I knew he was a bad character, yet I just couldn’t stop myself from liking him at times. Like, how twisted is that? If I was Ava, I think they call that Stockholm syndrome or something, where the captive falls for the captor. But Rae created Michael in such a way I just couldn’t help it, I had no choice but to pity and understand him.
At the start of the book, I wasn’t given all the details about what Ava was running from and why, etc. Nikki Rae’s unique writing style and chapter layout gave us parts of the past and the present, which not only made for a unique read, a great one too. This style provided reinforcement memories in between scenes that relate to them. For example: when a character was remembering something about a dead person, we got a scene from the past that explained a bit about how the person died. We also get the POVs of several characters other than Ava, including Michael, and secondary characters Evan, Toni & Myles. This gave me insight into the heads of other characters, and only strengthened my understanding of the characters.
Nikki Rae knows exactly how to pull you into the story, and have your heart twist for the characters. As far as New-Adult books, the steam factor is low, and instead there is lots of suspense, action and on-edge-of-seat moments. A dark twist and haunting tale on vampires, this book is a book you definitely don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of suspense novels and vampires! I loved this book, and I am definitely going to check out Nikki Rae’s other books.
This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Beware the vampires! Better go eat this soon… before they eat you!