Author: Emily McKay.
Published: December 4th 2012.
Publisher: Berkley Trade.
Sort: Part 1 of ‘The Farm’
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the unread monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other… And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible. Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help… Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
Lily and her autistic twin sister Mel try to survive on one of the Farms, surrounded buildings to protect them from the Ticks, but they are used as kettle for their blood. These Ticks are humans infected with a virus, turning them into a mix of a zombie and a vampire. When Lily and Mel try to escape, a familiar face stops them. Carter is her high school crush from the Before and he tries to rescue young people together with vampire Stephen. He has saved a lot of people and they are save in a rebel camp, but he doesn’t tell why she (Lily) is so special to them.
I had a slow start, but once I reached a certain point I couldn’t put it down. There was something about this world-building that fascinated me. The world is dark and grim; humans are used for their blood and some of them are offered to the Ticks to keep them away from the fence. When Stephen and Carter take Mel, Lily and two other young ones away, it’s the start of a suspenseful trip. My heart went a bit faster in some scary situations and the Ticks are terrifying.
Lily isn’t the best MC. She is sometimes a bit too whiny and selfish. She treats Mel more like a heavy burden, but I like her for the fact that she changed that soon. You could definitely see that the girls love each other, despite Mel’s autistic behaviour. The thing that annoyed me the most is her stubbornness. I do like it when a MC thinks for herself, but she had to discuss EVERYTHING. Even Stephen, who is supposed to be a two thousand year old vampire, can’t talk any sense into this girl. I wish he sometimes showed her his power and intelligence instead of bowing to her will.
“We go left.”
”Why? I want to go right.”
“It’s not save.”
”I’m going to do it anyway.”
I like the idea of a human weapon against the Ticks and the fact that someone is the ‘mastermind’ behind the whole destroyed world. I can’t wait to see how this is going to work out in part two, The lair, where Mel is going to be the MC. I recommend that you don’t read the blurb from The lair, because it’s spoils the ending of this book. And let me tell you, I did not see it coming. It shocked me.