Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat, which means she can see the auras of the dead. She’s one of the very last descendants of the Van Helsing line, training since birth to fight monsters that pose a threat to the world. These monsters can be corporeal, and can be taken down by a bullet, or spiritual, which need to be captured by a lens. Micheline works with a crew, Ryder, one of the most promising students at their school; Oliver, a tech wizard; and Jude, who can predict death. They work well together but one mission goes south and Micheline and the boys find themselves infected with a curse called a soulchain. If they don’t find the entity that cursed them and destroy it, they’ll all be dead within a week.
First, this cover is so creepy and really fits with the book. Second, I’ve read a few horror YA books but it’s not a genre I typically go to when looking for a book but I am so glad I picked this one up. It was scary but addicting and I couldn’t stop reading until I was done.
I loved all the characters of Micheline’s group. Micheline was a great main character. She had a past that she was still trying to fully overcome, she had a lot of confidence in her abilities as a tetrachromat, she cared about the boys on her crew. She had all the training and the kicking ass abilities to be a major bad-ass but what really stuck with me was how determined she was to not give up on her friends or on herself. Ryder, Micheline’s love interest, was a great foil for her. He was more cautious and rule-following than she was but he also knew when to listen to her. It was clear he respected her and her abilities. Oliver was shy and quiet but so smart. Jude, oh how I felt for him. Seeing his friends’ possible death with every skin to skin contact would be horrible. I loved the way they all interacted. It was so obvious how much they all cared for each other and it made me care for all of them. Every time they’d separate and one wouldn’t respond immediately, it was instant fear that they could be dead.
There was so much action in the book. It started right away and just kept building and building. It was divided into sections of night one, night two, and each chapter within the sections was a time. It was a constant reminder that time was running out for them. The writing was great. Very chilling and at times gory but also with some light-hearted bickering between the group.
The mythology was really interesting as well. I liked the play on the Van Helsing and Stoker lines working together, the explanation behind how the undead being appeared, were captured, were taken care of, how important it was to continue the family lines to keep fighting, the relationships between the adults and the teen crew. The romance, I thought, was handled really well. It didn’t overpower the story, it didn’t become cheesy, it didn’t turn into an epic love triangle in the face of death cliche, instead it felt believable and I enjoyed it.
So, definitely a very creepy, chilling, stay with you kind of a book and a great one to pick up if you’re looking for a scare.