So, I have gotten around to finishing my review for Protected by Anna Applegate! 🙂 I’m so excited to share this review with you guys, because I was pleasently suprised by this book myself. I spotlighted it last week, as I was finishing up, and you can check that out here.
Generally, I can take or leave vampire/werewolf tales. I am not a giant fan of them, because usually they are overdone. Anna Applegate does a great job of interesting me in a mixed vampire/werewolf novel. Her characters are lively, they have a bit of mystery, and this isn’t your typical vampire/werewolf tale.
The main character is a typical tomgirl, except for her soft side. She can play sports, kick butt in kickboxing, and generally run circles around you, but she doesn’t plan outfits well, or have the master touch for makeup, but she does love a happy ending. Ariya Adams is hopeful, romantic, and general sheltered. She loves her small home town, and her small college town and her small group of friends.
There are quite a few swoon-worthy men in this novel as well. James, the secretive protector, Riley, the comedic best friend, Nick, the best friend’s boyfriend, all happen to be major hunks with a soft side. Each man has a way with words, and there is no question why these hunks feature prominently in these novels. (I hear a rumor that Anna is supposed to be setting up and interview with James shortly on her site, I cannot wait for that!) James is such a great character in this novel, and the emotional connection that seems to be building between him and Ariya feels realistic, and relatable.
The plot of this first novel was pretty spot on, though it stretched over a whole college semester, the pace was quick, the writing was good, and the story was interesting. I called werewolf story pretty early on (I don’t always read blurbs before reading, think it gives more excitement) but I did not see the vampires coming. I enjoy this representation of vampires quite a bit honestly; it’s refreshing to see vampires protecting humanity (though they do have a self serving goal a bit in Ariya). The back story to Ariya and how she relates to these vampires is actually very well written and falls on the logical side of fantasy. This is something that you could see happening, if you were inclined to believe in these things.
The werewolves weren’t so prominent in this one, besides Devon who, if he didn’t want to kill Ariya so much, could be quite a sexy man himself. His presence resonated as creepy and definitely left an icky vibe with every appearance. I called him as the wolf early on, but I think that was intended because he really is the main villain throughout, or at least the main one everyone knows about.
I really was pulling for Ariya/James from the moment we meet them, partly because we learn Ariya’s been hurt before and we’d like to see her with a nice guy for once, and partly because their character descriptions fit together well, which is something a good writer can manage. A flaw for me, small, very small, would be every time Ariya mentions James “seems old”, “seems mature” ect. It clued us into the vampire reveal a little too soon in my opinion, but it also could be that personally I’d rather have the less clues as a reading preference.
There were twists I didn’t see coming both in the middle of this book, and of course the end, and I love that. I love not knowing how the book is going to end, and also not having a pretty little bow put on life, because nothing is that simple for humans, let alone vampires and werewolves!
Anna’s style is spot on, her technique is impressive, and I am truly excited for book two, and will be quite honored if I’m considered for reviewing the next book as well. I have high hopes for this book, and believe that if you enjoy a GOOD vampire/werewolf novel, then you don’t need to look any further the Protected, by Anna Applegate!
Anna Applegate lives in rural Maryland with her husband and golden doodle.
She loves reading, romance of all kinds, sappy chick flicks, paranormal literature, shooting stars, Disney, traveling, and having an imagination.
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** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own 🙂