Author: Sarah Alderson
Publication: February 1, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Format, pages: Paperback, 310
Finished on: January 29, 2012
If you can’t choose who you love, how do you know who to trust?
Lucas Gray is half Shadow Warrior, half human, and a member of the Brotherhood – a group of assassins tasked with killing the last purebred Hunter on Earth before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy. The Hunter’s name is Evie Tremain.
Evie Tremain is seventeen-years-old, a waitress and has just discovered she is the last in a long line of demon slayers – and an unwilling participant in a war between Hunters and unhumans that has raged for the last thousand years.
When your fate is already determined, can you fight it?
I spent a good half hour wondering how I was going to write this. So I ended up thinking…and thinking…and thinking. But I just couldn’t find the words. Brodie said: “Fated will hook you in the moment you open the book.” That’s true! As for what Sarah Alderson said: “I hope you like it…” which was really in the style of, “I hope you like it but I know you won’t like it because there’s another steamy scene and steamy scenes don’t digest well with you because, clearly, you need to have that sort of pleasurable experience yourself (which is just as steamy as it is between Evie and Lucas).” I can’t help it if I haven’t been fated to be with someone, or have some guy or girl move into my house. Obviously I’m missing out on something because…I enjoyed this way more than Hunting Lila!
Evie Tremain is a wonderfully crafted character and protagonist, both in how she is and what she says. First the “how she is”: It takes Evie a long time to accept that she was born to be a Hunter, to hunt and slay demons—the Unhumans—that are after the Hunters just as much as they are after them. It wasn’t easy for her to accept the truths and to also bury the lies that she has been told—really not her whole life as she felt normal and thought her parents were her parents—but the truths and lies that had been revealed from that moment she was told she was a Hunter. It was difficult because her human life, her plans to escape her little Californian town, felt real, believable. She felt like they were finally happening…until that gang of Unhumans came and terrorised her, and set the wheels of Fate in motion with no way of stopping until the war between the Hunters and the Unhumans finally ends. She is strong yet vulnerable, allowing her emotions able to squeeze through that chink in her defensive armour.
‘You are Evie Hunter,’ she said out loud to the shaky-looking girl in the mirror, the one who was trying to look a whole braver than she felt. It felt strange calling herself a Hunter. Hunters were killers – was that then bound to be their fate for always? Her fate? All because of a name? Because of who her parents were? [p.202]
But then you think about the humour and the sarcasm that comes out of the smart-mouth that Evie possesses: rather than symbolising her character and the way in which she can question things by “being” sarcastic, this jocular self of hers could quite possibly be a façade, a barrier, that assists her in hiding her feelings and emotions from ever really surfacing. Besides this deep-thinking and thought, what Evie says—or what jokes Sarah Alderson has conjured up—will keep that toothy smile/grin of yours glued in its place while you read the book (except at those moments where death is plentiful). Some of my favourite lines and sarcastic humour that should be in Evie Tremain’s Book of Sarcasm are:
‘Vampires?’ Evie smirked. Her head hit the leather cushion of the banquette behind her. ‘Are you trying to tell me that that was Edward Cullen outside? Because, you know, I thought he was supposed to be hotter than that. And a whole lot more romantic.’ [p.26]
‘Oh great.’ Evie threw her hands up in the air. ‘I’m an untrained demon hunter with only crap half-powers, suddenly expected to go all Buffy and save the world.’ [p.62]
You get the drift. But it’s not only Evie that has the best lines in the book. Lucas has some great ones too, which though, are really only—strictly—said to his fellow Unhumans.
We also get Lucas’s point-of-view instead of only Evie’s, and because of this we are given a well-rounded story with thoughts and feelings from both characters. One that is a Hunter where we learn about the Hunters and is preyed on by the Unhumans, and the other, an Unhuman—Shadow Warrior to be precise—and we learn about the inner circle of The Brotherhood of Unhumans and which is hunted by the Hunters. It really is a dichotomy of all sorts. Knowing the thought processes that runs through Lucas’s head involved in the alteration of his goal in being an Unhuman and killing Evie to being himself and choosing to protect Evie. It gave for some great drama not only between Evie and Lucas but also between Lucas and his fellow Unhumans—Shula the Mixen demon, Caleb the Scorpio demon, Joshua the Thirster (vampire), Neena the Shapeshifter, Grace the Sybll (psychic), and Tristan their “boss”—and also even between Lucas and one of the other Hunters, Jocelyn.
Even those characters above and the other Hunters that I have not mentioned are three-dimensional, and not one of them is there within the book doing absolutely nothing to cheat the system—in Sarah’s mind—to stay alive and out of trouble. They all have a reason to be involved.
Sarah’s writing is believable and rich. And the plot throughout the book just gets thicker and thicker full of action, mysteries, truths, lies, and betrayals. It is great to see someone stray away from the endless numbers of first person young adult novels and setting her own prose apart from the rest. I have been influenced to continue to use third person as its better in order to fully examine every character’s worth and vulnerabilities. I’m looking forward to what Sarah delivers next as I’m sure they will just keep getting better and better as her writing, characters and stories flourish into beauties needed to be read. Even that erotica she’s writing I’d be interested in.
The sequels to Fated are currently for the moment titled Severed and Shadowed. Anyone for a petition to get them out now? Anyone?
If you want to find out more about Fated go and watch Sarah Alderson talk about it in the video for the Aussie Blog Tour of Fated here.