Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: The Farm by Emily McKay

The Farm (The Farm, #1)Title: The Farm
Author: Emily McKay
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publishing Date: December 4th 2012
Pages: 420
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Series: The Farm #1
Source: Paperback


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 undead 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... 

Another vampire book? No not really. It is a vampire book, a horror vampire book, a very different, creative, thrilling, unusual vampire read. I enjoyed this book very much. I had a few issues with the pacing and the main character, but overall it was wonderful. The small issues I had did not take away from my enjoyment of the book. There was so much good with the world building and the intensity of the story, I was pretty much captured from the beginning. 

Lily and Mel are twins that live on a farm. A farm that provides blood and breeds more humans for blood, to feed the ticks (vampires + zombies) Lily watches out for her sister Mel, who is autistic. Their parents are long gone. It is Lily's dream to escape with Mel and leave the farm for good. Travel to where it is safe. With the help of an old school mate, Carter, and a strange individual he brings along with, their escape is no longer a dream, its a reality.... however its doesn't fit the plan Lily had in mind. Things go awry of course. Danger... death.... and everything in between, even a slight romance. Road trip plus vampire fighting equals a heck of a lot of fun. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a good solid read and the ending just left me breathless. I liked the characters, a minor issue with the main character, but the rest were good. I felt like the characters were more gritty in this book. They weren't always cohesive, nice, and made the right choices. They were often selfish, stupid, and full of issues.

There is a long list of characters for this book..... Mel, the autistic twin, was by far my favorite. The chapters told from her POV were just amazing. Written almost in a riddle or a puzzle to figure out but not too hard to get. She saw the world and everyone in it a bit differently. She was simple but not. She was very complex but underneath a simple softness. I hope to see more of her in the next book.  

Lily was a bit annoying for me. She was almost too hard. I understood her though. She had one mission in her life... to protect Mel. This made sense to me. Some of her thought processes did not, but I chalk it up to being young. She was a bit too hard on peopele. espeically Carter. I think she could have benefited greatly if she would have relaxed and allowed others to help without a big fight. She didn't want any one to get to close, she only cared about Mel. Again understandable, however letting others in, not always a bad thing. Escpecially when trustworthy humans are far between. 

I like Joe and McKennea. They weren't strong enough characters to really feel connected too, but they were important to the story. I think their part worked well and in the end McKenna really started to grow on me. Carter was awesome. Some people didn't seem to like him. He had to make some hard choices for the greater good and I really think that is what he was trying to do. He may have gone about it wrong with cloak and dagger manuevers, but I can't say going about it a different way would have worked any better. 

Sebastian was another awesome character. He isn't good or bad, just wants to stop the really bad guys from gaining full control. I liked him, he was rough, obnoxious at times but he kicked butt. He brought a ton of humor into the story for me. His character was a nessicity in my book. For more reasons than one. He was a very important part of the story yes, he was also the muscle, the wit, and the fun. Great addition to the cast. 

The cast actually felt a bit like a mixutre between the Scooby gang and Buffy's gang. It worked well and the mixture of the personalites was perfect.  The characters weren't they only great part of the story. The writing was pretty amazing. Dark yet funny. It was for sure a dark read but had a few light parts that made me giggle or laugh out loud. I mentioned before the pacing was a bit off at times, but overall it was a pretty good pace and kept me turning pages.                  

The story of the ticks, vampires, zombies, whatever they were, or however you wanted to see them as, was pretty original. The ticks were a cross between zombies and vampires. They craved human blood, they were fast, but they were gross and pretty mindless, like zombies. They were created from a science project gone awry. Now the world is trying to keep safe from these ticks. Mel and Lily live on a farm full of teenagers... the ticks love them the most... who are used as blood suppliers and breeders. Kind of disturbing. Instead of finding a way to defeat the ticks they are harvesting for them and feeding them. Interesting. 

The world building was pretty amazing and very clear. I didn't really have the need to question anything. It felt well explained and the picture was painted pretty clearly... not pretty but very clearly. The book was a great mixture between fantasy, dysptopian, and horror. Pretty clever. 

I loved it. It was unique and captivating. I can't wait to see where the story takes me next. 

Emily McKay

Nationally bestselling author and winner of the prestigious Rita award, Emily McKay got her start writing romance novels. After ten years of writing books with babies and billionaires, Emily decided to try her hand at something different--Young Adult horror. Hey, she just really missed reading about scary vampires.
Her Rita winning book, The Farm, launches a trilogy set in a terrifying post-appocolyptic world where teens are farmed as food and genetically mutated monsters roam the country.
"A brewing romance in a dystopian land steals the show. Teen girls will delight in this fresh sci-fi fantasy that works the formula and throws in new surprises," says School Library Journal. Booklist describes the books as, "Fast-paced, brutal, and bloody, this novel's alternating points of view keep the action moving and the suspense ratcheting up to an unbearable pitch."
When she's not devising new ways to kill vampires, Emily lives in the hill country with her husband, The Geek, her two great kids, two cats and two dogs. In her spare time, she raises organic vegies and chickens and tries to hide the fact that she's secretly prepping for the apocalypse.
You can find out more info about her upcoming books


  1. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really intriguing. I love the idea that they are finding ways to feed them instead of finding ways to kill/defeat them - that's one you don't see very often. Might have to hunt this one down for myself. Thanks for the great review :)

  2. OOoh nice! I've been debating about this one lately myself! Sounded like an intriguing and different kind of vampire read! Might have to give it a try one day! Great review!


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