An atmosphere of tension rescues this imaginative but otherwise thin addition to the vampire-fiction craze.
In this second installment of the Watchers series, 17 year-old Drew has won a fight to the death to become the girl most likely to succeed on the Isle of Night, off the coast of Scotland. There, Drew competes in a school that trains students to aid a clan of ancient vampires. Super-smart Drew has drawn the attention of a dangerous vampire, Master Alcántara, who chooses her for a secret mission. Before earning that chance, however, Drew must fend off jealous older students who are both intent on killing her and allowed to do so if they can. Characterizations tend toward the shallow, but Wolff manages to make her protagonists interesting nonetheless. She maintained tension by highlighting the constant danger that threatens Drew and by throwing in frequent action scenes. Worldbuilding is adequate, although more description would aid new readers. The plot, however, grows ever more preposterous. Drew’s secret mission flies by far too quickly, as its main purpose appears to be setting up the next sequel. Nevertheless, what otherwise would be only a B-level effort comes across as a B+ due to the successful suspense and the intriguing vampire world.
Entertaining but underdeveloped. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)