Synopsis from Goodreads: Abigail Tate was a normal human girl—until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never-ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it’s with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own…secrets that can either help her or get her killed. Only Abby soon discovers that she is the one with the biggest secret of all. ***June 2012 Extras added to the e-book version only (including the first chapter of the sequel Crimson Flames (book #2 of The Crimson Series)***
Source: Author for a fair and honest review
My Rating: 3½/ 5 stars
My Review: I let my ideas and thoughts about Ashley Robertson’s Crimson Groves rattle around in my brain for a few days before writing my review. During the rattling process, I discovered that the most appropriate way for me to review this introductory YA novel is to compile a pros and cons list. So, dear reader, here goes nothing!
- Abby. Abby is the lead female in this novel and is a way too trusting sucker (HA!)! On several occasions I found myself wanting to yell at her to pull her head out of her butt and stop trusting every single Tom, Dick, and vampire she encountered. Abby’s trusting nature gets her into a ton of trouble far too often. Seriously, how many times does she have to be betrayed before she learns?
- Abby’s dad. For me, Abby’s dad was pretty much useless in the overall plot. I know this sounds harsh, but his appearances were so brief that they truly would not have been missed had they been completely eliminated from the novel.
- The overall time frame is just too short for me. So much action is spread across a lot of land and packed into such a short amount of time that it causes the plot to feel rushed and unrealistic.
- Backstory: I am a big, big fan of backstory, and Crimson Groves just didn’t have enough for me. More, please!
- Abby. To be fair, Abby does have some shining moments, however infrequent. I am hoping these moments will become more frequent and shinier in subsequent installments of the series. Also, Robertson has given Abby a pretty cool and rather unusual twist to her vampire powers.
- Bronx. Originally, I had Bronx listed among the cons, but, once I actually wrote about him, I realized he is a very well-written character despite his awfulness. I think I can safely say Bronx is the single most heinous and vile character in this novel. His actions, comments, and very presence made my skin crawl. I desperately wanted something awful to happen to him. Kudos to you, Ashley Robertson, for creating such a despicable character.
- The minor cast of characters. This novel has a bevy of minor characters that I would very much encourage Robertson to more fully develop in future installments of this series. For example, the über-powerful Head Council is absolutely intriguing, the vampire Stone seems as if he could be much, much more to Abby then just a friend, and Abby’s mother, while she won’t be able to make an actual appearance in future novels, has a backstory that could be a big, big part of the Crimson Series future.
The Bottom Line: In order to be completely honest, I don’t feel like I can rate this first-in-a-series novel higher than 3½ stars out of 5. Since I refuse to end on a negative note, I offer the following: 1) I never got so frustrated with this novel that I wanted to quit reading, and 2) I can absolutely see a great deal of potential in this series’ future!