Release Date: April 2011
The Cursed Ones, or vampires, have made their presence known to mankind. They promised to help bring peace to the world but then declared war on humanity. The identity of their leader is unknown. Most people are too afraid or unwillingly to take a stand against them. Others, like eighteen-year-old Jenn Leitner, train secretly to become vampire fighters and risk everything in the process. Alongside her is fellow Hunter, Antonio de la Cruz. But Antonio has a secret - he is a vampire fighting on the side of humanity. Jenn must battle with her hatred of all things vampire, and her love for Antonio. For together only they can bring light into the darkness the vampires have drawn over the face of the planet…
Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie is set in the future. Sort of like the Sookie Stackhouse books, vampires have revealed their presence to the world at large. However, the vampires don't want to make nice and they do not have an artificial blood substitute like TruBlood. The vamps are known as The Cursed Ones. Some of the humans have decided the acquiesce to the Cursed Ones and let them do whatever they want for the illusion of safety. Other humans, however, have decided to fight back. They are known as hunters. Academies have cropped up -- most in Europe -- to train people to fight the Cursed Ones. Those who survive and graduate are called hunters, one of those graduates is made the Hunter and given an elixer to heighten speed and strength. The school in Spain is the only one that takes students from outside its country. Jenn flees America where the government quickly opened its arms to the vampires -- she heads straight to its doors. She and her team of hunters are about as different as you could imagine, and there is a quite a bit of in-fighting. The hunters are forced to figure out a way to fight the vampires without tearing themselves apart, and so far it isn't going so well.
The individual stories of each member of the team are topped only by the nonstop action in the book. The book kept me interested in the characters as well as in the overall plot. I wanted to know what was happening with Skye and if she could face her fears, or if Holgar can truly let himself trust his teammates. Jamie is the tough guy that we want to see show his softer side. Antonio is the vampire on the road to redemption.