Title: Isle of Night
Author: Veronica Wolff
Series: (The Watchers #1)
Published: September 6th 2011 by NAL Trade

I came across this book because tons of people compare it to Vampire Academy (which I have a love and hate relationship; I preferred the spin-off Bloodlines) and Hunger Games. Well, it did resemble VA a bit being a Watcher here is like a Guardian in VA. But disappointingly, I don’t see the HG similarity here. Are we just talking about fight to the death? Because that reason alone isn’t enough for me to compare it to Hunger Games (sorry overprotective).

A pretty average start for a series. Not dreadful, but didn’t have that wow factor I was looking for, but good enough to continue the series. Like Rose, I have sort of irked feelings toward the main heroine here (as always), Annelise Drew, or Drew for short. You know for someone who has a “genius IQ and crazy high GPA” she doesn’t sound so smart. I was formulating these rants in my head because the beginning really made me eyeroll a lot. I told you she’s supposed to be smart (which I have a feeling is a subjective term here) but for someone who is “smart” she doesn’t act like one. Ok, I take it that she was there because of some “vampire mojo” and infatuation (obviously) with a guy stripped out of GQ page and she didn’t have anywhere place to go. But that aside, her actions lacks analytical skill. Isn’t that part of being a genius? Someone enlighten me, because she made me doubt whatever I learned in college. She’s sarcastic, but doesn’t have that sophisticated punch like Sophie Mercer (of HexHall) so it’s kinda irritating. And puhleese stop the frequent mention of her smartness, I may not be genius but I get it already. Or repeating it will make us believe. A tip? Act like one!

That aside, everything was ok. I sort of liked the idea of an island full of vampires in training and girls groomed to be watchers. Only guys are vampires, if I got the concept right Watchers are sort of bodyguards. One great point raised by a character here—Yasuo—that if vampires are “total package” why do they need girls to protect them? Exactly my point. But my huge annoyance with Drew made me missed that answer. Besides that, I don’t think the fight to death was relevant. I’m not a pacifist (in the area of literature that is), but the idea was vague. Was it too brutal for a process of weeding out the potential watchers? Wait, what really are they training for? Assassin or Bodyguard?

In all fairness, the other characters were ok. My fave was Yasuo because he’s Japanese and he got personality. I like Ronan too, typical as he might be. But what will I do with a character that is just good looking but so plain? Granted that Ronan’s character wasn’t explored yet, I’ll give him another chance. I’ll see if he improves. But for now? Average.

There’s not much romance here. I see little sparks between Ronan and Drew. And some flirting with the head master, whom I still question—why? Why did they see in her? Seriously what?

Come to think of it, it’s not Vampire Academy meets Hunger Games. It is more of Vampire Academy meets Naruto. Shuriken? Ninja? Chakra? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone yells Kage Bunshin and Rasengan here. Hey, it’s not an insult, I liked Naruto!! 😉

Oh wait. What did I like about this book again…?