17-year-old Zorya lives on blood, is allergic to daylight, and can lift the front end of a car (well, a small car). And nobody in polite modern American society uses the “V” word anymore—the PC term is “Nightwalker.”
She’s a popular senior at her Nightwalker high school in the California Enclave, with good grades, the newest smartphone, and the latest clothes.
Then her easy life changes drastically. Zorya’s flirtation with David, the only human “Daywalker” in her school, gets her exiled from her comfortable home and sent packing to her grandfather in a distant Idaho forest Refuge—without even her smartphone!
There the reluctant Zorya discovers her heritage, learns skills she never needed in high school, and eventually finds out the real reason for her exile: to be trained as a member of a secret organization of Nightwalkers and Daywalkers, with one foot in each world, dedicated to preserving the fragile peace between the races.
Plot/Idea: Zorya’s a Nightwalker—otherwise known as a vampire, though that word is no longer popular—and she’s falling for Daywalker David, who, oddly enough, is attending her exclusive Night School. The main characters go through classic teenage angst, with humorous asides on their unique living circumstances sprinkled in, but the story’s not all for entertainment value—Brosz addresses some hefty themes along the way, including discrimination and the importance of staying open minded.
Prose: The prose is lighthearted for the most part, matching the book’s witty feel, and Zorya’s first-person perspective is delivered in a way that feels enjoyably natural and informal.
Originality: Brosz turns the vampire trope upside down with creative worldbuilding that finds “Nightwalkers” and “Daywalkers” coexisting. The descriptions of their differences (the extra long tongues of the Nightwalkers and the Daywalkers’ willingness to sell their own blood for a profit, among others) are entertaining and add interest to the story.
Character/Execution: Despite her vampire status, Zorya is relatable for young adult readers, and David is a worthy match for her pluck and spirit. Brosz holds out some surprises for the main players that will please readers.
Date Submitted: August 22, 2023