Vial Things by Leah CliffordResurrectionist #1
Published on August 9, 2016 Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
When the resurrectionists of Fissure's Whipp begin disappearing, eighteen-year-old Allie knows someone is after their blood—or, more accurately, the genetic mutation that allows their blood to heal wounds, save lives and even bring back the recently deceased.
Raised by her aunt after her parents' deaths, Allie knows staying vigilant means staying alive. She's trained her whole life to protect herself by any means necessary, from self defense classes to extensive weapons training in knives. Now, she’s gone so far as to befriend a homeless boy named Ploy who unknowingly trades a few nights a week on her couch in exchange for being a human tripwire to those hunting her.
But as Allie and Ploy's feelings for each other grow, Allie realizes this time, she'll need more than fighting skills and a sharp blade to beat a villain literally out for blood.
Protecting a girl he shouldn’t love, from a threat he understands too well, Ploy must face his past to save his future in Allie’s world—a world where bringing back the dead can cost you your life.
I’m going to be completely honest. I’ve had Leah Clifford’s A Touch Trilogy sitting unread on my bookshelves for a few months now (totally not because I didn’t want to read them, but that whole free time business…), so this is my first time reading this author’s work. And I’ve gotta say… I loved it!
It took me a while to figure out what Vial Things reminded me of and finally it hit me: Angelfall by Susan Ee. (Okay, but what in the hell does this have to do with this book?)
Both of these novels have a way of trapping you in the world without providing any background. And by “any” I mean you get the bare minimum to get things rolling and then everything comes in its own time. There isn’t a wall of “Once upon a time there was a prophecy” or “I stared in the mirror and noticed my average hair and average body and average eyes.” You get my drift. It was a smooth transition. One minute I was sitting in my room with a drooling dog on my lap, the next I was on the run for being a resurrectionist.
Oh, you know, people with some kickass genetics able to bring people back from the dead (within reason). Now I’ve read about necromancers, I’ve read about gods and other divine beings bringing people back, but this one was new. I can’t call it magic because it’s more science than anything. There’s nothing else supernatural about this book. In terms of genres I find it hard to place (though I’d definitely consider it young adult for starters, in case any of you were wondering).
So we’re given a world where death doesn’t always have to be the end, and it’s done so with some pretty vivid writing. Warning: needles are involved. I actually shuddered reading the first scene involving the pointy creations of evil (let’s just say I don’t do needles). This also happened to be the only time I chose to put the book down and give myself a few minutes.
Too real…just too real.
Goodness, I’ve hardly mentioned the characters. Bad form, I know. There were four stars to Vial Things. The book is broken up between the alternating first-person views of Allie (a resurrectionist) and Ploy (a homeless guy she befriended). Both have more secrets than you can count and a need to trust the other when the situation goes south. Not going to lie, that first plot twist completely threw me. And I’ll give y’all a hint: pay attention to these two, you’re in for a roller coaster of a ride.
Allie is a strong heroine but her vulnerable side comes out quite often. She does what she has to do in order to survive, but also wants to be able to put her trust in people even though it might not be in her best interest. This young woman is someone many readers can relate to, forced to juggle her personal feelings with what she’s “supposed” to do. Ploy is similar in that he takes care of himself and of Allie when the need arises, willing to question what he’s doing when given another choice. The fact that he didn’t jump to one side or the other, that indecisiveness, made me want to smack him but at the same time I understood. Clifford cast the idea of being between a rock and a hard place perfectly with this guy.
Up until this point I’ve tried to contain the worst of my raving about this book but in all seriousness, this book is fantastic. I’ll be moving Leah Clifford’s older series up on my TBR effective immediately. This is going on my recommendations list for the September newsletter (a little late for August unfortunately). In short, the perfect way to spend the evening.
You’re still reading this? You should be pre-ordering this book already.