The Farm #1
Publication date: 14th February 2013
Reviewed by Rebecca
This book intrigued me just for the concept. Yes, it is another vampire book - however, with a difference. Humans are being farmed (hence the title) for food for Ticks, mutant vampires with a constant thirst, and Lily and Mel are two twins stuck on such a farm. It is pretty obvious from the start that the aim of this story is for the two to escape, however they encounter many twists and turns along the way.
Lily remembers back before they came to The Farm. Mel was doing well with her autism - in fact, you'd barely notice she had it! The plan was; once the Ticks arrived, they would go with their Mum to their Uncles where they would be safe. It just didn't end up that way. They now had no idea where there Mum was, what had happened to their Uncle and they were locked up as blood banks for the vampires.
The first few chapters were great; shifting between Lily's and Mel's POVs. Readers may notice that Mel's chapters are a little disjointed at times; McKay has obviously tried to show Mel's regression (back to when her autism was at its worst) through the medium of words - which sometimes was great and other times left me feeling uncomfortable. I think McKay did quite a good job when it came to trying to put across the inner workings of an autistic mind, however, knowing some autism sufferers as I do, I can't help but think that some of the chapters may leave others feeling a little uncomfortable - or maybe that's just me.
I loved the inclusion of Carter, a bad boy blast from the past for Lily, and once the story had built up, he proved a worthwhile addition. At the beginning though, he was pretty useless as a character. He knew what the girls didn't and was lying to them - yet found the need to tell us this over and over again. The escape proved to be full of suspense - just when you think they're home and dry, they encounter a problem - then the unexpected happens and they're finally on the road.
If I'm honest, I found this story a little confusing at times. Ticks are mutant vampires and we know this from the start, yet a few chapters in there are real vampires and humans collaborating with them. Then there are vampires helping humans they believe to be the abductura bring down other vampires - sometimes the storyline just seemed a little disjointed and jumpy in parts and I would have preferred certain elements to have been explained properly before moving on to something else.
Certain parts left me sobbing, others left me rooting for the characters to overcome their hardships, others led to indifference - however, the ending redeemed the story for me and left me more than a little excited for the sequel, The Lair.
For the most part, this novel was a great read and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. I may have to re read it once more though, just to see if I can get my head around some of the events that occur.
4 out of 5