Author: Emily McKay
Publish Date: November 7th, 2013
“In the battle against the vampiric Ticks, humanity was slowly but certainly headed for extinction. For months, twin sisters Lily and Mel had been “quarantined” with thousands of other young people being harvested for their blood—food for the Ticks. Finally escaping with a few friends, the twins are separated—and must continue the fight on their own . . .
After making it to a resistance base camp in Utah, Lily learned to survive at all costs. But when a Tick attack decimates the fighters, Lily and her pregnant friend, McKenna, decide to make the hard trek north to Canada—and safety.
Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the very vampire that turned her. Living without her sister is hard, but dealing with the fact that her autism was cured by the vampire bite is an even bigger challenge.
But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her, save her, and begin to unravel the empire of destruction that the Ticks have built.”
The Lair by Emily McKay picks up right where The Farm leaves off and thrusts you back into Mel's head, whom, if you've read The Farm, you'll know had something huge happen to her in the last few chapters. It's nice to be able to pick up right where we left these characters because their journey through a Tick (half vampire/half zombie-like creatures who crave blood) infested world to battle an evil vampire set on world domination is just getting started.
This time around Mel and Carter are the focus, and Lily, main character of The Farm, has been booted to the third person chapters, just as Carter was in book one. Two first person POV's and one third may seem like an odd set up, but it worked in The Farm and it continues to work in The Lair. The difference between the POV's really helps keep track of which character is speaking, especially towards the end of the novel. I won't spoil anything, but Lily having the third person POV makes a lot of sense at the end.
I'll admit, for a little bit in the first hundred pages or so, switching between Carter and Lily with barely any Mel was a little hard to sit through. Don't get me wrong, I adore Carter and Lily and their storylines had a lot of action in them, but in the beginning of the book all either one talks about is their relationship. For a few pages I was certain this was a sign of second book syndrome, but I kept reading because I wanted to find out about Mel. If there had been a little bit more Mel POV thrown in here and there it might have made it easier to get through that first hundred pages. But, not to worry! McKay gets through the teen angst quickly enough and, once the characters have too much going on to think about their love lives, the story really picks up.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Lair is that it focuses so much on Mel's changing personality. In The Farm, Mel is a sweet and intelligent girl, but is perceived as less than her sister Lily because of her autism. We get to see how her mind works in The Farm, get to see how she communicates through nursery rhymes and hears music in the world around her that other people can't. But in The Lair, Mel's music has been ripped away from her. Slowly, we get to see how her perception of the world around her changes, as well as the way she thinks. Her autism fades, but, what I find so interesting is, she's not happy about it. She misses her rhymes and her music. Most people would assume that being able to be "normal" would be better than what she used to have, but Mel is inspiring because she longs for her old life. She was happy with who she was and Sebastian, her vampire mentor, understands that. He didn't see her as less before, but he needs to get her ready to survive now. And that's what makes Mel's POV so much fun. I love how you can slowly see her personality come out and, when it gets right down to it, how much like Lily she really is. Plus Sebastian is Grrrrrr ;)
Question. And this is a total spoiler if you haven't read the book so CAUTION!!!, but (highlight to read spoiler) does anyone else want Sebastian to totally redeem himself in book three and live happily ever after with Mel because they're just too adorable? Because I do!
I highly recommend The Farm and The Lair to fans of Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series. These books aren't for the squeamish, so be ready for some gore, but Emily McKay delivers more than just a little blood and guts. The Lair might start off angsty, but once the action starts it doesn't let up once.
For more about The Lair check out these sites!