Book Review: The Lair (The Farm #2) by Emily McKay

16250637Title: The Lair (The Farm #2)

Author: Emily McKay

Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Dystopian, Paranormal, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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.

After reviewing The Farm, I thought it was time to dive into the sequel, The Lair. My one main issue with the first book in the series was Carter, the main love interest. I was hoping there’d be less chapters in the sequel told from Carter’s POV, and that the book would focus more on Lily and Mel, the two protagonists I did like. Unfortunately, Carter plays an even larger part here.

I want to know how this series ends, because seriously, the plot is engaging, the characters – minus Carter – are enjoyable, and this book ends on a cliffhanger, and I want to know what happens next. But Carter makes it really hard for me. In the first book, I could forgive some of his flaws. But here…he turns from a slightly-controlling person into a self-righteous, controlling alpha male (or at least, he acts like an alpha) who tries to control Lily’s every move. When Lily gets hurt, he starts acting like a raving maniac. I understand freaking out because someone you love is in danger, I do, but he’s just over the top. Lily would be so much better off without him. If he acts this controlling so soon in their relationship, that only predicts trouble for the future.

Also, I’m not sure what it is with YA literature, and with controlling, sometimes even abusive boyfriends. There’s nothing even remotely fun about having a person around who controls your every move. So why do these heroines seem to find that endaring?

I found Lily and Carter’s story rather boring here. We find out a bit more about the Ticks, about who is behind all this, and life in camp. Those are the interesting tidbits. There’s a few tick attacks, some action moments, but all in all, the book falls for the same trap a thousand other books have fallen into before: the love trap. Suddenly the Lily/Carter romance is more important than how the world has gone to hell, and than surviving in a world full of Ticks. Right.

Mel and Sebastian now, I found their story a lot more intriguing. I was afraid Mel would become a dull, run-down-the-mill character now she lost her autism thanks to changing into a vampire, but luckily that wasn’t the case. Vampires here are pretty terrifying, and that’s just about the best part about them. Sebastian was still awesome because I had trouble figuring out his endgame, which made him about ten times as intriguing as the rest of the characters.

I’m going to read the third book for completion’s sake, and because I want to read more about Mel, Sebastian, and maybe even Lily. Carter is a douche, and I wouldn’t mind if he got killed off in a random Tick attack.

Writing was okay, as usual, but there’s a lot of switching between first and third person POV, and present and past tense. Overall, the book didn’t flow that well.

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