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Animal by Nikki Rae

AnimalAnimal by Nikki Rae

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*An ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for my honest review.*

Ummm...yea. I had a hard time coming up with a review for this book. Why? I'm emotionally drained. A book hangover if you will. Now while it took a lot out of me, I must say that there's a giddy side of me that is just gushing with excitement because I've read the Sunshine series and this book is the pre cursor to Sophie's story. We see how it all began. We see the WHY but it isn't justified.

This story is one of survival. Ava, our main character, has the knowledge that there are indeed vampires living among her. Her parents taught her how to block them out of her head. She's so on guard that she moves from place to place. She has an anxiety disorder. Which really made me feel like taking a Xanax myself. It's not that it was reading how an anxiety attack starts, it was what she went through that had my heart pounding, me breathless, and of course I was scared. Michael is a sadistic, cruel monster. He has a twisted way of looking at love. He's followed Ava since she was a little girl, when he first came in contact with her. He always came up empty because he was always a step behind until he finds her in NY. I hate Michael. I don't care about why he is the way he is. Yes, his parents were wrong in what they did. Yes he got his revenge on them but why couldn't that be enough? Maybe because he's a vampire and certain instincts are more fierce than when you're human? Nope. Not buying it. Vampire or not, you have a choice. To do good or do evil. Obviously, he chose evil. And every human he has come into contact with has met an unfortunate end. All except Ava. But she doesn't escape so easily. Not without a daily reminder that she's been infected with his blood. You see what she goes through in the Sunshine books. It was not pretty. If anything it's painful & horrifying.
I want to talk about two characters I left out. One, Evan. I first met him in the Sunshine series and I honestly thought he was a creep. However, I no longer feel that way. Yes, he helped Michael in taking Ava, but he kept telling her they were going to get away from Michael. We learn of Evan's story with his sister Katya. Michael has Evan caught by blood. So of course he has to do what Michael says or else.
It turned out there were far worse things than death.
And two, Myles. If I was in love with Myles when I read Sunshine then after reading this story I love him even more. Myles is the epitome of a good vampire. Just the total opposite of Michael. Myles treasures life. Myles is one of my favorite vampires, EVER!! He knows what Michael is capable of and that's why he does what he does.
I am a huge fan of Nikki Rae & her writing. It is raw, unique, horrifying, and beautiful. I was enthralled and enticed into Ava's story. So much so I stayed up into the early morning to see how it ended. Afterwards, it makes you want to go read the Sunshine series all over again!! All I have left to say is, "Well done, Nikki Rae."

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