Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review of The Survivors by Amanda Havard

The Survivors

  In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.
The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.
  On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all...


The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie's life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you'll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself. 
And it is only the beginning. ~From GoodReads

  At first glance, The Survivors seems like a simple(-ish) story about a girl who is a descended from a line of witches dating back to the Salem Witch Trials. And for the first third of the book, it is. But once you really delve into the book. It becomes so much more. I love when a book takes me by surprise. The Survivors is that book.
  The Survivors begins with a prologue set in 1692, the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Twenty-six children were exiled, taken out West in the dead of winter, and left for dead. But, fourteen of those children didn't die, they survived. They developed extraordinary powers and all stopped aging. They had children who also had those traits. Sadie, the main character is one of those children. She was born in the 1860s and stopped aging around the age of twenty-one. Sadie was never content wrapped in the isolation of the world the Survivors created. She wanted to know what exactly they were. The answers the Elders of her people gave were never enough. So, she snuck away. Determined to live in the outside world. 
  At first, I had a hard time connecting with Sadie. She views humanity through an "outside looking in" lens.  She seemed almost robotic, and she sometimes annoyed me. I mean, she's beautiful, extremely wealthy, and will be "forever 21". What's not to like, right?  Sadie is envious of the one thing humans have that she does not, mortality. Sadie spends her life on a world-wide mission. Traveling, trying to discover exactly what she is and how she and those like her can be destroyed. She is on a virtual suicide-mission. She wants to be able to stop another Survivor if they become evil, but the reason she seems hell-bent on killing herself never became crystal clear to me.
  Where the book becomes very interesting to me is when Sadie meets a man who appears to be like her. Then she meets his family of what appears to be more Survivors. One member of this family, Everett, shares an immediate connection with Sadie. They quickly discover that what they have is beyond a connection. They have a destiny together. When she takes this new family to meet hers, chaos ensues. Unable to get any real answers from Everett and his family and her own family of Survivors, Sadie is set off on a mission to discover the true source of the immortals. She encounters old-world lore regarding vampires, witches and shape-shifters.
  I have to say that Sadie's mission of discovery and the mystery surrounding it was my favorite part of the book. It seems the author, Amanda Havard, must have done an immense amount of research into European supernatural lore. The in-depth historical detail is fascinating. The mystery of what the Survivors truly are was gripping. The mystery of what Everett and his family are was jaw-dropping. Every time I thought I had the story figured out, everything changed and I was left scratching my head in wonder. The Survivors had me bound, right up until the very end. I can not wait to read the next book, The Survivors: Point of Origin,  due out in 2012.

* I LOVE great quotes. I always write them down when I find a great one. This is my favorite quote from The Survivors:
" 'Sadie, you're a strange girl, so I say this with love,' he said, his voice sincere. 'I need you to love me more than death,' he whispered."

The Survivors (The Survivors Series #1)
Paperback, 283 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Chafie Press, LLC (first published March 28th 2011)


  1. I love reading about the Salem Witch Trials, I definitely am going to add this book to me TBR pile, it sounds so interesting!

  2. Thanks for commenting! It was a great book. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Thanks for doing this review. This is a book I would've skipped (no thanks for historical fiction) if you hadn't mentioned Sadie meeting the additional family and the twists that come from that. Now I'll have to read the book!

  4. Well, I'm so happy you read my review! I hope you read it soon, it's a great book!


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