"Vampires. That's what Jill Wentworth called them, but only behind closed doors. Vampire was their old name, the one that had identified them for centuries as bloodsucking creatures of the night. Now that they had come out of hiding and taken over Washington, they wished to be known as 'immortals'. Immortal sounded better. It didn't have that connotation of evil, of Counts from Eastern Europe wearing long cloaks and turning into bats. Vampire was a name for a monster to be hunted down and killed, but immortal was a title one could aspire to. Immortal had a better spin to it, and spin was everything in Washington."
Oh. My. God.
I almost couldn't read any more of the book after that paragraph. I was laughing *way* too hard. I mean...politically correct vampires. Seriously?
PC vampires aside, this story was a lot more of a political espionage thriller than it was paranormal romance, which is what I was sort of expecting. There's very little romance involved at all, actually. The entire plot revolves around the fact that vampires...I'm sorry, "immortals" have taken over Washington, and are farming humans and terrifying everyone into obeying them.
Yes, the setting is a high school dance, and yes, there's a slight romance thing maybe possibly going on between Nicky and Ryan, but the entire reason Nicky is there in the first place is to sabotage the "Coronation", where one girl will get to become a vampire. Excuse me. "Immortal".
Really, I just felt kind of depressed for all of the girls involved. The guys probably have careers lined up once they graduate, many of the richer ones will probably go into politics like their fathers. But for the girls, that was seriously the highlight of their entire life. They'd put YEARS of work into getting the perfect mask, and then place it on a trophy stand for the rest of their life to remind them that that was the best it ever was. It's just kind of pathetic, when you think about it.
The narration is third person omniscient, but switches focus between Nicky and Jill. While the story technically takes place over a few hours, it's stretched out with flash backs and various back stories for just about every single character who gets named. Between the two, I thought Jill's story was stronger. None of the characters really kept my interest, though. Okay. Annika's story was kind of interesting. That was the most emotionally involved I got in the book, though.
I'll admit that some parts of the book had me laughing - and not just the PC thing. I did giggle at Nicky's big entrance to the dance, for instance. I also loved how Kim's big plan to ruin the contest for Nicky was to spill a glass of red wine...on a black dress. Yes, because I'm sure the stain will be so horribly visible. At worst, she'd be slightly sticky, and smell like wine for the rest of the night. *gasp!* THE HORROR!!! (I really don't think Kim is vampire material.)
Most of the book was just an information dump, though.