Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover, 283 pages
March 29, 2011, Chafie Press

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.

Source: Chafie Press & Amanda Havard (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

I found Sadie likable. She was trying to fit in among humans after more than a century of being protected and hidden behind the gates of her family’s secret city in Montana. After being isolated for so many years, she was right in the middle of humanity, being able to sense their feelings and observe their behavior firsthand. I loved her narration. Despite being immortal, she did not boast about it. Unlike most heroines, she was aware of her charm and her beauty but she was still humble. I liked her protectiveness of Corrina, her first human friend. I was fond of supernatural creatures with human emotions and human thoughts like Sadie.

Sadie’s family, the Survivors, was one of a kind. Their elders, the first Survivors who were exiled from Salem, had strong and somewhat strange ideas of what a family should be. Their purpose was deeply rooted in God but at the same time they overlook some of the teachings in the Bible. I have never encountered supernatural creatures that practice this. It was one of the things that really intrigued me. Throughout the years, they have believed that they were the only ones who were gifted with immortality and powers.

I loved the twists in the mythology! Havard has a very unique take on the paranormal. The eretica from Russia were startlingly hideous and creepy. The nosferatu shape shifters reminded me of a pack of werewolves. They were quite feral but deep inside, they were humans. It was good that there was a blend of Russian and Romanian mythologies with that of the usual mythologies of the Salem Witches and vampires.

While Sadie spent her days learning about humanity and fitting in, she travelled all over the world to look for ways to find her way to rest, to death. Even though she was searching for an end, she never failed to enjoy life to the fullest. She lived in style. Her too-long life has proven to be more than enough. Without her desire to stay with her family, she had no more reason to stay alive, to prolong her life. From time to time, there would be a memoir from Sadie’s perspective. These showed a younger Sadie who was brimming with questions and thoughts.

I found the romance to be perfectly sweet with a hint of hesitation. It was quite clean but there were passionate moments too. It was done well, not too cliché and not too ordinary. It was just right. Cole Hardwick was the gorgeous perfect gentleman that Sadie met in Corrina’s wedding. But there were too many limitations and complications with a human, unlike with Everett Winters. He was immortal too. He reciprocated Sadie’s feelings and he could be with her forever.

The Survivors is a promising debut and an incredibly unique paranormal romance. Unputdownable, engaging, realistic and dark, I promise this is unlike any other Salem-Witch-Trials-inspired-book. I was hooked right from the start. I recommend this to fans of paranormal romance and to those who seek novels about witches, shape shifters and vampires!



  1. My friend just ordered this novel so I'm glad to read it's really that good. I'll have to get my hands on a copy of it soon! Thanks for the review!

  2. This novel sounds fantastic. I really enjoy anything to do with the Salem witches.

  3. This sounds really good! It's on my to-read list!

  4. I really enjoyed The Survivors and I'm glad you did too! I love the new spin Amanda has put on the Salem Witch Trials, shape-shifters, and vampires. It's definitely a refreshing mythology. :-D

  5. I just got this book on my kindle this week, so I am happy to hear it is good! Thanks for the great review. :)

  6. I'm going to get a review copy of this one and your awesome review just makes me want to read it even more! Thanks for sharing! ;)

  7. Fantastic review. I've added this one to my list. Thanks bunches!!

  8. Wow, I so need to read this! I knew it was going to be good from the little tease you gave me on twitter, but now having read your full review, it sounds even more awesome. I love the unique mythology presented, it's so nice to pick up a book and be new to the paranormal element, rather than say, the usual brooding, 'stay away from me, I'm bad for you' but really good at heart vampires, etc.

    Plus any book with Salem Witches has me instantly intrigued! Love your review!