Review: The Farm

The Farm
The Farm by Emily McKay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

The Farm actually reminded me a lot of Blood of Eden – at least with regards to the world-building. The USA is overrun with mutated vampire-like creatures called Ticks and teens are being herded into quarantine zones called ‘Farms’ where they are protected as livestock to supply for the Ticks. It has been orchestrated by a vampire who wanted to change the world. Lily and her twin, Mel are stuck at one such farm and when they turn 18, that is when their future will become uncertain. Lily wants to escape before they become victims to the Ticks but she doesn’t count on an old crush coming into the Farm. Carter knew her two years back and although they weren’t the best of friends, he is caring about her and helpful. Even though her brain says to not trust anyone, she can’t help but fall back into the old feelings. Carter, however, has a reason for being here and that reason is Lily, which makes things quite complicated since she has Mel foremost on her mind. Add to it two other ‘friends’ from the farm and a vampire ally Sebastian, they all set out to break out from the Farm and make it to a safe place. The path is filled with perils including the Ticks that seem to be drawn to them and the Dean of the Farm who realizes the value of Lily and Mel.

Plot-wise, this book is a roller-coaster. It is thrilling, exciting and interesting to read. The quips taken at other vampire stories and Lily’s dry humor keep things light. She is a likeable heroine – smart, cunning, loyal to a fault and morally pointed to her autistic sister. The POV is mainly focused on Lily but also shifts to Mel and Carter at times. Mel’s POV usually just hints at darker undertones of the plot and the insinuation that Mel was actually the one with the real insight. Carter is a great guy, just not so great with explanations. 😀 His and Lily’s scenes are high on the sexual tension and the chemistry is off the charts. It wouldn’t seem like a high stakes story like this would have much room for romance but it forms a crucial part of the story. Sebastian is another interesting character that I really wish had at least one POV chapter. Finally, the other two characters – Joe and McKenna – well, the story didn’t do them much justice in terms of resolution.

While I loved the book, I found some plot holes and inconsistencies that kept nagging at me. First of all, the system of the Farms isn’t fully explained. How exactly did they feed the Ticks? Did they just toss out blood bags they filled up from the kids out and hoped they stayed away? Or was the blood harvested for the actual vampires? Secondly, why have pregnant girls? If progesterone meant that they couldn’t use the blood, why let the girls get pregnant in the first place by stopping all means of birth control? What exactly did they want with the kids? While these questions could probably be answered in the subsequent books, one thing that nagged me was how did the Dean Tick-proof the church in such a short time? The bodies they found strewn were a few days rotting so where exactly had he nagged rotting corpses on such a short notice? See, these were the things that kind of put a damper into the experience of such a good book.

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Farm

  1. I know! I thought of Blood of Eden too when I was done with this book. Good thing too since the third and last book of the Blood of Eden is coming out soon 🙂 I need another good replacement vampire series. Why are there so few of them out there?

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