Life changed forever when a new kind of vampire ravaged the Southwest. Now Lily and her twin sister Mel live on a Farm where they’re supposedly safe from the Ticks, but Lily suspects the fences are really to prevent the teenage occupants from leaving. With their eighteenth birthday drawing close, Lily doesn’t want to stick around to find out if her suspicions are correct—that she and Mel will end up as food for the Ticks.
Escaping the Farm will be hard enough, but the fact that Mel is autistic makes it even harder. Then Carter suddenly shows up, and Lily has to rethink her plan. Carter is determined to help, but Lily isn’t sure she can trust him because she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment when it comes to Carter. She hasn’t seen him for more than two years—since before the Ticks changed everything—but the crush she had on him back then hasn’t completely worked its way out of her system.
Carter has been on the outside recently, and Lily finally realizes that she and Mel will need his help not only to escape the Farm but to survive on the other side of the fence. She’ll have to trust him if she wants to keep Mel safe from the Ticks.
Emily McKay does an excellent job of blending suspense and emotion in The Farm. The story begins with a quiet tension that continues to build as Lily faces one complication after another, but McKay’s sense of humor comes through, providing moments of levity that keep the tension from overwhelming readers.
Most of the story is told from Lily’s point of view, but we’re also given glimpses of Mel’s thoughts. Life has music and rhythm that Mel can hear, and it allows her to see the world in a way Lily can’t. Scenes from Carter’s point of view keep us guessing, wondering if Lily will be able to forgive him when she learns the truth.
Lily’s determination and her devotion to Mel are inspiring. Her fear and self-doubt are agonizingly real, and her longing for Carter is bittersweet. She’s a beautifully flawed character who learns that sometimes being vulnerable is what makes you stronger. The Farm provides a fresh twist on the vampire theme, but if you’re like me, you’ll get so wrapped up in Lily’s story that you’ll forget about the vampires until she’s face-to-face with them.
Book two—The Lair—is scheduled for release in November 2013.