Many kids have been in Nate's shoes. He and his friends are the representative teens who are misunderstood, who get pushed aside and bullied and who have personal issues at home. They live for their books and support each other. There is drama surrounding each one of them and their problems are an integral part of the story, helping the reader really connect to each boy and empathize with what they are dealing with. I found myself routing for them throughout the entire story.
The story is fast paced and easily read in one sitting. Part of me wished it were a bit longer and I would have liked to see more of Danny's sister. The book reminded me quite a bit of the movie Fright Night and the basement scenes with the coffin and Marie gave a definite nod to some older Dracula movies as well. The story had some very dark parts to it and the fear the boys felt was almost palpable. As you read, there seem to be three tiers to the story. The bottom tier is the boys and their personal dramas, the middle tier is the vampire story and their fight to save Marie, and the upper tier is a bigger story, the story that hasn't really had a chance to start yet. The reader is given small clues such as a police officer's strange phone call, lights in the sky, an inkling of a larger part of the spell that the boys released. This upper tier however, will be left for the next installment of the story. It will be interesting to see these boys again and how they deal with the new threat.
This is the first book in a trilogy. If you enjoy YA supernatural stories and don't mind some teen angst thrown into it, this is an engaging read.