Simply put, this is a vampire novel. A young boy who shows repressed homicidal tendencies befriends a vampire named Eli, a friendship that forces his whole world to change. I'm sure everyone knows that by now, but unlike so many vampire novels today, there's nothing sparkly or darkly seductive about this world. It's evil, twisted, and ugly.
The ugliness of it all is what made this compelling. This is a fairly fast-paced read despite the page count, crafted so well. The story makes you want to keep turning as you read about horror after horror, defeat after defeat. And yes, in some of this, you do feel a sense of triumph when bad things happened to the characters who "deserve" it in this book.
I wanted to say that the characters in this novel have few redeeming qualities, but while some of these characters are truly disgusting human beings, most of them are just people struggling against poverty, alcholism, and other real world problems. Their lives become so entwined with each other because of Eli. You do managed to feel some sympathy toward some
of the characters, but that doesn't take away from the ugliness of this story.
Trigger warning on this one.