What Kills Me

Rated 4.51/5 based on 45 reviews
An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. More
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About Wynne Channing

Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist.

She started writing horror/fantasy tales as a girl. She still has the first novel that she wrote when she was 10. It’s (unintentionally) hilarious.

Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite).

She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

Learn more about Wynne Channing

Also in Series: What Kills Me

Reviews of What Kills Me by Wynne Channing

Cheryl01 reviewed on July 8, 2016

If you are looking for a book full of action from the first page, with plenty of humour, a bit of romance and a different slant on vampires, then you will love this book. I was hooked and suffered the one-more-chapter syndrome the entire book. Highly recommended!
(review of free book)
Chene Sterckx reviewed on April 7, 2014

4.5 / 5 stars

The first thing that caught me about this book was the beautiful cover. 'What Kills me' is so easy to get into, and even easier to get sucked in - hook, line and sinker!!

Keywords in a glance: Friendship, loyalty, love, adventure

Characters: 4.5/5
Wynne creates great characters. They are easy to like & connect with. One of the small things I loved in the book, and something I got really excited about was the mention of Johannesburg and vuvuzelas! Yes, I am a South African through and through... What can I say!

Zee (Axelia) - I really liked her from the beginning. I could totally imagine being friends with her. She isn't the overly-martyred type of heroine. She is trying to figure out who she is, what she is and why this happened to her. She worries about losing her identify and her character, since the prophecy warns of some scary stuff. She doesn't become a heroine and just kick butt; you are figuring it out with her in this book. I am really excited to see where Wynne takes Zee in the books to come.

Lucas - Lucas is your typical negative anti-change & new-people type guy. I liked him anyway! Even though he was rude to Zee for most of the book and a bit of a grumpy grouch - I still rooted for him (and Zee). I think Lucas will grow into an even more beautiful character as we get to know him better,

Something I liked about Zee & Lucas is that they were not the insta-love type of couple. They have both been through so much, they didn't like each other when they first met - yet all they have is each other.

Lettie & Samira & Kiman - What great minor characters. I loved all of them to pieces. Wynne does a great job with these smaller characters and they have memorable qualities.

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 4.5/5
The plot in What Kills Me is original, even though it is a vampire novel. Wynne's pacing is great and her writing style is easy to follow with great flow. I could easily read more of her books.

Final Thoughts: I can't wait see where Wynne takes Lucas and Zee in this series.
(review of free book)
Shah Wharton reviewed on Sep. 2, 2013

This is one talented author, with one helluva Y.A paranormal book. I'll be watching miss Channing and can't wait to read her next book. X
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Jordanna East reviewed on Nov. 24, 2012

Like a great many YA novels, the premise was the tried and true, "Young, ordinary person finds out they're a powerful, supernatural being. They resist, just wanting to be normal. They have to suck it up and grow into their powers so they can defeat the bad guy and the world can be right again." But, as always, the story works. The author's descriptive passages are very impressive, without approaching "purple prose." The ending was a bit iffy for me, but I'm hoping it was only to open the story up for the possibility of a sequel. Enjoyable read. Definitely recommend.
(reviewed 65 days after purchase)
Maghon Thomas reviewed on Nov. 10, 2012

So, I normally shy away from Vampire stories. Yeah, I know, WTF is wrong with me! Not loving vampires. Lol BUT I LOVE THE COVER!!! But the schedule was already full, so I was a lil sad to miss it! AND THEN… My lovely ladies from Dark Mind Book Tours sent me a rush email saying a spot had opened last minute-for whatever reason, and I said HELL TO THE YEAH!!! And my quote of this book…

“Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!!!” I mean, I was SOLD when the blurb said a girl would become a vampire and destroy all the vampire race… This is a FANTASTIC twist. It actually follows a mythological/religious way of becoming a vampire. There are no random “turnings”. UNTIL! Until Zee… I LOVE HER NAME!!

Zee’s life becomes absolute chaos upon waking a vampire, which she doesn’t believe she is. And then after a very narrow escape of her newly undead life she meets Lucas… I will say this poor girl holds a lot of guilt. A lot of people are dying around her, and being the good soul she is, feels the burden.

I will say I didn’t fall head over heels over Lucas…. Until the “hot springs” incident, which is well after half of the book starts. I thought he was a major jerk. And then he grew on me. AND NOW I LOVE HIM!!! He’s actually a very well developed and written character

Zee is my favorite kinda heroine. Because she isn’t one. She’s scared, she’s not super-well, at first anyways- she’s actually the good cautious rule following girl who wouldn’t hurt a fly. How can people think she will destroy a whole race. She’s humble, and then all of a sudden she is kick ass, because she has to be to survive!

This story weaved me through a web of action, face paced awesomeness. Way to put something fresh on the vampires! It’s written beautifully and I look forward to more from this author. I’m not sure if this story is going to be part of a series, as it is written like a stand alone, but if it does- HURRY AND GIMME NUMBER 2!!

(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
lely reviewed on Oct. 16, 2012

This might be a bit spoiler-ish for some. Please be one with your Spoiler Sensitivity Level and tread carefully.

I have to admit that I was not digging the first couple of chapters, more specifically prior to Axelia becoming a vampire. First, it felt that those chapters were predictable. We have a foreign student out enjoying Italy when she notices someone watching her. She needs to get home and gets lost on the way when stalker person then befriends her and then gets uber scary. It was just all too familiar. Secondly, Axelia wasn’t someone I liked. She was always trying to be funny and I didn’t find her funny. Needless to say, there were a lot of eye rolls coming from me, eye rolls and disappointment when I really wanted to like this book!

BUT, Wynne Channing came through and with amazing colors, AFTER Axelia became a vampire. It was like flipping a switch.

What I liked:

*Axelia becomes more likeable, less trying to be funny but actually is funny at all the right moments. She comes into her abilities and confidence slowly growing into a very believable heroine.

*Axelia never loses her humanity which made her stand out, special and added to that heroine factor.

*Lucas, Axelia’s mentor, was written extremely well. He is well defined and is a strong character from the beginning.

*The multi-cultural cast!

* The vamps and the prophesy. I found it all to be very unique and enjoyed its complexity.

*The lack of romance! I LOVED that romance was not really a focus! This book has a lot going on and busting at the seams with action and it didn’t need the complication of a romance full of angst. Nice balance…Enough said.

* Most of all I loved the feeling that I was watching a movie. It was like Matrix finds the Underworld. It was pretty kick ass. Everything that needed to be seen in your mind's eye was clearly seen. Every scene transitioned nicely and every action scene executed just as nicely.

*Fast paced!

*THE ENDING! I thought the ending was absolutely awesome and I think it was played brilliantly. The more I thought about that ending the more I felt it wasn't as black and white as it appeared but instead walked away with a deeper message.

I’m really glad What Kills Me turned around when it did and that in the end it truly was a great reading experience. I jumped online immediately after finishing in hopes that I could find information on a follow up installment. I didn't find any but hope that there will be another book. This world is one that can easily be explored further in a few more books. In fact, I’d be thoroughly disappointed if there is not a follow up to this read because there are a few ends that need to be cauterized.

Peeps, this book is available RIGHT NOW for .99 at Amazon and Smashwords. Take a chance on this one!

A finished copy was provided by the author via the Goodreads Making Connections Group.
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)
sherry fundin reviewed on Oct. 8, 2012

Her description in her bio is appropriate: "Well written by Wynne Channing."

I was walking back to Sofia`s from the bakery and saw a man in the square. He seemed to be eying me, but I was late and hurried on. Somehow I got lost and when I turned around, he was there. I explained what happened, described Sofia's street and he took me there. I joked along the way, but he didn't seem to get it. I do have a sarcastic wit. To repay him, I told him I would buy him a gelato and we agreed to meet at the pizzeria later. His name was Paolo.

I had come to Italy to go to the university and study art. I was living with my host, Sofia, and because I was so late, she instituted a 9:00 pm curfew and I was to meet Paolo at 9:15. Now what? I came up with the idea to leave a message for him at the pizzeria and meet him there at 3:30 Monday afternoon.

That night, as I lay in bed, I heard my name. I went to the window, looked out and Paolo was there. He talked me into climbing out the window and trespassing into the church. We stood by the collection box and he whispered in my ear, "I'm going to kill you."

He turned toward the altar and I ran into the office. I saw a door, so I ran through it and down the stairs. The room was lit by candles that ringed a hole in the floor. Paolo kept backing me toward the hole, until someone yelled stop. I lost my balance and fell into the hole. It was so dark and I felt I was drowning. How I climbed out, I don't know.

Uther explained, I was in his quarters in the church. He was the guardian of the sanctum. His niece, Lettie came into the room and asked me if I felt different. Why would I feel different? When I told Uther I had to go home, he said I couldn't ever go home. He went on to explain that when I fell into the well, I had died. He said they were dead too. It was true. I had no pulse, no heartbeat. We were vampires.

When I saw myself in the mirror, my eyes were lit up as if on fire. Uther and Lettie told me I was a miracle. Never before had someone become a vampire without drinking someone's blood. The well I fell into was full of vampire blood.

I didn't think it could get any worse, until the General came. He called me an abomination and was taking me to the Empress. I had been thrown in the back of the truck, alone. I felt no pain and as I licked my lips I tasted blood. Soon I was cleaning blood from my body, lapping it up like a cat.

We arrived at the castle. I was chained and had a bag thrown over my head. I was made to kneel. When the bag was removed I saw hundreds of men and women surrounding me. Paolo was brought in. The Empress called him Transporter. She condemned us both to death.

I didn't know where we were, but I tried to find a way to escape. As the sun moved around the room, I saw Paolo burn and turn to dust. Why didn't I burn in the sun like Paolo? I amazed myself by climbing out of the tower. As I looked around, I saw nothing but rocks and water.

When I dove and began swimming, I realized I didn't need to breathe. Apparently there were some benefits to being a vampire. I woke up and found I had washed up on shore, so I began walking. As I walked, I talked to myself. It was something I did all the time.

I was startled when someone answered me. I thought I was alone. He introduced himself as Noel and said he could remove my chains. He took me home and introduced me to the boys, Lucas and Jerome. I didn't want to, but felt I had to tell them my story.

They said they made weapons for the Aramatta, the Monarchy's guards. They told me the guards would come here, looking for me. Noel said they would take care of me and meant it. We prepared to leave, but had waited too long.

They beheaded Jerome in seconds. Noel fought hard but was outnumbered. I saw the jar of fuel by the sink, rolled it across the floor and threw the lantern. I grabbed Lucas and ran out the door, as the cabin went up in flames.

We decided to hide for the day, then go to see Uther. He had to tell us what was going on, why they wanted me so bad. When we arrived at the church, Lettie told us Uther had gone to Romania to consult the Sacriva, the vampire scripture. It had foretold of her arrival.

She proceeded to tell them about the Ancients, and the prediction. There were seven Ancients with super strength and great powers. They could walk in the sun, read your mind and predict the future. When two Ancients fought and one was killed, any vampires created by the Ancients died, the entire blood line. The Monarchy imprisoned the ancients, dug a well and put all their blood in the well. It was called the Crucivium.

The prophesy became the Sacriva. It says, when the natural world is threatened by the vampire empire, a human girl will be born, a vampire by unholy means. She will restore order.

The Monarchy is afraid of me. They will hunt me down and kill me. I told Lucas to leave, but he put his hand out and I took it.


The cover is gorgeous and the title led me to learn more about the book.

When the General fought with Lucas, it made me picture Twilight, when Edward fought to save Bella in the church. I could picture them both, flying through the air and bouncing off the walls.

Wynne Channing created Axelia with a sense of humor and a sarcastic wit. She would need it. The trials and tribulations she goes through to save her and Lucas, create a strong character. I was running and climbing with her, as I rooted for her and hoped she'd get what she needs and wants.

The story was unique and creative. Very different from the vampire novels I have read. It captured me from the beginning and I eagerly ate it up. The action was non-stop, keeping me reading to find out what would happen next.

I loved the ending and it left me wanting more, but you will have to read the book to find out for yourself. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)
Jeann W reviewed on Oct. 5, 2012

I really enjoyed What Kills Me, it's just so refreshing and fun to read! With the vampire genre being overdone so many times, the author still managed to breathe some life into the book to make it unique.

Axelia is just a normal girl living abroad when she bumps into a handsome man named Paolo. Looking for a bit of adventure, she decides to meet him for a late night date and unexpectedly gets turned into a vampire. But not just any vampire, it turns out she's the destined one in a prophecy that will mean the death of the vampire race.

What I really liked about this book, was the hilarious, spunky and charming heroine. She's a girl I'd like to be good friends with just from the funny things she says, especially in the midst of a serious situation. She's obviously thrust into a situation that is crazy and she just makes the best of it, while discovering her super strength in the mean time.

Lucas on the other hand, is not your typical prince charming. He pushes and prods the heroine with incessant teasing and snobbery, until she picks up that he might have feelings for her. I didn't much enjoy the typical romance that occurs afterwards but I suppose a bit of love creates meaning for them.

The book wraps the vampire mythology nicely with Vee's discovery of it. Unlike a lot of other urban fantasy books, there isn't a lot of info dumping to jar the story. It's quite fast-paced and hard to put down. I hope there's going to be a sequel!

This is a fun, enjoyable and action-packed read that I would recommend to others. I received a review copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review, thanks for this opportunity!
(reviewed 54 days after purchase)
Marisa reviewed on Oct. 1, 2012

I’d like to thank the author for giving me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Let me start off by saying this wasn’t bad. I actually rather liked it, but at the end of the day it didn’t draw me in or instill in me the need to continue reading. I could put it down and go a whole day without picking it up again. Some might take that as a sign that the story was boring, but it wasn’t. It was actually quite fast paced and although it wasn’t wildly intricate, it was entertaining and enjoyable. In fact, the plot was what I liked best about the book.

The characters were also decent, but I failed to connect or care about them. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them either. Zee also came off rather naive to me at times. For instance, Paulo, a complete stranger, asks her to come out in the middle of the night with him. I understand that she wanted to have an adventure, but the only reason she hesitated was because of the curfew enforced by the people she was staying with. It never crossed her mind that it might not be a good idea to wander the streets at night with a person she’s talked to for roughly five minutes at best. Or that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go someplace secluded with them. Maybe these are the thoughts that just instantly come to my mind because I was raised by a paranoid, overprotective mother, but... I don’t know. It would have been nice if she’d at least considered those aspects at some point rather than blindly trusting Paulo. Also, there’s the bit where she’s taken in by Noel and his family. She’s erring on the side of caution by deciding not to tell them about her back story...then goes and picks flowers and cleans the house while the sun is out. To me that was a rather careless move because of course it could only lead to her cover being blown. This isn’t to say Zee grained on my nerves, but, as I stated, it made her come off as naive and it’s not one of my favorite personality traits, though admittedly I’m naive about certain things myself.

In the end, this book is pretty good. It has a fairly solid plot and okay characters that I happened not to connect with, but others might. I was admittedly distracted while reading this book, so in the future I might attempt another go at it and change my opinion then.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)
llyramoon reviewed on Sep. 24, 2012

I absolutely loved this book! I cannot wait for book #2! :) This was one of the best YA vampire books I've read in a long time. Lots of action, a little romance and a mostly unique storyline. Very well written- I will definitely read this series.

Fully recommend for anyone who likes urban supernatural fiction- regardless if its YA or not.

I received this book via the Librarything.com member giveaway.
(reviewed 62 days after purchase)
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