Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

Blood Feud
by Alyxandra Harvey

Summary: The second adventure in the Drake Chronicles

Teen vampire action and heart-pounding romance continue as the Drake family faces a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge.

It has been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who turned her into a vampire and left her buried for two hundred years. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks . . .
(Please note, the US covers are different from the UK covers)

I absolutely loved the first book in the series, My Love Lies Bleeding (read: Hearts at Stake, if you’re in the US), but this book wasn’t really in the same league as the first one… don’t get me wrong, I still really liked it (and loved aspects of it) and I still recommend it, it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.

I blame a lot of that on Isabeau; I didn’t really get attached to her character and the flashbacks from her past often bored me, I’d find myself putting down the book and avoiding reading it for hours or even days just to put off reading the flashbacks. Although they were maybe necessary, they were still a bit of a drag and really slowed down the pace of the book for me.

I did like her character, she was admirably tough but at the same time she was adorably vulnerable and she had quite a few unintentional funny moments. Her interactions with Logan were awesome and her thoughts when she was around him were always interesting - it was like seeing her go from bad ass to a typical girl like the flip of a switch, it was really sweet. I loved her dog too and the way she had a connection to dogs, it was an interesting little personality trait that showed her softer side.

Logan was really great, he was sweet and made me laugh and I adored the fact we still got to see interactions with his family because that was one of the things I loved about the first book; the Drake family as a whole. It was really interesting seeing Lucy through the eyes of a Drake brother who sees her as a sibling (Lucy was also just as awesome in this book as she was in the first, she made me laugh and her and Nicholas were cute. I loved that we got to see them as a couple in this book, even if it was through someone else’s eyes).

The romance in the book was good. It felt a little predictable though, not just because I knew what characters would end up together from the summary but because there’s something mentioned in the early chapters of the book by Isabeau that just made it painfully obvious and it was almost irritating that she mentioned that and yet seemed almost oblivious to something that was pretty much staring her in the face, something she should’ve expected. Because of that predictability, I didn’t really find myself desperately turning the pages to see if they’d end up together because I never doubted that they would.

Sorry, this review probably seems mostly negative but I honestly did really like the book, it’s just harder to pinpoint and talk about the things that made me like it than it is to figure out what I didn’t like about it. It still had all the charm the first book had--the romance, the likeable characters, the interesting plot and mythology--it was just to a lesser extent than in the first.

For me, the book got better and better the further into it I got. It wasn’t one of those books that had me hooked from the start, it was one of the ones where I had to push through the start with mild interest to get to the bits that really drew me into the story.

I think perhaps the biggest problem with the book is that I read this book before the first one. I know, we’re supposed to read them in that order… but while writing this review and while I was reading the book, I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the two. It’s like; Logan is a great character but not as great as Nicholas was in the first book and Isabeau was a good female protagonist but I prefer Solange and Lucy to her, the romance was good but not as good as the first and because of that, I’d find myself craving more of the characters from the first book instead of wanting to see more of Logan and Isabeau’s story.

If I could separate the stories in my mind and judge them completely separately then I actually think I would’ve liked Blood Feud more, it’s just the fact the first book set expectations that the second couldn’t live up to (but, please note, that’s just my opinion - my personal preference could be different from yours).

I really recommend the series and I can’t wait for the third book - the first and second have such different styles (from the characters to the plot to how the romance was set up), it’ll be really interesting to see what Alyxandra Harvey does next.

Just to give you an indicator of how much I liked the book:

My Love Lies Bleeding: 5 stars
Blood Feud: 3.5 or 4 stars (leaning more towards 4, because a lot of the negatives are honestly just due to comparisons with the first book)


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