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Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey



Reading level:
Young Adult
272 pages
Walker Books for Young Readers (June 22, 2010)
Interest: Vampires
Buy the Book: Amazon|Indiebound|Barnes & Noble

Love is the best revenge. Between playing nice with the vampire court and keeping his sister safe from wannabe vampire kings, Logan Drake has his hands full. He has no time for complications from the most unlikely of vampires—a girl from a distant clan with scars on her arms and a haunted look in her eye.

Isabeau St.Croix is a warrior with a purpose: to kill the man who turned her into a vampire and left her buried for 200 years. To her, Logan is a distraction. A charming, caring, very good-looking distraction…

But some ties are too strong to be severed and some connections are too important to ignore. In their journey from the Drake homestead, to the caves of Isabeau tribe, and into the jaws of the enemy, Logan and Isabeau face a choice: their love, or an ancient blood feud.

“His silvery eyes glinted like animal eyes, like a fox in a hen house.”

“If this were a gothic novel,” he drawled. “There would be ghosts and vampires, and you would be afraid.”

She thought of the books she read late at night in the library, sensationalist novels like Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho and Burger’s Lenore, all fraught with villains and undead creatures who roamed the nights with insatiable appetites.

“Don’t be silly,” she laughed. “I don’t believe in vampires.” – page 7 ARC version

BLOOD FEUD, the second installment in the Drake Chronicles, reunites us with the characters from its predecessor HEARTS AT STAKE. While HEARTS AT STAKE took off at a break-neck pace for me--causing me to devour it in one sitting, BLOOD FEUD didn’t quite capture my interest in that exact same way. For one thing, I found the romance between Logan and Isabeau a little lackluster. While great attention was given to Isabeau's character, I felt like Logan’s was left a little under-developed. The only thing I really knew about him was that he liked wearing old-fashioned pirate shirts. Although my favorite characters from the first book made appearances in BLOOD FEUD, they were sporadic at best. It was hard to see them pushed to the sidelines and I found myself really missing their entertaining personalities.

Isabeau St. Croix, however, was a fascinating addition to this series. Alyxandra Harvey really did a great job bringing her character to life with well-written, heart-breaking flashbacks of Isabeau’s life during the French Revolution. I respected and admired Isabeau. She was a warrior, vampire and classy woman all rolled into one. Magic and mystery practically oozed out of her pores. The flashbacks of her life prior to becoming a vampire were the most vivid chapters of BLOOD FEUD and I found myself looking forward to when the next one would be revealed. I also enjoyed the elements of ancient magic blended into the narrative, especially concerning the Cwn Mamau vampires--their connection with animal companions like Charlemagne, mystical elements of their training and their vampire politics

Overall, I thought BLOOD FEUD maintained a well-written plot line with great action and that same sense of snarky humor Harvey exhibited with HEARTS AT STAKE.

The next book in this series is OUT FOR BLOOD, releasing in November 2010. It will be told from the point of a view of a Helios-Ra vampire hunting agent; something which promises a fresh spin to the series and some bold, exciting new conflict!

Excerpt Logan| Excerpt Isabeau.
Book review of Hearts at Stake.

Other Books in the Drake Chronicles

Alyxandra Harvey is the author of Hearts at Stake, the first book in the Drake Chronicles. She studied creative writing and literature at York University and has had her poetry published in several magazines. When not writing, she is a belly dancer and jewelry-maker. She lives in an old farmhouse with her husband, hawk, and two dogs.

Visit Alyxandra Harvey's Official Website.

1 comment:

Jessilyn said...

I really loved hearts at stake and really can't wait for this one. Thanks for your review it gave me a good glimpse of what I'm in store for. ;)