Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review - Blood Rights (House of Commare Series) by Kristen Painter

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter was an interesting, yet frustrating read.  The world building and mythology behind the book were wonderful.  The invention of the blood slaves bought and owned by Vampires was intriguing.  I enjoyed the fact that the blood slaves were not mere donors who had no more skill then to be good in bed.  Painter did a great job at making them formidable fighters and quite intelligent as well.

I enjoyed the main male character Mal.  He was every part the brooding, lonely male Vampire in need of some companionship and understanding.  Outcast from his society because of his previous crimes, I found it an interesting twist that he is living on a ship in port, as opposed to a fallen into ruin house.  I also liked that he was not rich as King Midas.  Those two elements brought a very updated feeling to the story.  His desire for Chrysabelle and his torture for not feeling he deserved her, was genuine.  His not wanting to get involved as a means of self preservation, also genuine.  All in all, I like Mal.  He is the one I cared most about and wanted to see a happy ending for.

Chrysabelle is a decent female, though confusing at times by her words and behavior.  Torn between moving forward and wanting to go back, I found it hard to decide if I liked her or not.  At times she wants Mal to feed from her, and at others she says he sees he as just food.  She refuses to let go of her traditions, though she clearly wants to become her own person.  That worked in the first book.  It worked a bit in the second book.  But by the third book, all I could think was, "Come on now, move on!"

The villain Tatiana I thought was a good yet predictable character.  You don't find out till the end who she really is, but you see it coming hundreds of pages earlier.  She is selfish and self serving.  Goes through men like clothing, and thinks of no one but herself.  Sounds like most stereotypical Vampire women.

I must say.  I read the first three books in the series, thinking they were the only three books in the series.  They got a bit strange in the last two, with the love triangle not working well , in my opinion.  I read all three books, through the stripping off of Chryabelle's sacred symbols that make her blood pure, to her finding a way to get them put back on.  Through a ghost who is dead, but not dead when she wants to have sex with her shifter boyfriend.  A villain who loses but then becomes more powerful.  And backwater witches who manage to do an amazing magical feat, which they are truly not powerful enough to do, only so that I could see Chrysabelle and Mal do more than a little light kiss once and again.  To no avail.

I do understand wanting to write a complex relationship and draw out the "will they, won't they" factor as long as possible, to build the moment.  However, this book was listed in the Romance section of Amazon.  And in my opinion, it falls very flat on it's face.  There is little to no romance after the first book. 

So, my opinion is, the world building is great.  The curses and the abilities of the different Vampire houses were very cool and well thought out.  The first book was good enough to make me read more, but the books go down hill from there.  If you are looking for a romance, look somewhere else.  If you are looking for a new take on things, feel free to read this series.  For me, I won't be buying the fourth novel in the series, because frankly, I no longer care.

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