Friday, April 06, 2012

Review: Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

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Blood Rights
Kristen Painter
Series: House of Comarré, #1
Release date: October 1st, 2011
by Orbit

Goodreads / Purchase

The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely-wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers.

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

*A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review purposes*
With an infinite amount of vampire books on the shelves, Kristen Painter was still able to give us a lore that is original and quite complex. Add in some intriguing characters, fascinating politics, and elaborate rules; we’ve got ourselves a considerably well built paranormal world. I did find the plot itself a bit tedious, though, which in turn gave me time to ponder and eventually figure out the bigger plot twist, but I was kept entertained by the two main characters who are both infuriating and amusing, with highly interesting pasts.

Inside Blood Rights’ future world, we’re not only dealing with vampires, but a blend of supernatural creatures consisting of shifters, faeries, ghosts, and more. We also get introduced to Comarrés – a human/vampire half-blood bred to feed vampire elites. The latter is what our protagonist Chrysabelle is trying to run away from, which is how she meets our delightful second protagonist, Malkolm. Malkolm is cursed, he’s haunted by his past kills which makes him really unpredictable. He can be fine one moment and tormented the next. Hidden under this curse, we can see that deep down he’s truly a sweet guy (well, for a vampire), making it easy to feel for him and his unfortunate situation. Alongside unstable Malkolm, walks Chrysabelle; cool and collected, she can hold her own – mentally and physically – which is exactly what Malkolm needs. But does he want it!?

Filled with mysterious pasts, both of these characters are introduced to us like empty shells, to be filled and understood as we gradually learn the stories of their lives. I loved how this was played out, enlightening us just enough to make us aware they both have incredibly intriguing histories, but still leaving us in the dark, pining for more. Obviously, this means you can expect quite a few plot twists that, even though I was able to predict, are still interesting.

While I really enjoyed our two main characters, this was not the case for Tatiana – the villain of the show. She’s an evil, conniving bitch, but I felt like it got a bit excessive. She is so outrageously bad, so overzealous in her evil plans, that she becomes sort of a cliché; flat with no convincing personality. Whenever we switched to her perspective I was left feeling bored and wanting to move on. Her POVs are short and far between though so it wasn’t a complete turn off. To make up for it, the cast of secondary characters is filled with loyalty, charm, and of course, some romantic elements which range from endearing to heartbreaking.

Being thrown blind into a new world full of unfamiliar terms and rules, I did find it difficult to get into at first. We have to concentrate a lot on learning this world which magnifies the slow moving pace. However, seeing as the world building becomes one of the book’s best aspect, this tough start does pays off. A good beginning to the House of Comarré series, Kristen Painter’s Blood Rights has schemes and vampire lore that urban fantasy fans can assuredly enjoy.

3 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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22 Responses to “Review: Blood Rights by Kristen Painter”

  1. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I have to agree with you, Mal truly is delightful! 🙂 The worldbuilding was a bit complicated for me too, but I figured it out soon enough. What really bothered me, though, is something not everyone can notice (and it happens even more often in later books): all her Italian, or most of it anyway, is incorrect. She said that she has some people looking it over, but they’re not doing her any favors.

    I’m very curious to see what you’ll think of the next book.
    Wonderful review as always, Giselle.

  2. Amy

    It sounds interesting. I love the cover!! The main characters sound really great. I love when you can really enjoy them. It’s too bad that the villain was overly bad. I don’t think this is a series I would get into but it does sound interesting. Great review as always muffin!!

  3. Giselle

    @Maja: Oh really? No I wouldn’t have noticed that I don’t know any Italian but it’s strange I thought you could hire services to ensure things like that!? I’ll be getting into the next books this summer I’m curious too 🙂

    Thanks ladies.

  4. Carina

    This does sound quite intriguing, although the part about the clichéd evil character makes me a bit sad. I just love the bad guys (or in this case girl) that you don’t really know what to feel about. It’s not fun if they’re easy to hate – there need to be at least a few redeemable traits.
    But I like the rest of what you’re telling us, so maybe I’ll need to pick it up nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your review!

    Fictional Distraction

  5. Shellie

    I hadn’t heard of this one. I kinda like the cover though. I haven’t read a vampire book in a long while but I want something fast paced right now. Great review Giselle =)

  6. Stéphanie

    A slow beginning is often the case when an author builds a complicated and original world. I love the premise of the book and, even with it’s tough start, I think I’ll give it a try.

    For some reason, I hate reading the villain’s POV so for me, it’s so not a turn off that the villain’s POVs in this book are short.

    Thanks for introducing me to this series. Sounds good.

  7. Candace

    Ive had this book for awhile but still haven’t read. In adult urban fantasy the first book tends to be the hardest to read. A new world to learn about, often complex characters to get to know and a whole lot of craziness to absorb. So for me 3 stars for the first book is good and quite often I end up loving the series in future books. Now I have an idea what to watch for and hopefully I can look past the less perfect things. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy the rest even more!

  8. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’ve heard good things about this series but haven’t picked it up yet (vamp overload). Still, I think I’m going to have to read it, especially since you say it’s not just vamps but other supes, too. Now, that I like!

  9. Books And Beyond

    I have had this book and its 2 follow ups for quite sometime now.
    Whats funny is this book is now sitting on my desk because I was contemplating on reading it next.
    I am not the hugest Urban Fant fan but I will give a book a shot.
    I am a bit unsure of this however.
    Do you think a person on the fence about Urban Fantasy but loves Vampires will enjoy it?

  10. Sam

    I have been meaning to start this series for a long time after all the glowing reviews these books have received. I’m glad you think the vampire lore is original in this book! I can’t wait to get started on it. 🙂

  11. SacredmOOn

    I just received the first two books in this series in-my-mailbox last week. I can’t wait to dive into them. Great review!
    DeAnna Schultz

  12. kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews

    I actually quite like Tatiana 🙂 She is like Dr.Evil from Austin Powers. Her incompetent helpers never let her do the job properly 🙂 but she is delightful in her persistency (kill Mal and his comarre wh*re!) :))) and I have to tell you Mal gets to be really really annoying through the next two books.

  13. Giselle

    @Books And Beyond: If you love vampires there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this as it’s the main focus of the plot. Let me know what you think if you decide to try it!

  14. A. Knight @ Paranormal Indulgence

    I actually completely understand this: “so overzealous in her evil plans, that she becomes sort of a cliché; flat with no convincing personality.” It happens often, really. I just choose to ignore it when I can, but I hate when it gets to be so overbearing that I CAN’T ignore the triteness of her villain play. Sucks that she didn’t do much good for the book. But I am interested in the rest, considering that vampires are my thing 😀