Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Overall: ★★★★ (4.375)
This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The story is a Young Adult/Supernatural novel set in the town of Atlanta. It follows mainly along the storyline of Alee, a teenager who is starting to learn her illness is actually the side effects stemming from who she truly is, a dhampir (half human/half vampire).
The Critical Points:
Nina writes beautifully mixing in scenery and emotions with her characters along the way. The only reason she is not getting a 5-star rating in this area is due to some minor editing errors with spelling and a little structure peppered throughout the midsection of the story. There were a few cases when the he/she areas got flipped and made it confusing. Nothing worth getting all bent over though.
As far as Supernatural settings go, I like the spin and background that Nina gives all of the characters within her novel. Some of the areas felt a little cliche, but the realm of vampires, witches and shape-shifters tends to be popular right now. So, unless there’s a completely new angle that hasn’t been touched, it will always feel that way. There were some tweaks to the elements of vampires and lycanthropes that I enjoyed. The one thing I always wonder in every witch spell is why must they always cut the palm of their hand? Can’t they give themselves a short-lived bloody nose? I mean, I’ve cut my hand there on accident and it hurts forever. (Obviously not a flaw, just my own personal curiosity)
One thing I was almost lost with is the beginning. It takes a long time to get to the meat of the story as we follow Alee throughout her infancy to teenage years without knowing where it will end. Still, done in such a way that I wanted to keep reading. From midpoint on, flowed like water in a river, great job.
There are a lot of characters surrounding Alee throughout her years, thankfully constant, but in the beginning there are a lot of similar names and relationships that puzzled me up until the end. Lots of lineage to account for. I docked a little for that and an area where Alee’s romantic relationship seemed to springboard, losing me for a moment.
The cover is wonderful. Subtle colors, great font and makes you wonder what to expect before you even break the spine. Would love to find a hardcover in the store. Very well done.
As genres go, there are a lot of similar elements that go along with the supernatural. Each one brings a slightly different take. The same principles seen in Anne Rice novels won’t always apply to True Blood or Vampire Diaries. I think going into any scenario of supernatural, readers should try as best they can to wipe their slate clean and take in the surroundings the writer is painting. Nina Soden is a great author and I look forward to the remainder of her series and what she has developing.
Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.
Awaken: a Blood Angel novel
BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL
Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel