Blood Rights (House of Comarre #1) by Kristen Painter
Published: 1st October 2011
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.
I love the description. I love the cover. I had high hopes for this book. Sadly, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. The worldbuilding was as fascinating as I imagined it would be, but led to alot of exposition that pulled me out of the story a bit. I didn't really see why it needed to be at all futuristic and dystopian as this does not feature at all, and it seemed like more of a set up for the later novels when the humans would eventually feature. I loved the mythology, it was so well developed, so rich and thought out that I do wish I could have enjoyed this book more than I did. Plotwise, it was an interesting mix of mystery and paranormal and whilst I felt the story drag at times, ultimately the plot was a good one.
I really liked the writing style, it was creative and enjoyable but I wasn't at all a fan of the narration. I felt it switched POV's too often, sometimes in the middle of chapters which I found irritating. It's hard to really bond with a character when you're constantly being shoved out of their head and into someone elses. I'm all for mixed POV's, but less is definitely more in this case. Sometimes I feel it's used for lazy writing, to avoid having to find other ways to explain events/emotions and that bugs me.
Characterisation was actually my biggest bugbear with this book. The characters were all well developed, with their own stories and voices, but the problem was none of them were really likeable. I didn't bond with or care much about any of the characters which meant I had no vested interest in their welfare or the outcome of the plot. I really like it when I can associate with a character, or at the very least care about them, and this just didn't happen here. I especially didn't like Tatiana at all, I couldn't even like her as a villain, she just sorta bugged me. Mal bugged me a bit too, I kept wanting to tell him to get over himself, and the hints at his past annoyed me. I hate those constant, mysterious references to traumatic pasts, they absolutely do my head in. Then, when his story was eventually revealed, I was just confused by it. That part of the novel wasn't at all well written for me.
The main thing I did enjoy about this book was the relationship between Mal and Chrysabelle. It was realistic and tension-filled and left plenty of room for development. It wasn't toooo Edward-like, in terms of his reaction to her, and there was absolutely no insta-love which is always a plus.
Looking back, this review seems really negative, but I did enjoy reading this, just not an insane amount. It was an okay read; I don't regret it but I'm not clamouring for book two either.