Friday, January 15, 2010

[NOR Review]: "Full Blood"

Title: Full Blood
Author: Liberty Stafford
Publisher/Publication Date: eXtasy eBooks (part of Devine Destinies pub)/ November 15th, 2009
Available in: E-Book 
Bad dreams are plaguing them all and its not just the dhampir who cannot sleep. Catching them unawares, the Otovic's past returns to haunt them. Vladimir, the vampire father who Daniel has never met, wants him back to join the family. Wants a brother for his full blood brother, Marko, the baby his mother gave to gypsies and never spoke about again. Money and power surround Vladimir and Marko. Friends are soon purchased including the headmaster of Thomas High where Marko joins the upper school to charm his brother Daniel into a deadly circle of trust. Marko fits in and seems to be the perfect student. Intelligent, hard working, generous. Everyone is unaware of the deadly secret he is hiding, that he would rather drain them all of their blood than spend another minute polluted by their company.Helena falls for his supernatural charms and spends a fortune on a designer dress to impress him at his party. However, Marko has infected his brother and he begins to change. His moods blacken. His temper soars. His patience shatters.Little does Daniel know that he will soon need Katarina's help to save his soul as she struggles with his estranged family for power over his soul.

My Review:

Although a slight improvement from Liberty Stafford's previous novel, Half Blood, the sequel Full Blood is still lacking---for me at least. The promise is there, but it just never seemed to come through all the way.

The beginning of the novel peaked my interest a bit, what with the sudden twist in the story and addition of characters. Sadly, this interest didn't last too long before the writing style and characters turned my slight interest into daydreaming instead of paying attention to the words on the page. Never a good thing, when reading a book-- the book should have your entire concentration, without much effort on your part (if any!). But with both novels in this YA series, I've found my mind wondering to other things...

The characters, while they had their moments, mostly felt too shallow for me-- not their personality so much as their lack of development. After two books, I still have no real image of any of the main characters in my mind, and honestly, at times I didn't care what happened to them next. There was nothing about them that made me want to continue the story, nothing to connect me to them. Even the conversations seemed a bit forced, artificial at times.

Although, for the most part, the writing was pretty well executed, I still had my problems with this element as well. Personally, I prefer when an author shows the reader what's going on, with good, captivating descriptions, instead of simply telling us, in forward, blatant words. For me, Stafford seemed to do more of the second option, and because of this not only was I lost during a few scenes, but the writing was dry, not lush and full of flowing descriptions.

I'm not saying that this book didn't have its moments, it did, but they were few and far between, though the ending picked up considerably. I guess I'm use to a slightly different kind of YA vampire novel, more of a (true) romantic story instead of the darker, yet lighter as far as story/character complexity, story that Stafford has provided. I'm not saying her work is bad, but I'm being honest-- it's not really my kind of book.

3 Stars! Perhaps this book will be a hit for others, but for me I was only left with disappointment, in the storyline and characters. There wasn't a lot that stood out for me, as far as originality goes, and what had the potential to be original, never quite made it. A quick, light read, but not one I would pick up again. Perhaps future books by this author will catch my interest, but for now, I'm setting her aside.

 Cover Note:  I'll be honest-- I'm not feeling this cover. At all. A bit freaky-- no offense to the author/publisher/cover artist that may be reading this. For me, it just doesn't grab my attention at all.

Thanks to Night Owl Romance, where I received this e-book for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,

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