21 June 2016

Review - Bloodspell

by Amalie Howard

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

Add to Goodreads

Buy links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

I received a copy via Roger Charlie in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I really liked the concept of Bloodspell because it combines some of my favourite fantasy elements; magic, witches, vampires, hot guys and a battle against destiny. The actual story was a bit of a mixed bag for me. A lot of it I really enjoyed but there were parts where Tori and Christian didn't entirely win me over. If I'm completely honest I think a lot of this was down to the time of reading - with the release of so many YA vampire stories over the last 5-10 years I couldn't help but compare Bloodspell to Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, My Blood Approves etc. This is a tricky path for authors because on the one hand I do love these types of stories, but it's very difficult to produce something new and different. Overall Amalie Howard has a pretty good attempt at doing so... 

I liked Tori (mostly) - in the spectrum of YA fantasy female main characters she fell somewhere in between Rose Hathaway and Bella Swan. I have to say I much preferred her more badass determined powerful elements, to the moping after a MUCH older vampire Bella parts (yes I know Dimitri is older than Rose as well). 

When we first meet Tori she's a shy and quiet ordinary young girl who is struggling with the usual high school problems involving nasty cheerleaders and popular boys. She suddenly finds herself with far bigger problems involving powers and creatures she didn't even believe in. She meets the enigmatic and difficult Christian. They are instantly drawn to each other in a star-crossed kinda way.

I still cannot make up my mind about Christian. He's a mixture of a several of my fav YA BBFs which I obviously loved. BUT I did get extremely frustrated with him. The constant back-and-forth really annoyed me and I although I understood his reasoning (and Tori wasn't entirely blameless) I did get cross with him. Don't get me wrong I did like him and I enjoyed the sweeter moments of their romance but I really wanted him to be honest with her and explain himself a bit more. A lie by omission is still lie...  

The magical elements were particularly interesting, I'd love to read more about the other witches and the vampire council. I had my suspicions about certain characters but Howard did keep us guessing with others, which was a big plus for me. As a Latin student I enjoyed seeing it creep into Tori's spells.

Bloodspell was a solid introduction and I'm looking forward to seeing how the characters develop in Bloodcraft.

3.5 Stars in my Sky!

Author Spotlight:

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. 

She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. 

The Cruentus Curse
Includes Bloodspell (picked as a Seventeen Magazine Beach Read) and Bloodcraft (which she wrote specifically for her wonderful readers!

The Riven Chronicles
Includes The Almost Girl and The Fallen Prince (newly released in April)


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