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Friday, July 30, 2010

BWB Review: Blood Song




Title: Blood Song
Author: Cat Adams
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: urban fantasy, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less: Bodyguard Celia Graves never planned on getting attacked by a vampire and turned into an abomination- a vampire/human hybrid. And then, precisely that happens. And not much else.

Sigh. Can I start off this adventure by saying how high my hopes were for this book? I'm always so excited to discover what I think is the start to a new urban fantasy series that I can really sink my teeth into, so to speak, and if/when that doesn't pan out, I am sad. Right now, my friends, I am very sad indeed.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a story can have all raw ingredients and elements that normally make my heart go pitter-pat and if the pacing is off or the story is bogged down by irrelevant nonsense, my interest in the book will blow out like a candle in a hurricane. That sums up pretty efficiently what happened here. Although I've read a ton of reviews filled with glowing praise for this book and have nothing against folks who enjoyed it, that wasn't my experience by a long shot.

Is there a rule in urban fantasy that the heroine has to be sassy and tough and disinterested in everything? I feel like I've come across this trope more than once and I definitely encountered it here. Celia's feelings and reactions didn't really feel...authentic...to me. I mean, she laughed when things were funny and cried when they were sad, but there wasn't anything else to make me believe in what was happening. I'm not saying a heroine has to be all mushy or sentimental for me to like her and support her as a character; what I am saying is that a person's reactions and internal monologue have to be believable for me to back them up; Celia did a lot of babbling but no substantiating and after awhile I just lost interest.

I may have been able to overlook my issues with the detached attitudes of the characters if the pacing of the story had been spot-on, but that didn't work for me either. Secondary characters kept getting introduced with no connection to the story at all and I had to check several times to see if this was the first book in a series or if I had missed something. Nope, there's just no set up to the story and it barges on, full speed ahead, until it hits a plot pothole, and then those are dealt with by introducing more characters.

Another thing, and I know that this is not a huge thing but it is an example of the kind of pacing issues I'm talking about- I get that Celia's appearance changed after she was partly changed into a vampire. I get it. I get it because Celia either freaks out a passerby or a store clerk or looks in the mirror and laments about it about every five pages. I understand this is traumatic, but while Celia is freaking out about that stuff, nothing else is happening in the story, or if it is happening, it's not being explained to the audience.

Have other people loved this book? Of course. Can I count myself among their number? No. Will I be reading any more, either in this series or by this author? Probably not. I got about halfway through before I finally set this book aside, and while I understand from reading other reviews that this means I quit before a lot of things happened, I kind of feel like that just supports my case. I'm not saying a story has to be spoon fed for me to enjoy it, but if the narrative is rambling, the characters are uninspiring, the conflict is boring and the pacing doesn't work, then I'm not going to spend more time waiting for those issues to sort themselves out. Sorry.

Overall Grade: Could Not Finish

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6 comments:

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Sometimes you just can't finish a book! At least you tried a new author so you know if she is right for you :)

Cathie said...

I've run into that before. I'll read it all the way through for you. :P

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

your not missing much with this book..trust me and i wish I stopped

misha1989 said...

I thought the book would be good! But now that you say it is not, I will definitely avoid it.
I just started my own blog. Please stop by if you can. Thank you

Misha
http://books-love-affair.blogspot.com/

Caitlin said...

I have this I need to read it soon!

Emily said...

@Felicia That's very true- I had such high hopes for this book and am always willing to try a new UF series; sometimes it just doesn't pan out I guess.

@Cathie- It's a tough job but I'm sure you'll do an admirable job of it! I hope you enjoy it way more than I did.

@Julie- You were totally the one who convinced me to give up the ghost on this one and I'm grateful for it! I'm wicked excited to read Blood Law though for BWB this month.

@Misha- I'm a new follower of yours as of right now! :D

@Caitlin- I hope you enjoy the book- it wasn't my cup of tea but I hope it is for you!

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