Alyxandra Harvey – Blood Feud
Read my review of book:
1. Hearts at Stake
Length: 258 pages
Genre: Teen vampire romance
Started / Finished: 24 June 2010
Where did it come from? From the publishers for review.
Why do I have it? I thought the first book in the series, Hearts at Stake, was a huge amount of fun, and I wanted to read the second book.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 31 March 2010.
and love are both tricky when
everyone’s got fangs.
Summary: Isabeau St. Croix is a survivor. She survived the in the streets of the French Revolution after she was orphaned by the Terror, she survived the trials of becoming a debutante after making her way to her uncle’s home in England… and she survived two centuries left for dead in her coffin after being turned by a charming and callous vampire. She was rescued by the wild and magical vampires known as the Hounds, and has been sent as an envoy to the royal courts after the violent battle that put the matriarch of the Drake clan on the throne. Logan is the second-youngest Drake son, worried about protecting his mother from assassins, and his sister from the vampire Montmartre who wants to claim her as his bride, and thus claim the crown for himself. Isabeau is like no one that Logan has ever met, and he must find a way to break through the shell that she’s built around herself if they – or any of their loved ones – are going to survive the schemes against them.
Review: There were three things I loved about the first book in The Drake Chronicles: it was fast-moving and full of well-written exciting action, it provided a solid dose of sweet romance, and it was really funny, full of snarky, snappy banter. Blood Feud retained two out of the three: I can’t fault the action or the romance in this book, and it was fast-moving and sweet, a very nicely fluffy summer read. However, I found myself really missing the snarkiness that made the first book so appealing. I think part of that was due to the shift in main characters. I can understand why Harvey wanted to focus on another Drake sibling rather than stay with the two she’d already built up, but Logan never really got much more of an individual personality other than “idealized teen paranormal romance male lead (who happens to wear frock coats).” The contrast was most evident whenever Nick and Lucy were in the scene; their humor made the writing spark in a way that Logan and Isabeau never quite did for me. Although, to be fair, I did also enjoy the historical fiction segments (from Isabeau’s human life) that rounded out this book. Harvey’s just as good at describing historical settings as she is at depicting vampire fight scenes and the tingly nature of a new crush. The individual pieces were all enjoyable, but they just didn’t quite come together in Blood Feud with the same sparkle that they had in Hearts at Stake. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Overall, while it didn’t quite gel for me the way I’d hoped it would, Blood Feud was a fun, fast read, and perfect for kicking back on a summer day when you don’t feel like anything too serious. The same is true for its predecessor, Hearts at Stake, too, though, and they really should be read in order.
First Line: If Isabeau St. Croix had known it was going to be her last Christmas Eve, she could have had a third helping of plum pudding.
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- p. 64: “When the wig was secure again, Amandine turned to admire herself in the long cheval glass.” – a mirror swinging in a frame, and large enough to reflect the full length figure.