Saturday, August 6, 2011

BLOODSPELL by Amalie Howard (plus a Giveaway!)

Win a copy of your own! 
Just fill out the form at the bottom of the review! Good Luck!
(Open to US residents only; Giveaway ends August 13th)

YA Paranormal Romance
394 pages
Available now (June 2011)
Review copy provided by publisher/PR for honest review

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?

Positive: The writing. I was drawn into Tori's struggle to deny then accept her heritage and her powers, Christian's own battles, the interesting secondary characters, and the descriptive settings. It's strong, detailed, beautiful writing, which is always welcome.
Positive: No insta-love. There's instant attraction between Tori and Christian, sure. Senses stimulated, the quick intake of breath when one sees the other, the almost uncontrollable desire to touch...pure, hot lust but not love. Not at first. The love builds throughout the story, as Christian and Tori work through their conflicts and all the other very high hurdles they have to overcome to be together.

Positive: The darkness. This is not a light, happy-go-lucky story. Both Tori and Christian struggle with the dark sides of their characters and their "gifts". They don't always win the battle, sometimes losing control to the dark with very bloody consequences.

Wish: That Christian wasn't a vampire. I'll admit, my lip curled a bit when he revealed this aspect of himself. When he first entered the picture, I wondered why he sounded like he was a lord from a historical romance instead of a teenager -- well, because he's a hundred-plus-year-old vamp, that's why. Sadly, I'm over vamps, except in series I'm already invested in. Still, I will admit that the whole vampires versus witches battle worked well here.

Overall: While not totally up my alley (I had to work through my vampire prejudices), BLOODSPELL certainly deserves its pick as a "Seventeen Magazine Summer Beach Read". When I book talk this one to my classes, I know I'll have a pile of girls clamoring to read it.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound

Interested? Enter to win a copy of your own! 
(Open to US residents only; Giveaway ends August 13th)


  1. Aww, it sounded good, but I'm Vampire-prejudiced too.
    I'm kind of over the whole trend right now.


    But thanks for the review, :)

  2. Wonderful review, Mary! I've really been looking forward to reading this. It sounds great. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Strong, detailed writing? Sounds nice :D

    Great review!

  4. entered!! Haven't heard of this book, but your review has me interested =D

  5. I haven't heard of this book either, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I've seen the title around, but I've never actually read any reviews. It seems like a good read (though I'm over vamps too), thanks for the review Mary!

  7. Despite the vampire aspect, I still really like the sound of this one! Anything without the insta-love is automatically of interest to me since it seems to be such a rarity of late! Fabulous review Mary:)

  8. I adore the sound of the writing in this one, but I'll admit that the vampire element just isn't for me. Fabulous thoughts though!

  9. I'm pretty much over the whole vampire thing too. This one sounds really good though.