2.5 Hearts--Bloody witches!
Daniel de Lorne is back with his follow up to Beckoning Blood. This book focuses on Aurelia, the younger sister to the deadly vampire twins, her parents, and ginger haired oracle, Hame and his witch lover. This must be read after Beckoning Blood, book #1 in the Bonds of Blood series. Trigger warnings: off page child rape & cheating
We travel to different planes, go back in history in Europe and jump to present day in this book. The blurb prior to reading made it seem like it might've been MMF (which I think would have made a better story) but the story has only on page MM relationships. This has multiple characters' POV and spans many years (don't worry it jumps to the events like book #1).
We learn more about Aurelia in Burning Blood. How hard her life was after her mother left home. It was very sad and was hinted in book #1. She gets to rise to power thanks to a surprising factor and through that factor, she meets Hame, the big red haired oracle who she fancies. Hame doesn't return the favor because he likes men. And While she understands this, she continues to carry a torch and Hame doesn't discourage her affections...for centuries. This story tries to encompass a lot, action, horror, fantasy, demon mythology, war...a bit too much, in my opinion.
I nearly DNF'd numerous times throughout this story. It wasn't as strong as the previous book for me. Too many plot lines, that paralleled book #1. While on one hand, the grand scale storytelling can be awesome...it's better when the plot and characters are well balanced, developed and not bogged down by convolution. There was a great chance to explain why Hame made the choices he did especially in lovers but it fell off because there were demons to fight, vampires to track and power hungry witches to double cross.
I kept asking myself throughout the story...why? What was the purpose of all of this? We go from book #1 where it had badass twins, to witches and demons and ether jumping and so much stuff about withholding powers, what?
It's so many ideas, good ideas, but too many.
How did Hame's lover make the deal? Why?
For example, if immortality is so hard to attain, how did the rest of them get it? Aurelia's is explained...the others: lost in the sauce.
Aurelia went from a bad ass witch in book #1 to a petulant immortal teenager in this book who is power hungry because why? And why string her along for over seven centuries? She pines for a man she knows she can't have for 700+ years...and no one else will do? So she has to suffer and be without love so Hame can have his cake and eat it too? Hame tells her that he loves her and can't live without her love, knowing he won't return her feelings.
Hame's love interest did nothing to prove he was worthy of Hame or anyone. Especially after his need to "feel" that one time, that plot point wasn't explained clearly enough. I'm basing this off of Hame's initial reaction which was total disbelief and absolute 'he's going to dump the ass' attitude to him begging for crumbs of affection. He's a mighty oracle...why go through all of that?
If Aurelia and Hame and the other witch had a love triangle, that could have maybe made more sense as to why these three adults would stick around for this pain. Even the romance (?) thread suffered for the burdensome plot.
I read the entire novel and I am left with questions, trepidation for the next book and where this series is going. If it stuck to vampires and not get as convoluted as this book, which was going for the cliffhanger but did that and left loose ends, I might've have enjoyed it more.
This is what I deduced after reading:
Aurelia: basically did nothing but temper tantrum a lot
Hame: started off sort of strong, then became a doormat
Hame's love interest, the power hungry witch: continues to be untrustworthy and greedy
As is, I disliked just about every character especially the main characters.
Because their purpose just didn't do enough for me, their development as characters weren't strong enough. All the power and age in the world and their story read like a bad soap opera. With all the years that they've lived, they still acted like...teens.
Every time I felt like DNF-ing, something would happen that made me curious in between the dull parts that dragged. And then question the decision. Because after reading, nothing really happened. The first book came off as if it was going to be twincest, and it didn't happen. This book seemed like maybe there would be MMF action and nothing doing...I'm not really convinced to try the next one.
But I'd read something else from this author. The ideas were cool enough, the execution/editing for this book was questionable. I'd prefer reading something separate from this series though. Because the first book had something going for it before the witches and demons and centuries war got thrown in.
This book...not as much.
A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.