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Friday, October 1, 2010

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Overall: 4

Blood Feud picks up just under two weeks after Hearts at Stake ended, and the Drake family has had a lot to deal with. All the vampire tribes are beginning to assemble and treaties are being made now that Lady Natasha is gone and the courts are preparing for Helena’s coronation. With the state that Lady Natasha left things between the tribes, this means all kinds of cleaning up for Liam and Helena to do, and that doesn’t take into consideration the state the caves and the farmhouse were both left in. That just means that the Solange, Lucy, and the Drake brothers have quite a journey ahead of them.

We meet Isabeau St. Croix (kind of weird, but totally cool name, right?). Isabeau is a Hound, which means she is part of the tribe of vampires that Montmartre created and basically left for dead. The catch is, Montmartre didn’t change Isabeau, his lieutenant, Greyhaven, did somewhere around 200 years ago. Isabeau has spent years waiting until she could get revenge on Greyhaven, and for all intents and purposes she still plans to do so, until she meets Logan Drake.

Now she must join forces with the Drakes’ and fight against the common enemy, Montmartre, who’s still after Solange, the crown, and the power both would bring him. Logan shows Isabeau that not all vampires, outside of the Hounds, are as bad as she seems to think, and that she doesn’t have to be so guarded all the time. But can Isabeau’s quest for revenge survive when it’s all over with? Will Logan be able to show her that there is more to life than living for revenge?

I was so excited to revisit the Drake family and Lucy of course. When I first learned that Blood Feud wouldn’t be from Lucy and Solange’s voices I was a bit disappointed, but since I was going to hear from Logan and this new, interesting, Isabeau I decided it would be alright. And it pretty much was. First, I must admit, I totally missed Lucy. But Logan, while not being as reckless and funny as Lucy, filled a different void, since I did adore him in Hearts at Stake.

Isabeau is a very interesting character, with an even more interesting past. Her voice isn’t as prominent as I would have thought it would be seeing as she is a totally fierce character, but they can’t all be Lucy. Sprinkled throughout are these chapters that are memories from Isabeau’s past and those take you back into the 1700s and are pretty neat, although the French sprinkled throughout was not as fun for me since I don’t know French. Oh, and just a tip, the French word “merde” is used a lot, and finally I looked it up…just so you know, it means “crap”.

I loved Logan’s voice. He’s funny and kind of sarcastic and a bit insane, but so are all the Drakes and so I love it, and it was a nice balance against the guardedness and proper way Isabeau’s voice was. I really enjoyed the romance between Logan and Isabeau that you could see coming before they ever met, but I didn’t like the fact that Blood Feud covers a matter of days, and you don’t really fall in love over only a few days. It just so doesn’t work like that, and while I know that a lot happened between them in those few days, and that it was obviously in the cards for them, it just was a bit unrealistic (an yes, I’m totally aware that it is a vampire novel and so realistic in the first place).

In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy Blood Feud quite as much as I did Hearts at Stake, but I did find it totally enjoyable and I’m still looking forward to the next story in The Drake Chronicles. I have a feeling that the sequels are going to continue in the same way, the common link will be one of the Drake brothers, but the voice will change. I am totally okay with that, as long as there is somewhat of a check in on the previous brothers and they’re counterparts.

Blood Feud carried over all the action and humor from Hearts at Stake, but for me the romance and the pacing faltered a bit. Maybe I’m totally missing Lucy and just wanted more from her. She didn’t even get to break a single nose! Although I have decided that I may just have to add all seven of the Drake brothers to my list of fictional crushes if they are as charming and cute as Nicholas and Logan. Alyxandra Harvey knows how to write a good story and she’s got a great cast of characters to do it with. I can’t wait for the next adventure that the Drake family (and their friends) take me on.

Writing: 4
Characters: 4
Ending: 4
Cover: 3

I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.