As this novel, by K.J. Wignall, was the first one I had been given to review from my newly-discovered site of NetGalley, I was extremely excited to get into it.
Blood follows Will, a 16-year-old vampire (or “undead” as he prefers to be called) who awakens after several decades of hibernation, he finds himself in a quest to find the origin of his “sickness” when chance encounters seem to become less and less coincidence. Along the way, he meets people who will aid and hinder his search.
The beginning took me a bit to get into, getting used to the style, but part way through it really got me hooked. You get lured into the mystery with Will and his companions, anxious to find out what happens with some curiosities that get sparked (like the shadows of women in the mirror… creepy…)
The contrast between Will, a character who’s basically from the 1200’s, and Eloise, who is also 16 but from the present day, is an interesting balance. The two characters play off each other nicely, with Eloise using more modern turns of phrases that go over Will’s head. At times, their actions seem older than their 16 year old selves (which I guess Will is) but for the most part, it’s quite believable (as far as vampire stories go!)
What did stand out for me though as a big plus is the lack of gushy-gooey love between the characters. There’s chemistry between the two, no doubt, but a nice refreshing change that it’s not another copy of an all-consuming-love story like Twilight. Sure, that type of story works for that series, and for others, but this one worked out really nicely where the focus was more on the quest rather than a contrived and forced love obsession.
Nearing the end of the book, I actually forgot this was the first installment of a trilogy. I was starting to wonder how Wignall was going to wrap up such a story with 50 pages remaining. I’m definitely intrigued, and can’t wait for the rest of the trilogy to be released… I need to know what happens to William of Mercia now.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ (3/5 stars)