Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Loved Tantalize and Eternal, so begged for an early copy of this one. 
It’s got vampires, werewolves, shifters and an Angel!—What’s not to love?
Quince Morris, a neophyte vampire converted against her will, discovers that she must save a whole slew of Austin’s residents from becoming vampires after having eaten tainted desserts at her restaurant. The boy she has privately loved for years, Kieran, flees Austin to protect his family from his own uncontrolled hybrid werewolf shifts in the opening scenes of the book leaving Quince alone and lovelorn. 
She must save her restaurant, the unsuspecting infected Austinites and her own soul while learning to live as a secret vampire-- all in 450 odd pages.   Luckily, she picks up a new troop of helpers including an earthbound guardian angel named Zachary to help her on her journey.
What I liked:  I like a strong female main character that has courage, will, and a brain of her own. All these compliments can easily be applied to Quince Morris.
 I’ve lived near Dallas for a long time so I also like the Texas humor and comments.  So many books use New York, Miami or some anonymous wilderness location for setting, so I do enjoy the particularly Texan references sprinkled throughout Blessed.
I think it’s magical when a writer can reinvent the usual threadbare stories typical of paranormal fare creating a whole new mythology and Cynthia Leitich Smith definitely applies a new spin to the tale of Mina and Dracula prime. Historical references woven into paranormal stories provide context and corroboration to the fiction. 
Not so much:  The abbreviations of things like Austin Police Department as APD and guardian angel as GA.  My reading flow was interrupted by these unnecessary abbreviations too often and I found those pauses in the flow of the story grating. 
The platonic relationship between Quince and Zachary dominates the first ¾ of the book providing for less emotional engagement and romantic tension than have existed in the previous two books Tantalize and Eternal.  I missed that a bit.

Good read for us YA paranormal fans that like action, a little fairly chaste romantic, and plenty of  fantasy story creativity.  I recommend Blessed and eagerly await whatever Cynthia Leitich Smith writes next.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review- looks interesting, I may have to check it out.