Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Title: Blood Rights (House of Comarré#1) 
Author: Kristen Painter
Pages: 418
Published: October 1st, 2011 by Orbit
Summary (from Goodreads):
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

My Thoughts:

A daring novel in a book world full of vampire fiction, Blood Rights by Kristen Painter is a devilishly amusing read with plenty of action around every bend and a rich suspenseful plot line that will leave readers hanging on to every word and chapter heading. 

Chrysabelle lives in a world full of vampires and gold. Raised and trained as a constant meal for her master vampire, the one that will choose her and buy her, Chrysabelle only knows the life of a  comarré. A life filled with exquisite blood that runs through her veins and vampires surrounding her every move. When her master vampire comes up dead, beheaded, but not ash, Chrysabelle is the first suspect. Without waiting for a verdict, Chrysabelle runs to her aunts house in New Florida and into a series of events that leave her not only changed, but full of a wanting she never expected.

In today's fiction, vampires run rampant through the streets of book isles everywhere, glittering, biting, sucking and grasping for the attention of every person who glances their way. In YA fiction, there is no shortage, so it is with great pains that each and every author who plows into the genre must face making their vampire and vampire world unique and beautiful. Kristen Painter has done just that. Blood Rights, a Gothic dystopian world where the comarré are inked in beautiful gold filigree, made to make their blood even more heavenly and pure to the vampires that would use them for the red that fills their veins, is distinctive with it's very own voice. Chrysabelle is one of the purest of  comarré. Ranked highest among  comarré, her filigree outranks all in number and design.

But, at over 100 years old, Chrysabelle does not want to be owned, she wants freedom. Mysterious and strong, Chrysabelle is a strong female protagonist who doesn't let anyone tell her what do do. She is arrogant and sometimes unwilling to part or compromise with what she wants, even at times when it seems that there is a better option. In this matter, we love Chrysabelle, but we also want to smack her upside the head. I blame this solely on the male protagonist of the book, Mal.

I'm not sure if it's because as readers we can see where the book is headed, but most likely it's because of the third person narration, and so we know what each character is thinking and all we want is for both Chrysabelle and Mal to stop dancing around each other and get to it. Of course, Ms. Painter loves to torture us as readers and to be honest, I don't mind because, really what would the fun be in any kind of HEA if there wasn't some pain along the way.  Lucky for me, Mal is everything I love to read about and more. Tormented constantly by the voices of everyone he's ever killed, swimming around in his head, Mal is a very brooding vampire. He may have once been a murdering fiend, but the voices have given him the gift of constant guilt and therefore a good reason to stop sucking the life out of everyone he meets. Delightfully anguished in one count, snarky and witty in another, he is well layered and graciously conflicting. I love him. He's enchanting, even while he debates with the monstrous voices within, of whether or not Chrysabelle would be better off dead, by his hands. Then again, I could just be a sucker for the sexy brooding vampire. On the other hand, I think the voices provide an evil sort of comedic relief.

Even more so than the main characters, the world building of Blood Rights is dark and different, creating a world that sets more than just setting, but also mood. Infiltrating ever corner of our imagination, New Florida and Romania's dark atmospheres and pungent smells and sounds darken the scene and enlighten our minds. And with the host of secondary characters running through the streets, it's a benevolent beauty of a thing to be able to see it all in my mind's eye.

Overall, Blood Rights is dark and intense, with characters that are well developed and wickedly layered. Ms Painter has successfully planted herself as a unique contender in the vampire world and I can only hope one day I can find myself some gold filigree. I give Blood Rights, the first in the series, a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of Young Adult, Vampire Fiction.

11 comments:

  1. I really like Blood Rights and found Flesh and Blood even better. I haven't read Bad Blood yet but will when the next one comes out :)

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    1. I've read all three, but Flesh and Blood is my favorite. I think it's because in Bad Blood, I wanted to stab Chrysabelle with her own sword because she really takes being an arrogant witch to a whole new level. Although, I'd like to cuddle Mal. :D Love that vamp!

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  2. Sold! I'm now on the hunt for this book. Gothic dystopian with vamps? You don't have to tell me twice. ;)

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    1. I hope you enjoy. It really was fun vampire fiction. I loved Mal and all the gold filigree.

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  3. Yay! Glad you enjoyed this one Jen! I adored Mal, he is definitely the dark and brooding vampire, but he deserves to brood I think, he's earned the scars that make him that way and he's not just broody and intense for the hell of it. Have you read any of the other books in the series yet?

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  4. I'm curious about this series. I didn't realize what those gold markings meant until now, thanks! It almost reminds me a little of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' vampires in Shattered Mirror. I like the way this sounds, and if it can stand out positively among the hoards of vampire books out there, then I think I should check it out!

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  5. I liked this line in your review: glittering, biting, sucking and grasping for the attention of every person who glances their way
    I am interested in this series too but I am a little burned out on vampires right now. The artwork is amazing though. Your review might just convince me to take another look at it!

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  6. Shame on me!!! I've had this book forever and haven't read it yet!!!

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  7. I've never thought of constant guilt being a gift, but I guess for Mal, it is. I'm a sucker for brooding vampires too, so I think I'd really like him, but the dancing around would probably annoy the heck out of me. I'd want them to 'get on with it' too. hehehe

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  8. I saw this on Jennys blog a few months ago and have always wondered about this series...I also wondered why her skin was all freaky looking.....

    Im reading this one Jen- hopefully it doesn't shock my delicate system....LOL

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  9. Oh I loved this one too. The next one is more PNR-ish than this one. Oh and wait until you meet Creek (next book)! You and Jenny can argue over Mal as long as I get Creek. ;D

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XOXO Jen the Bibliophile

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