Book Review: Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard
Details: paperback, 394 pgs.
Published: June 1st, 2011 by Langdon Street Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher *for review purposes*

The spell was simple…
Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)
But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?
Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds — much less one that reveals she’s a witch with unimaginable power.
What’s more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own…
Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood’s deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

This book gave me lots of mixed feelings.  There were parts I liked, parts I felt kind of ‘blah’ about and parts I really strongly disliked.  I was kind of all over the place.  
The story is told in third person so we see Tori’s story but we get to see Christians at times as well.  And Amalie did a great job with it, making it all flow effortlessly so we weren’t jarred from one person to the next.  It wasn’t a lot of switching around though, we mostly saw Tori.
I liked Tori okay but I didn’t always connect with her.  I think that the girl we got to know in the very beginning was very different from the girl in the middle who was different from the girl at the end.  Her change was maybe just a bit abrupt from beginning to middle.  She went from a shy quiet girl who was brutalized and teased to the popular, outgoing and well liked girl in within the first quarter of the book (she switched schools, so it’s not implausible).  From middle to end she was all about finding out more about herself and her powers and it seemed like everything maybe came just a bit too easy to her.  But that wasn’t such a big deal to me.  
I kind of loved the witch aspect of the book.  I loved her powers, how they worked, all that.  I mentioned that it seemed maybe a bit too easy for her, but there is an explanation for that, so it’s easy enough to not let it bother you.  
Now Christian, I kind of loved him.  He was fantastic.  BUT the whole relationship aspect drove me nuts.  I almost set the book down when that started happening because I kind of knew I would go crazy.  They love each other, hate each other…. you know how the story goes.  Can’t stay together, can’t be apart.  In Christians defense Tori did it to him too.  This aspect of the book drove me nuts.  But somehow I kept reading.  And I found that I really did love Christian.  There were some descriptions of him that totally had me swooning.  Totally.  HOT.
While the beginning of the story felt slow, the middle sped up a bit but then the relationship stuff drove me a bit nuts.  But the end- total twists I didn’t see coming.  And some amazing fight scenes that were very well done.  I totally expected different things for the final ‘conflict’.  And I totally loved how it was done.  One little thing that bugged me was that it was SO unexpected that it almost didn’t feel real.  Like Tori should have known.  Suspected something.  But that was really very minor issue.  
After finishing this book that at times had me yawning, other times had me contemplating throwing the book and still others that had me totally and completely enraptured I can say I did like it.  If you like young adult paranormal romance, witches, vampires, etc, than give this one a try.  I’ve been a bit picky with the whole relationship dynamic lately, so don’t take my opinion too strongly (unless that’s something that bothers you too…).   And while I point out things that bugged me, I actually flew through this book fairly quickly (and I didn’t skim!).  So it’s not a heavy read.  I know many loved it, so if it sounds like something you’d like, give it a try!
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
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  1. So Christian becomes totally swoonworthy, huh? And Tori isn’t so bad either? I’ll have to try to finish this one eventually. I was just having so many issues connecting when I was reading it and I don’t want to dislike it just because of that, and the romance. I wasn’t feeling that either. I might finish it one day, but for now, I think I’ll hold off.

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