Source: Random House Kids – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Maeve’ra Trilogy
Edition: Hardcover, 288 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
A gripping tale about loyalty, power, and the quest for freedom
Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal, and he is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah.
Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn’t know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can’t believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust-the vampires he’s always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.
This is the second Atwater-Rhodes book that I’ve read and I’m not really impressed, which I find unfortunate since I know a lot of people who adore her work. I want to be one of those people, but clearly it’s not working out. Bloodwitch is the start a of a new series, with some connections to her other books, but I figured it was a safe enough start and it would be easier to fall into the world. Unfortunately I had more issues with this one than I did when I read Poison Tree which is book eight in her Den of Shadows books.
Bloodwitch has a pretty interesting concept and I was drawn into the whole idea of a shapeshifter and vampire world…but it started to fall a part after a few chapters. I don’t know enough about her books to be able to tell you what kind of world this is, where it is, or when…so I had hopes that being the first book in a series this would be provided…but it wasn’t. I felt like I had been plunked into the middle of story that was already in the process of being told. Is this our world? I know from Poison Tree that it’s connected, but how…none of it seems ‘normal’ at all and the only clue that it might be connected is the fact that the people talk like we do. Is it another realm “within” our own? Or have they some how managed to squirrel away in some secret corner of…somewhere?
As for the characters I never quite understood enough about who they are and what makes them tick to even care about them. The main character is Vance, a young quetzal shifter, who is just now learning how much more there is to the world than he’s been given. The innocence was acceptable in the beginning as it made learning things about the world easier, and they didn’t feel like info dumps…but after a certain point the info stops coming so I ended up just as clueless (probably more so) as he was. I also wasn’t really sure “who” Vance was as a person, which is actually the point of the book so it’s understandable…but even towards the end I wasn’t really sure. I know he’s nice, trusting, and doesn’t want to see people hurt but that’s about it. The vampires were sort of flat as well and just seemed to be there as a point of power and I never really understood any of them either.
Overall this book fell flat for me and I personally would have enjoyed it more if there had been more pages dedicated to world building and character development. It does have really interesting story though and I did find Rhodes’ writing to be quite beautiful at times, but as it stands I’m not sure if I’ll continue this series.