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Spoiler-Free ARC Review: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

The following review contains
NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: It’s no secret that I’m in love with the Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey, and if you didn’t know before, now you do. This series makes vampires WAY cooler than they ever were before, and I enjoy Harvey’s original twists on a common paranormal and all the hoopla that comes with her imaginings. After the first book, the series really picks up with the Drake bros turning around and nabbing girlfriends, but in Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey all the younger Drakes are paired up and we’re back to having Solange’s perspective, which inevitably beat down my enjoyment level considerably. What saves this installment? Harvey’s AMAZING writing—simultaneously simple to understand and poetic—and Lucy Hamilton and Nicholas Drake’s perspectives. Tons of crazy happens in Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey so that the wait for the sixth book grates the mind.

hooking (and a fave) first line: "'You tried to eat your boyfriend's face?'"

Bloomsbury • Publicist • Paranormal Romance • 6/19/12 • $12.12



Blood Moon
by Alyxandra Harvey
DON'T TO READ THE FOLLOWING SUMMARY if you haven't read book one.

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange's fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in terrible danger.

The Drakes brothers have been raised knowing it is their responsibility to protect their younger sister at all costs. But when Nicholas is caught between saving his sister, Solange, or his girlfriend, Lucy, whom will he choose?
Lucy, Nick, how I adore you

Lucy Hamilton is seriously one of the BEST heroines ever. That’s a pretty big decree, I know, but it’s the truth. This girl OOZES superior snark and bad-assery. She isn’t one to beat around the bush, to meekly stand by while her vampire friends hunt up the baddies and dangerous folk. No, Lucy wants a piece of that action, opting for a STAKE rather than a hidden corner somewhere. As she herself says in Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey, if one tries to bite her she’ll bite back, HARDER. She does what has to be done to be taken seriously. She’s straightforward and hilarious without really trying to be. It’s that punchiness, that attitude and sarcasm that makes her such a FUN character to read through. Harvey has a sense of humor that pops up in her writing, but with Lucy, it’s there that that humor really shines. Lucy induces NOSE-GUSHING-SODA laughter, even when she kicks butt.

And Nick is the perfect boy to balance out her impulsive, head-on attitude. The Liam Drake (Nick’s dad) to Lucy’s Helena Drake. The calm before the storm, but the storm can rage violently. He thinks thoroughly and pretty logically, unless we’re talking about Lucy. Should any POTENTIAL harm come to her, out goes serious Nicholas Drake in comes his feral wild-eyed counterpart. The change is delicious, especially because of the WHY. He’s honorable and noble and is FIERCELY protective of those he loves.

Combine the two in one novel? YUMMY. Their sweet heated scenes light the heart on fire until it melts, let me tell you. They’re so loving they’re huggable, and I adore them both. SO MUCH.

Solange, how I DO NOT

My distaste for Solange’s POV began back in Hearts at Stake, the first book. There’s just something about Solange that is just so… IRRITATING. I couldn’t QUITE put my finger on it before, but that stops now after reading Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey. Now, I know I should be sympathetic toward the poor girl for the constant overprotection and limitations put on her angsty teen self. She’s never let out of sight and nearly every move she makes has to be cleared by somebody. It can be frustrating, and drive a girl to insanity, I’m sure. BUT, there were just times when my sympathy wells went dry and crusty. She gets to be so assertive and so annoyingly TEENLY that I just couldn’t get a grip on myself. Most of the time, I just wanted to headdesk my way to the end of her chapters.

Obviously, this made things considerably hard to enjoy. Solange makes such frustrating, selfish decisions in Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey I stopped sympathizing altogether. I didn’t like Solange in Hearts at Stake and she didn’t grow on me between then and now. Who has grown on me? Her older bros and the parentals, and I hate that her choices make their burdens weightier. It’s like seeing your bff get insulted or shoved—you want to shove right back. So if I’m constantly suppressing the urge to shove, I’m also suppressing a lot of anger which is burning out all the pleasant feelings I was starting to amass when I started Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey.

Yet MORE problems, barely there favorites, and all the brutal TENSION

If Alyxandra Harvey were a baker and her plots a pastry, they would always be moist and tasty. I love that Harvey never runs out of things to make them wonderful no matter how different they taste each time. The variety is what keeps each one a relative surprise. It feels as if everything is starting to come full circle—Solange’s strange behavior and growth oddities, new vampire races and their feuds, etc. The flow of things doesn’t stop and is constantly rushing everyone where they’re most vulnerable. She perpetually pushes her characters into tight spots, but in Blood Moon, there is no thumbs-up, it’s a-ok resolution.

I AM SO TORMENTED BY THAT.

The intensity of the tension drove me bananas, and I received no reprieve. It’s like eating a stream of atomic fireballs and then losing your water bottle down a mountain.

And one of the reasons I loved Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey so much is the cameos of each of the main characters from the previous books. I OUTRIGHT ADORED every scene in which the couples of all the past books gather together to solve a problem, their witty, sexy, flirty banter not excluded. In Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey there is so much less of that quality, and since the focus is so much on Solange, I blame her for getting less of all my favorite characters in this series. Which doesn’t do anything for her case.

My heart hurts

After that numbing and quite shocking conclusion, my heart is in pain. There’s so much uncertainty, to say nothing of SO MANY QUESTIONS. This not knowing is stabs me every time I even glance at Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NOW? How is everyone, all my fave peeps, going to FIX THIS? It seems like a solution is going to be painful for all involved, and that makes me hurt even MORE.

No matter how charismatic and quietly poetic and amusing Harvey’s writing, how sexy the romance scenes, how funny the dialogue, I CAN’T GET OVER WHAT JUST HAPPENED. It’s nothing TOO scary, but it’s frightening enough. Will book six end it all? Or will it stoke the fires?

Rating: Sud-Kissed
And then Nicholas came toward me through the field, the tall yellow flowers bending around him, and the stone of worry lodged in my throat loosened. He was sleek and dark and beautiful, the way thunderstorms are beautiful. I never got tired of the way he smiled at me, both solemn and wicked. Even if he wasn't exactly smiling right now.
Nicholas didn't speak, just pulled me up against him, holding me pressed against his chest, his face buried in my wind-tangled hair. I stroked his back, the muscles cool and hard even through his shirt.
"What is it?" I whispered. "What's wrong?"
"Everything but you," he said hoarsely. Even thought I'd known him most of my life, had seen him fall out of trees and trip over his own feet when we were growing up, even though we'd played countless pranks and honed our sarcasm on each other, he could still make me melt. (78-79)

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7 comments:

Celine @ Forget-Me-Not said...

Ooo! I've never actually been interested in reading this series but now you make me want to read this series so badly!

Awesome review, Asher! ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Ooh I'm really intrigued to now what happens now in this book! Amazing review, Asher! :) I like this series but have never really been too blown away by it. I am a fan of Harvey's writing though so look forward to giving this a go when I can. :D

Candace's Book Blog said...

I am a little worried about Solange, she does sound like she'll be infuriating in this one! I still cant wait to read it though. Like you I just adore all the other characters in this series. This release snuck up on me, it seems like the last one just came out. I'm glad I can get my fix soon though! Fantastic review!

Caitlin said...

OMG ASHER I AM TOO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK!! why is it not released yet, WHYYYYY. We have to wait till JULY over here in England *sobs* I wasn't sure how i'd feel about this going back to the POVs in the first book, seems a little weird, but I LOVE Nicholas and Lucy so I shant complain too much. Like you say, Lucy is an amaaaazing heroine, definitely one of my top ones. and I LOVE NICHOLAS SO MUCH. I'm sad there's not much witty banter etc from the others as I love Isabeau as well, but I guess if there's a heart-racing plot I will manage. Awesome review that has only served to make me want this MORE (if that's even possible)


Cait x

Christy said...

I have GOT to start this series already. (I've wanted to for a while now.)  I love Alyxandra Harvey, she's such a great writer. Great review! I'm excited to start this now. :)

Mia said...

DON`T READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK (SPOILERS)

I finished reading my copy of Blood Moon yesterday-it took me a few hours to read it-and I know what you mean. It blew my mind. Solange was my favourite character until Bleeding Hearts. I do feel some sympathy though, because of Viola. I personally think that Constantine did something to her. Book 6 will rock.

Alex said...

aww its not fare living on the other side of the world :( but icant wait to read it