Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Book:  Blessed
Author:  Cynthia Leitich Smith
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Date:  January 25, 2011
Source:  Purchased
My grade:  A

With a wink and a nod to Bram Stoker, New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites the casts of Tantalize and Eternal in a delicious dark fantasy her fans will devour.

Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?

My Review

I did a really dumb thing.  I know it’s shocking, right! ::grins::  I somehow missed the publication of this book altogether!  So, I received a copy of “Diabolical” to review and when I started reading it, I realized that it didn’t really make sense.  I proceeded to pull up trusty ol’ Goodreads and realized that I should probably read the 3rd book in the series before tackling that 4th book!  Who knew??

I have to say that at first, I wasn’t sure about this book.  It begins with the characters from Tantalize, which was not one of my favorite books.  I mean, I liked it, but I wasn’t completely in love with it.  I liked the second book better, so that’s what compelled me to want to read the rest of the series.  Also, it had been a while, so I didn’t exactly remember what had gone down in the previous 2 books.

After I got into the story, none of that mattered!

This is my favorite book in this series so far!  I loved the way she brought the characters from the 2 books together and then blended that world so seamlessly with Bram Stoker!  It was a stroke of brilliance!

Not many people these days give dues to the original master of the vampire book, but Cynthia Leitich Smith paid her regards to Stoker and then took his mythology and expanded and twisted it and updated it and made it even more fabulous!  I absolutely adored the Dracula tie-in in this novel and I found the book very difficult to put down. (Much to the chagrin of my family!  You’d think they’d be used to it by now.)

I really learned to love Quincie in this book.  She was just a so-so character for me in the first book, but I’m a fan of hers now.  And a fan of Kieren, the hot wolf man as well!  I feel like I know these characters a lot better now and it makes it easier to care about them.

This book had a lot of action in it.  It also has a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff.  I like it that the author seems to be able to throw in some cheesy things from time to time and laugh at herself for doing it.  The story is fast-paced and a lot happens, but this is not a book that takes itself too seriously.  I appreciate that.  There are some other vampire series out there that include the cheese, but are so serious about it that it just makes me roll my eyes……and totally flounce the series.

I’m really glad that I already have book 4 in my possession.  In fact, I’m reading it now.  I closed out Blessed and immediately opened Diabolical.

If you haven’t read this series, I recommend it.  The books are quick reads and the story is engaging.  If you haven’t read Dracula, you don’t necessarily have to read the whole book, but checking out a SparkNotes or Wikipedia summary might be a good idea.  Cynthia does a great job of filling in the Dracula story, but I think a little deeper understanding of it has to help the reader appreciate the tie-in a little better.

My grade for this third installment is an A.  It’s been the best one so far, in my humble opinion.  I hope that book 4 continues with the trend of getting better!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear this is your fav. I haven't read it yet but I really dug the first two. I'm excited for the third!