Sunday, 13 December 2009

My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

4th January 2010, Bloomsbury
250 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

YA, fantasy

Cushions: 5
Daggers: 3
Paperclips: 1
Smiles: 4
Tissues: 1
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

I recently put up an extract of My Love Lies Bleeding. Now it's time for the review!

Summary by Bloomsbury.

The Drakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen.

Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange’s brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire?

Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father’s killer . . .

I'm still relatively new to the genre of vampire books (I think the total number of books I've read are under 10). What I love is how they are all so different. I openly confess to nearly not reading My Love Lies Bleeding - publicity lines such as 'Not three but seven hunky, hot heroes.' has me running for the hills. However, I'm glad a fellow blogger, and my own curiosity encouraged me to start reading. I read it one sitting and have it at the top of my vampire book stack.

First person narrative captivated me as a reader on a deeper level than third person narrative ever can. Alyxandra's voice is as vibrant as her hair colour. Both Solange and Lucy's point of view are included here, each making me laugh out loud a lot. Even without theirs name at the beginning of each chapter, I would have been able to pick out who was speaking. They both have different views of life.

The weight of her own destiny weights heavily on Solange. Understandably she feels smothered by the protection her family gives her. She's definitely not a typical vampire - I've never heard of one hating blood before. But then she hasn't become a full vampire yet. People who are protected like her don't usually comprehend why such stringent are put in place. Through daring acts Solange realises the full impact of who people think she will become, and why it is so important to keep her safe. The numerous gifts deposited for her by other vampires isn't as large a bonus as it sounds.

I loved the concept of the change, how Solange's body acted differently in the lead up to it. Solange changes as a person because of the change, but not in a bad sense. She gains a little more confidence, in addition to having the full spectrum of vampire powers. Powers I look forward to seeing used in the next book.

Another aspect of Solange which I liked was her love of pottery. Everyone needs a hobby, something they can immerse themselves in. For Solange, pottery is a way to escape her restrictive life. Using this hobby made Solange's character more likeable and realistic for me. I hope she continues to like pottery once she's changed.

Lucy's character is a good counterpoint to Solange. Solange's family might not always approve of Lucy's risk-taking nature, especially when it brings Solange into harms way, but I feel they should be proud Solange has a friend. They accept her as part of the family - so much so that Solange's brothers protect her as strongly as Solange, especially Solange's brother Nicholas. Despite being close to Solange, Lucy doesn't initially know all the details that being a vampire entails, including what happens during the change. In a way I think Solange's family are protecting Lucy from the darker side of being a vampire, the risks it involves. This shows how much they care for - she and Solange are almost inseparable.

From the first chapter the action is almost non-stop. There are always people after Solange and Lucy, always a twist in the story that had me going 'wow'. This is more than 'just another vampire novel'. This is an edge of the seat novel, both witty and original. And other which is being chained to my bookshelf.

Alyxandra Harvey is on facebook. Alyxandra's lovely purple website is here.

Good news: book 2 in the Drake Chronicles is out July 2010! Yes I will be chasing down a copy for review here.

Even more good news: Alyxandra is working on a second series! I have no more details other than it is a teen gothic Victorian series.

Liked this? Try Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.


Chicklish said...

Thanks for the wonderful review - it sounds like a great page-turner.

Yunaleska said...

You're welcome. I love this book! (I love a lot of books :D)

Alexia561 said...

Sounds like another fun read! Love vampire books, and will be adding this one to my wishlist. Thanks for a great review!

Yunaleska said...

I'm beginning to get the appeal of vampire books. They're fun!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Another one I'm going to have to watch for!

GMR said...

Wow, playing catch-up in my Google Reader is not helping me slim down on my wish list...LOL. This looks like another interesting read for certain....I too am still a relative newbie to Vamp books but with all the YA ones out there (and forth coming), it seems that column is growing steadily. Thanks for sharing....and adding to my wish list. =0)