Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review - Bad Blood (House of Comarre, Book 3) by Kristen Painter (3.5/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 448 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: December 1, 2011
ISBN: 978-0316084758
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book is the House of Comarre series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This is the third book in the House of Comarre series by Painter. It was a well done book and was full of excellent characters, an engaging world, and a storyline that is getting a bit too epic. My main complaint with this book would be the constantly expanding number of viewpoints that the story is told from.

Chrysabelle is recovering from her debilitating injuries which she incurred in the last book. She wants to recover as soon as possibly to start the hunt for her brother. Her quest to do this leads her to a number of sidequests that all stem from needing to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Titania is trying to regroup from her losses in the last book and is building herself both an empire and a family. Doc is dealing with a lot of strange changes that happened to him when he went through the witch's smoke and broke his curse. In additional to all of this a number of strange events as well as the murder of fake comarres have been happening throughout the city; this is keeping both the police and the Kubai Mata on their toes.

I absolutely love this world and I also really enjoy the broad history involving the Kubai Mata, the Comarre and the other races. The plot expands exponentially in this book and broadens into a scope that is approaching epic. This is both good and bad.

The bad part is that we are hearing this from six or more viewpoints and this makes the story progress very slowly. Not to mention that we don't get to see as much of Chrysabelle and Mal as I would have liked. The viewpoints we hear from are: Chrysabelle, Doc, Mal, the Preacher, the Mayor, the witches, and Creek. There may be more viewpoints that I missed; I think we hear from the demon's point of view as well as from Doc's girlfriend. This is a lot of switching between characters. I like most of the characters, but I wish we could focus on just a couple. If we could just deal with the Chrysabelle/Mal storyline and the Doc/witches storyline that would be great. I didn't like the Mayor all that much and she was in a lot of the story. I think Titania is interesting as well, but didn't enjoy that so much of the story focused on her.

As in previous books Chrysabelle and Mal make some, but not much, progress in their relationship. They both seemed a bit tired and older in this book. Mal's curse was kind of shrugged to the side and given kind of a "well we'll deal with that later".

Sounds like I am complaining a lot...I guess I am. I really loved the first two books in this series and, although I still really enjoyed this book, is seemed kind of unfocused and all over the place. That being said I do love a lot of these characters, I love how the plot is broadening, and I love the world that is being created. The writing is well done and easy to read.

Overall this was a great book, but not as good as previous books in the series. There are a ton of viewpoints and 4 or 5 different story arcs going at once, this is fine...but it makes the story progress slowly and forced me to spend a lot of time reading about characters I didn't care about all that much. Chrysabelle and Mal have lost a lot of sparkle they had as a potential couple; they both seem tired and resigned throughout. I still love a lot of the characters and I love the world; but I felt like the story had lost focus and was trying to go in too many directions at once. This book was part urban fantasy, part epic fantasy, and part paranormal romance. I will definitely read the next book in the series, but I hope it is more focused than this one was.

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