Thursday, September 1, 2011

Early Review - Blood Rights (House of Comarre, Book 1) by Kristen Painter (4.5 stars)

Blood Rights (House of Comarré)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Size:  432 pages
Publisher: Orbit 
Release Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN: 978-0316084772
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the House of Comarre series
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This is the first book in the House of Comarre trilogy by Kristen Painter.  The second book, Flesh and Blood, is supposed to release in Nov of 2011.  The third book, Bad Blood, is scheduled to release a month later in December 2011.  This was a great book.  There are some very creative ideas in here and some great characters; it made for a wonderful and engaging story.

Chrysabelle has spent a hundred years serving as a Comarre to a high ranking vampire.  On the eve of her test to escape service by combat; her master is killed.  This leaves Chrysabelle free but she is also forced to flee since she is suspected of murdering her master.  Now Chrysabelle is forced to try and blend in with the human world until she can clear her name.  When Chrysabelle tries to get help she runs into Mal.  Mal is a royal vampire who has been declared anathema.  Mal and Chrysabelle don't get along well, but working together may be the only way they can both get what they want and clear Chrysabelle's name.

This was a very well done book.  The world created is interesting.  The book is set in the near future, 2060 I believe, most of the common things are recognizable but some of the technology has changed quite a bit.  With the futuristic setting the book ends up being a pleasant blend of sci-fi, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and mystery.

The most intriguing part of the society Chrysabelle comes from is the House of Comarre.  The House of Comarre has a lot of secrets, some you find out in this book but there is still a lot of mystery involving this group of individuals.  The whole idea behind the Comarre is fascinating even at face value, but when you find out about all the mystery behind this House it becomes an even more fascinating and engaging idea.

The book is very well written, easy to read, and moves at a quick pace.  The action scenes and romantic tension between characters is very well done. It was hard to put down and when I finished it I immediately wanted to read more.

The characters are wonderful; lots of mystery and dimension to all of them, even the side characters.  Chrysabelle and Mel make great leads; they have great tough personalities, yet are complex.  The banter between these two is wonderful and had me laughing out loud a few times.  The romance between them is sweet, steamy at times, but never graphic.  There are also a lot of relationships/romance going on between various side characters in this book; love seems to be a big driving force in the plot in general.

The mystery that Chrysabelle is trying to solve is set up nicely and very well done as well.  The result of the mystery totally surprised me; I love it when I can't predict where the story is going to end up.  The book ended at a good place; the main mystery is solved but Chrysabelle and friends will also have a bigger mystery to deal with in future books.

I also have to mention the cover, this has got to be one of the most stunning covers I have seen all year.  When I saw this cover I had to read the book.  I'd like a print of this cover to hang up in my house, it is just so darn beautiful.

Overall I really really enjoyed this book.  The world is very interesting and creative; the mystery behind the House of Comerre absolutely sucked me it.  The characters (even the side characters) are very engaging, likable, and fun to read about.  The book is well-written, well paced and easy to read.  I was really impressed with how Painter blends sci-fi, urban fantasy, romance, and mystery elements together to make an intriguing and engaging story.  Pretty much everything in this book was well-balanced.  There are some sensual scenes in the book but they never get too detailed or graphic, so older young adults could probably read this book (although the book is about adults, not sure about future books though).  I really look forward to reading Flesh and Blood, I can't wait to see what happens next...and I don't have to wait very long either!

I would recommend this book to those of you who like urban fantasy with some romance or paranormal romance books.  

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- The Debut Author Challenge

Blood Rights (House of Comarré)

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