Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Blood by K.J. Wignall

Book: Blood by K.J. Wignall
Series: Mercian Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Print / Ebook
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
How Did I Get This Book: For review from netgalley

First Sentence: "We burned the witches in 1256. It was the last time I really enjoyed a fire - not because of the witches, you understand, even though I was for burning them at the time - just for the pleasure of flames dancing in the night sky and filling the land with their orange glow."
I do not remember being bitten. I wish I did, for then I would know the creature who did this to me and I would have a purpose, to track him down and repay him for the poisoned gift he gave me. Back in the Thirteenth Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia, although he never lived to inherit his title. In the centuries that follow, Will has led a lonely life, learning to deal with whatever the present day throws at him, always searching for answers but never finding any. Until this time, when he awakens after a 20-year-slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, when it appears that he is finally getting a glimpse at why he exists. He does indeed have a destiny, and an enemy, but revealing that fate will be a matter of trust...

Blood is the story of Will, the rightful Earl of Mercia.  In Will, Wignall creates a wildly romantic version of a vampire. He is much more Louis (Vampire Chronicles) than Edward (Twilight); he’s dark, brooding and depressed. And no, he does not sparkle.

The story and writing style also connect more with the traditional stories than the modern ones. It’s highly introspective – every chapter or so features a passage in which Will narrates his history (much like a diary). As you might imagine, this  certainly makes for a slow moving book. the writing itself is very eloquent, expressive and lengthy.  Wignall favors long, complex sentences – which worked with the tone of the book.

However,  the style of the book turns it into a bit of an oddity. Due to the characters ages, it’s always going to be looked at as a young adult book. The problem is that it’s not written like one. It is inevitably going to be marketed to twilight fans (I’m not saying anything is wrong with that, I own all four books) and that just not the right market for the book. It's much darker and serious - you will not find any sparkling vampires professing their undying love here.

Anyways back to the characters. Along the path of self discovery, Will meets a girl, Eloise - who ends up helping him throughout the book. I was not swept away by her character, but I did like Eloise. She tends to bring out the lighter side of Will and I am interested to see how she rubs off on him in the future. 

Like I said before, the storyline is slow moving, but it does eventually pick up. I found it all incredibly interesting and I liked the characters, it is just that things tended to drag out a bit too much for my liking. Will is also rather repetitive - he tends to go on and on about his feelings. If you enjoy a book that his heavy in the descriptions and wording, you are surely going to love Blood. I feel like you have to be in the right mindset for this one, if you go in expecting a story like the rest of today’s vampire fiction, you are not going to be happy.  Yes, it’s got action, mystery and excitement, but above all else it’s a story about Will as a person.  It’s certainly not overly romantic either; but it’s an intriguing story that centers around an incredibly infatuating character.

On a final note, If I ever purchase this book, I am going to buy the U.K. edition. I am not really sure why publishers always feel the need to have two different book covers, but in my opinion the U.K. version is much better than the U.S. edition.The U.S. one just does not work with the book. Not every vampire book needs to have a half naked guy on it.

Favorite Quotes
We returned because that night was ours, our triumph over witchcraft and evil.
At last, in this new millennium, he'd found a message in the most unlikely of places. And it promised something that he'd never dared hope, that there had been a reason for all of this, his sickness, the centuries of loneliness, that he had a destiny. 
It's hard for me to describe the terror I felt upon waking because I knew only one thing and knew it instantly, that I was in the grave.
She almost looked in danger of being won over, but as if remembering her former frostiness, her face hardened.
For now, he could think only that she was almost as tall as him, that they were both dressed in black, both pale, walking as one - it was almost as if they were meant to be together.
"You know, I don't think I've ever met anyone quite like you. You're like some old-fashioned knight." "Thank you, though it's been a while since I killed  a dragon."
She stared back at him, and he knew they didn't have very long, that he had to get away from there quickly. But he didn't rush her because he knew that she'd seen things she should never had witnessed, and that right now, she was making the biggest decision she would ever make.
He wanted to believe her, but more importantly he believed in her because she knew already that he was quite lost, more lost than she would ever be, and yet she still believed in him.
"Oh well, back to the crypt, I suppose."
It was instinct that drove him to hibernate, not choice, but he would have chosen it at that moment anyway because he saw that blood had nothing to offer him but more of this, standing in the shadows, watching other people live.
"You're nearly eight hundred years old and here you are, sitting on our sofa, and you're a vampire who needs our help. Of course."
"If there is a God, He abandoned me a long time ago."
"If I didn't taste like dinner, I'd kiss you right now." "If you didn't taste like dinner, I'd kiss you back."


Mary Grace said...

And no, he does not sparkle.

I had to laugh at that one. Haha! I have this in my Nook and can't wait to read it. And I have to agree that the UK edition has a lovelier cover than the US. :)

Cathy @ Abnormally Paranormal Reviews said...

This is a very informative review. It sounds like I can expect it to be more like Interview with the Vampire, than Twilight. That for me is a great sign, because I like the former, and hate the latter. I really want to read this one, so thanks for giving me a great comparison. It helps so much!

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