Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Blood Born by Jamie Manning


Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Ava Blue. When Chance Caldon, the hottie who dug her up, tells her that she’s half vampire, Ava’s world really turns upside down.

Half vamp? Ava can’t believe it...she doesn't even know what that means! Not until Aldric, a thousand-year-old vampire, shows up and tells her it’s true--and that he’s the one who turned her. Then Ava truly begins to believe what she is. Now she has to deal with a sudden and powerful bloodlust, the desire to see Aldric dead, and her growing crush for Chance. Ava knows she's a monster now, she can feel it; and her life is over. 

But redemption isn’t lost. Aldric is giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill a hundred vampires, or remain a bloodsucker forever.

So Ava sets out to get her life back. But killing vampires begins a battle that could destroy everything she is working toward. In the end, Ava's decisions will forever change her life and the lives of those she loves.

Jamie Manning’s Blood Born is a fast-paced, fun, clever, and original take on the vampire novel.  What I enjoyed most were the frequent touches of humor throughout the novel, even during the more serious scenes.  The tone reminded me a bit of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, and Ava’s snarky comments were to die for!
On a more serious note, Ava is a fascinating heroine because as a half-vampire, half-human, she’s placed in the position of having to fight against both other vampires and the emerging vampiric nature within herself.  What’s more, since Ava awakens as a half-vampire with no memory of her human past, she’s really struggling to establish her identity throughout the novel.  And she has to do it while nearly constantly fending off vicious vamps!
I thought the novel’s pacing was great, with a nice blend of action, introspection, and relationship scenes.  The author doesn’t get bogged down in a lot of world-building, and like Ava, the reader knows just enough to get by, which adds a sense of mystery throughout.  I do hope we learn more about Aldric and the reason Ava is only half-vampire in the sequel!
There’s also a major twist about three-quarters of the way through that I did NOT see coming at all, so kudos to the author for that. 
Finally, there are some great secondary characters here, including Ava’s goth girl friend, a brother-sister pair of vampire hunters, and, of course, the absolutely adorable hottie Chance.
All in all, Blood Born is a winning mix of action, humor, and romance sure to please paranormal fans!

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