When I was at Lori Foster’s Reader/Author Get Together back in June, I had a chat with one of the attending agents. She was very kind and talked with me about the business and answered my questions. Also, she gave me an ARC of Kristen Painter’s debut UF novel, Blood Rights. I’ll admit, I have a thing for pretty covers and from what the agent told me, Blood Rights sounded very interesting.
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign
This is true urban fantasy with very little hint of a possible romance. I’m not going to say one won’t develop as the series goes along, but if you’re looking for romance in an urban fantasy, then you may want to pass on this book. That said, I have mixed feelings about the main characters.
Chrysabelle is what is known as a comarré. As the blurb states, she’s a human…kind of. I’m still not sure I completely understand what a comarré is exactly. There is a description that Chrysabelle finally gives about 2/3-3/4 of the way through the book, but IMHO it still doesn’t really explain it. I’m hoping that Ms. Painter will reveal more about this, since comarré are heavy on the secrets. Chrysabelle is a tough one and I like that in my heroines. Even when she’s scared, she puts on a brave face and goes for what she believes is the right thing to do. She wants free of the life she was born into, but fate seems to have other plans…and what that will be in the end is still TBD.
Malkom is somewhere between vampire and demon. He’s cursed…that’s all I’ll say other than this curse really does push him to the point of near insanity. But, he and his “friends” are the only help Chrysabelle has, after the only person on the “outside” is no longer able to assist her. Neither one really trusts the other, especially at first. I think that changes near the end, but I don’t think any trust built is all that strong.
I was really hoping to like Blood Rights more than I did. I think Ms. Painter’s world is fascinating and it is definitely a new spin on vampires and the vampire world. That much, IMHO, is refreshing. I like new spins. However, she spends a lot of time world-building (to be expected in a new novel in a new series…that doesn’t bother me), but sometimes the world building she gives us is over kill on things she’s already explained and not enough time explaining things I feel us readers *should* know…like what a comarré is exactly, other than some “suped up” human. In theory, I think I understand what comarré are supposed to be, but I’d like to know more about the background, how they came to be. Though, I think I can say the same for the vampires…how they came to be, how the Houses were formed (again you get some pieces of this, but I keep thinking there has to be more of a history…)
The lack of history and details that, IMHO, matter were lacking and that is what disappointed me. Ms. Painter has created an intriguing new vampire world and during all this world building, I’ve learned very little background. I understand the current world (which is about 50 years into the future from now) that she created, but the curious reader in me wants to know the backstory. I’ll read the second book when it comes out, in hopes that Ms. Painter will give us more of what Blood Rights was missing. I think this series and Ms. Painter have some really good potential.
Flesh and Blood (November 1, 2011)
Bad Blood (December 1, 2011)