Saturday, June 28, 2008

Faith Hunter - Bloodring (Book Review)

"Bloodring" (Amazon: UK, USA)
by Faith Hunter
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Roc Books
(imprint of Penguin Group USA)
Remember my review of "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer? In short, "Twilight" is a book written with great style but at the same time being completely plotless. While reading "Bloodring", I was instantly reminded of "Twilight" - both books fall pretty much under the same genre (paranormal romance for "Twilight" and urban fantasy for "Bloodring" - as daydream said in one of the comments, these two are like 'twin sisters, the one pink and fluffy, the other hardcore and bad to the bone. But the gene make up is the same.'). Also, both include an unusual young woman as the main protagonist, not to mention that in both cases, this young woman ends up attracted to a young ''man'' (who, in fact, is not a man at all, and not necessarily young, either). "Bloodring" is clearly the better of the two where the plot and the mix of fantasy genre conventions are concerned, but unfortunately, the style of writing falters more often.

If I continue with the comparison - "Bloodring" was written for slightly more mature audience than "Twilight". The heroine here is, though still a young woman, a full grown-up with an extraordinary past and abilities to match it; not to mention that her obsession with a certain 'man' is much more physical than the almost pre-adolescent "Twilight" relationships (in fact, the 'mage-heat' she so often succumbs to slowly starts to annoy the reader at some point, since every odd chapter of the book seems to deal with it). Also, the plot is on a higher level - the reader is faced with a post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by Seraphs, angelic beings who came to Earth to punish humanity for its sins. They are not the only non-human beings inhabiting the Earth; there are also many demons and other devil-spawn haunting the innocents, kylen - offspring of Seraphs and men, and neomages, who are kept in 'havens', for their power could endanger the hegemony of Seraphs. But there is one unlicensed mage living amongst the human - her name is Thorn and she is the above mentioned heroine we follow throughout the book.

The setting is varied and convincing, as is the everyday life Thorn strives to live. The post-apocalyptic era is sometimes presented rather unconvincingly, as if the author had not completely decided how exactly it should look like. There are many unexplained and rather illogical elements to it - for example, there is severe human hatred against unregistered neomages, seemly based on nothing at all, and a somewhat funny balance between available and unavailable goods (no problem with aspirin and Internet, but don't even think about getting some sugar - or a car).

Also, as the end of the book nears, things start to get chaotic, everything's happening very fast - too fast, even - and not many of the events are explained properly. The ending leaves everything open for the next book in the series, "Seraphs", to carry on with the story, and since the overall impression "Bloodring" left was pretty ok, I just might give "Seraphs" a try.
~ Trin ~


Barbara Martin said...

Your review provided further temptation to go out and buy this book, but I must say the cover sent ripples down my back. Love those wings!

Trin said...

The cover is really nice :) glad you enjoyed the review!

Anonymous said...

Hunk on the cover = not buying the book.

jennifer c.

shelly_bran said...

I've read the book a year ago. I agree with your review Trin.

HammClov said...

I haven't read Bloodring, but I thought your comparison to Twilight was enjoyable. Not sure that I would give it points for style, but I found it pointless, and a lot like eating tofu. Tasteless and textureless.


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