Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
Plot Development: 4/5
Plot Pacing: 4/5
Character Development: 5/5
Rating: 18+ for profanity, graphic violence, and sexual language and situations.
You saw your mother die an unspeakable death. You then get kidnapped by a fearsome (but mysteriously sexy) stranger who insists he trying to carry you to safety. You spend the next few days on the run with said fearsome and mysteriously sexy stranger and find your lust for him growing exponentially. You are then separated from your fearsome and mysteriously sexy friend and find yourself in a gigantic castle equipped with all sorts of Medieval torture devices. When you demand to speak to the person in charge, you find yourself sitting across a huge desk from…your dad?
Meet Greta Brandt, the kick-butt heroine in Lu J. Whitley’s Bloodmarked. She goes on the run with Jaromir after the Takers murder her mother in a hideous fashion. Along the way, Greta learns that her entire life has been a lie, that she is not the person she always thought she was, and that she is powerfully attracted to Jaromir, who reciprocates her feelings but knows that indulging in their mutual attraction could be dangerous for both of them.
I loved the snarky, sassy tone the characters used with each other, and the dialogue is awesome (think “How to Train Your Dragon” but with a lot more profanity and sexual innuendo). This adds a strong element of dark humor to the book. Greta and Jaromir spend most of the novel bickering like an old married couple, and later Greta gives Stein (Jaromir’s troll friend whom he has assigned to deliver Greta to safety) a dose of attitude and an enormous headache. The book even hints at Greta’s attraction to Stein, but her loyalty to Jaromir wins out. The characters are superbly developed. I think Greta is my new role model. Both Jaromir and Stein work for the Fraktion, an organization devoted to eliminating the Takers and other unsavory creatures, and protect those who have become targets for Takers and other unsavory creatures.
Another thing I liked about this book was its dash of Deutschland. The author sprinkles bits of German culture and language in the plot and characters.
Although the plot flows well and is in general well-developed, the abrupt shifts in point of view became a distraction. In many parts of the book, the point of view would suddenly change with no clear transition. I had to re-read many of the sentences over again just to be sure whose point of view I was following. And I was excitedly following the intense action of the book all the way to a somewhat anti-climatic ending. I am a lot more forgiving of loose ends and cliffhangers when there is a sequel in the works (there is), but this ending just wasn’t 100% satisfying. But I guess Ms. Whitley’s going to make me read the sequel ;). As Greta would say, “Get over yourself and focus.”
I highly recommend this book for its entertaining plot and lovable characters
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