Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Blood Rights

BLOOD RIGHTS (House of Comarre #1)
Kristen Painter
Urban Fantasy
392 pages
Orbit/Hachette Book Group
Available Now
Received at BEA

THE STORY
Chrysabelle is a Comarre, a human whose blood is richer and more delectable than a regular person's, which makes her and those like her very special to the vampire race. The wealthiest of the vampires purchase the blood rights of the Comarre as a symbol of their wealth and status, and Chrysabelle's rights are the highest of all.

When her patron is murdered in his home–beheaded by a weapon used often by the Comarre in their training–Chrysabelle immediately becomes the prime suspect. Tatiana, a vampire hoping to take Chrysabelle's patron's role in the world of vampire politics, goes on the hunt as she suspects Chrysabelle of not only killing her patron, but also of stealing a ring that will grant the wearer unimaginable power and change the rules by which the paranormal and the normal are governed.

Chrysabelle, not accustomed to living in the human world, seeks assistance and finds herself uncomfortably aligned with a vampire named Malkolm. When he inadvertently claims her blood rights, they are forced to work together to clear Chrysabelle's name and stop Tatiana from destroying the fragile peace created by humanity's ignorance of their kind. But for two individuals with innumerable secrets between them, opening up their lives to one another is a monstrous price to pay, and possibly one neither can afford.

MY THOUGHTS
Blood Rights is a story that shines as brightly as the gold filigree embedded in Chrysabelle's skin as an indicator of her status, presenting us with a richly detailed world and characters who have closets positively teeming with skeletons we can't wait to see revealed one intriguing bone at a time. First books in an urban fantasy series are often impressively weighed down by all the little nuances and particularities of the world, forcing us to concentrate so hard to picture what's described that we never fully immerse ourselves and connect, instead banished to the perimeter by detail overload. Ms. Painter beautifully introduces us to her world of vampires and the Comarre who share their lives, a master manipulator of shadows who knows just when to pull the darkness back and reveal enough to soothe our restless minds, and just when to cast that inky blackness back out and obscure what we long to know.

Chrysabelle and Malkolm are both intense individuals, living their lives according to the rules someone else has set for them and wearing the shackles of their slavery as beautiful and brutal ink tattooed on their bodies for all to see and understand their place in the vampire world. They want desperately to carve out a new life for themselves, possessing the physical mettle and the strength of will to do so, but yet they continually find themselves bested by the pull of the intangible strings linking them to their faceless puppeteers. Their relationship is one of uneasy alliance that has the potential to ignite into a blazing fire of passion, and we read on not daring to breathe lest the expulsion of air extinguish the fledgling sparks. The tension continues to mount the deeper they go into unraveling the mystery of Chrysabelle's patron's death, and we discover Ms. Painter has positively intoxicated us with these two individuals as we drink them down with greedy pulls and then turn the page to continue on our binge.

The story itself is spectacularly executed, giving us moments where our hero and heroine engage in battles both mental and physical while interspersing them with the more quiet war each wages against internal demons both past and present. The plot is complex enough as to be continually unpredictable, but never so much as to drown us in a sea of questions that leave us floundering and sputtering as we grasp for answers. Questions remain at the end, and the more we think about the story the more the number of questions we have increases, however our curiosity is never frustrating, remaining instead a reminder of our investment in this world. Ms. Painter has written a brilliant first installment with innumerable legs to stand on moving forward, and we finish reading Blood Rights knowing she's allowed us to take our floaties off and sink beneath the surface, yet we are also acutely aware we've been temporarily relegated to the shallow end of this supernatural pool with much to look forward to in the deeper waters of books two and three.

Rating: 4.5/5

I should mention that books 2 and 3 in this series are being released in rapid succession, so there will be very little wait in between. YAY!

Flesh and Blood - October 25th
Bad Blood - November 22nd

38 comments:

  1. Wow, this sounds fabulous. I haven't heard much about this one. Definitely want to look mor einto it. I love your floaties analogy. I like books that leave you primed and waiting to wade deeper.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is this the one I became someone else to get this book for said other person at BEA??? That made no sense, but it's late. Sue me.

    Anyhoo, fabulous review, as usual, my dear. I'm in awe of your reviewing prowess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm gonna go out on a whim here and say that you really liked this book. Glad to hear it! I have this in my imminent TBR pile (there are varying degrees you understand) as it is a net galley file. You just upped my excitement level! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Blood rights sounds so very good! I love a unpredictable plot, as long as it isn't so much that you end up like a question mark without getting anything from the story really.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oooh, I have this one on my to read and review lists at least mentally. I've started requesting Non-YA book to review on Baffled Books! Well I requested it a while ago but still... lol! Will soon start reviewing them, that's all that matters. Loved your review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh wow, this one sounds so good! I have to say that I ADORE my fair share of vampire books, and that whole summary is enough to give me chills! And you described it as "brilliant" which just makes me want to read it more. :)

    Awesome review, Jenny! I want to go and pick up this book right now!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have only heard good things about this book. It's on my must-read list. I love when a book leaves you thinking about it after you've finished it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Heya Jenny! I have seen the cover for this one before, but haven't actually stopped to read the synopsis before. It sounds like a really good read! I love intense characters. :) Looking forward to giving this a read!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow Jenny you make these vampires seem almost poetic with their gold skin...:)

    That cover is kind of freaky but I think Im going to check this one out....I have a hard time turning down a good vampire story...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Skimming because I just started this and it is rocking! I can NOT wait to see how it all plays out :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've seen this book around, but haven't paid much attention to it. After your review though, I certainly will (and add it to my TBR list).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Alison - I really enjoyed it! And they're releasing books 2 and three one after the other so hardly any wait:)

    Melissa - Is it scary that I understood what you were saying? Yes, for this book you were Bells:)

    Scarlett - Your whim is correct, I was kind of a big fan of this book:)

    Mari - There are definitely lots of questions, but you get some answers too so that makes the number of questions bearable:)

    Kris - Yay! Glad you're going to give this one a try, I thought it was fabulous:)

    Mimi - I loved this one! It was a different vampire story which I really liked. I'm always impressed when an author can do something new with such familiar supernatural being:)

    Patti - I thought about this one for a long time, and now I don't have to wait much longer for book 2!

    Christy - Characters are my favorite and both Chrysabelle and Malkom were amazing.

    Tina - Just the Comarre who are human have the gold skin but they are almost poetic:) Hope you pick it up!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Felicia - YAY! Can't wait to compare notes with you when you're done:)

    Amanda - Do it! I got sucked right into this one:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had my eye on this book for a while. It got good reviews in some of the library journals that I read a few weeks ago and I hope to find a trustworthy review for it on the blogosphere. So glad to see that you really enjoyed it! I thought the plot description was fascinating and the characters seem great. I'll definitely be on the lookout for this one. Glad to know that the other books are coming out relatively quickly. I'm really not a patient person when it comes to series. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooo, this one sounds really good! That cover sort of reminds me of Anna Dressed in Blood though. Anyways, awesome review, Jenny! I must get my hands on it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You know what they say: Gold Skin...Pure Win!

    Heh.

    No seriously, way to build up my excitement. I just won this book and I can not wait to get my grubby hand on it. I'm blood-lusting it like a mad woman.

    Thank the Vampire Gods for rapid succession release dates!

    *dances*

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved your review! Glad to hear that this book is good. It totally sold me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow- this sounds incredible. I've never even heard of it before, but I am going to add it to my TBR list. I love my vampire books! :) Thanks for sharing this one, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Is it totally wrong that I want her skin? Not in the creepy Silence of the Lambs sort of way, but I want gold tattoos, too! :D I wasn't sure if this one was going to be good or back because its been so hit or miss lately. I'm to hear its good because I can't wait to read it. I just requested it from Netgalley, so here's a hoping! :D Thanks, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice! This book sounds awesome! I love that there's both a hero and a heroine (not just one and then a love interest), and the setting sounds spectacular! Thanks for the review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rummanah - I love that the other two are coming out so soon, this series is one I can see I'm going to be addicted to:)

    Hafsah - It does look a little like Anna with the black/gray and red:) Hope you give it a try!

    Missie - There are no words for you. <3 you bigtime:) Super excited to see what you think of this one!

    Savy - Thanks! Loved everything about this book:)

    Christina - I love vampire books too and this one had a lot of different things going for it to make it unique:)

    Jen - Nope. I want it too. In the same non-creepy was as you of course:)

    Lauren - It was awesome:) All of her characters are fabulous and memorable.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lately, I've been so hesitant to pick up a vampire-based book, just because of vamp burnout. But this one sounds unique and incredibly intriguing. I love how, instead of ink tattoos, they have golden ones as a demarcation of their status.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yikes that is fast for book 2 and 3! And I am all sad cos I do have this one but I will not get the stupid library e-reader in time so I asked Lis review it for me :/ *sobs*

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oooh, I think I spotted this one on Netgalley the other day. I may just have to go grab it after reading your AWESOME review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have been really curious about this book, and you giving it a 4.5/5?!? Well, I know that it is something that I HAVE TO READ! And I love that books 2 and 3 are being released so quickly! Yay for not having to wait around for years for another book!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I haven't heard of this one AT ALL, but your review makes me think I'll like it as much as you did. *adds to wishlist*

    I'm glad books 2 and 3 are coming out soon. I hate long waits for sequels because I often forget what happened in previous books.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looks like we both loved this book! Oh can I say I just loved your analogy of the floaties? LOVED it! :) Well said! I just love your visuals to your reviews. Can I bask in your brilliance? Seriously! You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm fascinated by this book. I'm not much into vampires, yet this one just has a pull to it. I really want to read it and your review makes me want to read it more! Great review.

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh wow! Sounds like such a great series!!! And I love it when series release together like that. I hate waiting!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm really looking forward to reading this series! This book has definitely been on my TBR list and it was great to read your positive review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have seen the ad for this book and wandered what it was about, I should have known it was vampires.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've been curious about this series, and even read positive reviews, but I think you sold me on it. You describe it as rich and well built world, with equally interesting and nuanced characters, which I was afraid I wouldn't really get with this one. I'll keep my eye out for this one, thanks Jenny.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Soooo awesome! I can't wait to read this one!! I love when books are released in succession!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This cover speaks to me! I saw it at B&N last week...I should have bought it!!! Your review is gorgeous! I'm more intrigued now!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Awesome review ! I can't wait to read it, I've ordered it ! It sounds so great

    ReplyDelete
  36. I had a few problems with this book. I think you liked it more than me. I did like reading your pov and you pointed out some things I didn't think of. I really liked your observation how Mal and Chrysabelle had their rules made for them.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I could have sworn I had already commented on this one, so I'm sorry if this is a duplicate.

    After reading your review and taking your advice on going ahead and reading the book now, I did like it. A lot. And now I need the next books NOW :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I really don't understand the fever over this one :/ Chrys and Mal both struck me as boring and archetypal characters with no unique spin (Mal was Angel in all but name), Fi was a blatant plot device, the plot took forever to get going, and then once things did kick into gear, we were left with a lackluster conflict resolution and shameless sequel bait. The world was interesting, I give you that, but it felt wasted because so little of the book was spent exploring it - instead, we get scene after scene of will-they-won't-they "sexual tension" in which the HEROINE, of all people, spends most of her time trying to convince the hero that he owns her. *headdesk* I'm genuinely surprised that so many people dug this.

    Ah well, to each his own I guess.

    ReplyDelete