Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?
Cynthia Leitich Smith is an incredible young adult, dark fantasy author, her creative use of Bram Stoker's Dracula had me turning pages long into the night. The human world and the Underworld blend seamlessly in this novel, and her characters are honest and well rounded, I also enjoyed how Cynthia pulled in a few characters from Eternal as well. The three novels Tantalize, Eternal and Blessed are tied together perfectly within Cynthia's unique, imaginative world. However, in this one, the action doesn't truly pick up until the latter half of the book, but when it does...it's intense.
This book picks up right where Tantalize ended, with Quincie fighting to stop herself from gorging on Kieren's blood; a deal she made in order to have Bradley (the vampire who infected her) leave town. Being a hybrid, half Wolf and half human, leaves Kieren little control over his shifting, and he is still under suspicion for murder and must leave town to seek out the Wolf pack for help. Quincie manages to clear his name, but he still cannot return to her because his future lies with the pack. Putting the restaurant back into order, and trying to save the unsuspecting customers that Bradley infected, are the only things keeping Quincie from falling apart after Kieren left. Quincie hires some new employees, Nora, Freddie and Zachary, and they seem to know an awful lot about her bring a vampire. While Nora and Freddie are completely human, there is more to Zachary than meets the eye, and it's not long before Quincie figures out just who he truly is. As Bradley grows stronger, a connection between him and Quincie puts the Wolf pack in danger. Reuniting with Kieren, Quincie and her new friends must band together to destroy the evil that Bradley has unleashed, and a final battle changes the lives of everyone surrounding Quincie, including her own.