Sunday, February 17, 2013

9 Heart Review: Blood Sin by Marie Treanor

Blood Sin (Awakened by Blood #2)
Marie Treanor

Page Count: 315

Release Date: 5 April 2011
Publisher: Signet Eclipse (NAL; Penguin)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher, via Bewitching Book Tours, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you both!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Even if you stand in the light, you can dwell in the dark.

Months after her dangerous encounter with the vampire overlord Saloman, Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is still trying to cope with both the demands of her ancestral bloodline—which marks her as a vampire hunter—and the overpowering desire she feels for the immortal she brought back from the grave. But she is not alone in her fascination with Saloman.

When Elizabeth tracks down a distant cousin from America, she learns he possesses an antique sword that has caught the interest of the Grand Master of the American hunters. It is the ancient and mystical sword of Saloman—a treasure of vast occult powers and a prize beyond measure to both vampires and humans. Now the race is on for the possession of the sword.

Even as her enemies and allies shift their allegiances and battle for supremacy, Elizabeth must decide which will rule her own perilous fate: unwanted loyalty or unholy love.

Review


Check out my review for the first glimpse at Elizabeth and Saloman in Blood on Silk by clicking here

The gripping whirlwind of a forbidden romance between Ancient vampire, Saloman and his human Awakener, Elizabeth continues in Marie Treanor's second installment of the Awakened by Blood series. Blood Sin is rich in landscape, full of delicious vampire sex, and brimming with desperate emotion, which makes it as good as—and in my opinion, even more enjoyable than—the first book that originally subjected us to the two lovers.

Elizabeth knows she shouldn't. Months after parting from Saloman after a very wild, very wicked last night together, she knows she shouldn't involve herself in his search by the vampire hunters to whom she has so gratefully allied herself—and yet she does. The hunters are still unaware of her fleeting, but still intense relationship with Saloman, but in the turmoil of the manhunt—or, shall we say, vampire-hunt—her hidden loyalties may soon falter and even worse, be exposed. The quest brings her to America—New York, New York—where she seeks out a distant relative who has what he thinks is a family heirloom, but actually may be Saloman's most prized possession, but her visit may hinder the hunters' plans to put Saloman to rest once and for all.


Saloman, having thrived since his awakening, doesn't necessarily want to harm anyone, but he does want his sword back. He'll do everything in his strength to attain his highly coveted weapon, and isn't afraid to kill anyone who gets in the way. But of course, the biggest barricade happens to be the sweet, compassionate Elizabeth Silk; apparently the hunters are not the only ones whose agendas will be destroyed.


The evolution of Elizabeth's relationship with Saloman is amazing. Readers are exposed to more ardent, more complicated aspects to Saloman that make Elizabeth fall in love with him even more, and these harrowing truths are what fuel her wrongdoings. At once tender and emotionally brutal, the romance that we first became enchanted with in Blood on Silk displays its darker, more mesmerizing side, and for Elizabeth, and for readers, there is no going back. 

Treanor's writing style, as always, is a treat: delightfully droll, expressive, and wholly sentimental. She perfectly captures the pain of parting onto paper, and her descriptions are great for further characterization and emotional buildup. I love the new auxiliary characters we meet in this book. Even the villains, as despicable as they are, are well-developed and realistic.


As Elizabeth's power grows, she must face the hard, cold reality that her old, dully intellectual life will never be the same again. As much as she promises herself never to ally with evil, she also must face the pleasing yet disturbing fact that she and Saloman make a kickass team—a powerful, passionate team—which is exactly what Saloman wants to convince her of. As the mistress of the most powerful vampire in the world, there are certain risks that come her way... what will it take to bring her to her senses that she and Saloman ultimately will be each other's ruin? 


The impossibility of Elizabeth's concerns probes the conscience, demonstrating the very human, very real affinity towards being wicked, even though there's nothing more than good at heart. Emotionally wrecking one moment, and fiercely erotic the next, the continuation of Elizabeth's search for herself, her lover, and ultimately, her position in the light, is a scintillating, fascinating escape.


The main reason I don't give this one a full 10 hearts is because there was one looming aspect that I could have done without: the heightened idealization of the vampires. Every time I was introduced to new vamps, I found myself thinking Aren't there any unattractive vampires around? Any unique, humbled powers? The telepathy is one thing, but the animalistic speed, the power over the natural elements, and the inability to ever get dirty (because, you know... vampires never sweat. They're too pristine and beautiful and etc. etc.) are a little too much—definitely annoying and Twilight-esque. I would have liked to see a little more originality and a little more grit within the otherwise stunning creatures Treanor created.


In the end, the secret of the almighty sword is revealed, but not before embarking readers on a thrilling, carnal ride full of vampire fights, mass murders, and emotional breakdowns first. The chilling realization that our terrifying and beloved Saloman is capable of feelings more profound than any human has ever known, is toxic for Elizabeth, but completely crucial for their unfeasible but ever-kindling fire.

Wanna know what happens next? Read my review of Blood Eternal, the next and final installment of the series, by clicking here

Pros


A deeper, darker, and more thrilling branching from the first book // Lots of baring to Saloman's fascinating character // Hot, hot, HOT // Elizabeth and Saloman's relationship flourishes off of more than just lust // Dilemma of Elizabeth's loyalties are agonizing // Familiar and evocative European backdrop, but also a fresh American setting // New secondary characters, such as Josh Alexander, are sweet, human relief! // Continual witty dialogue // Monumental climax // Bittersweetly romantic

Cons


I hate how Elizabeth is so independent, but pathetically weak in Saloman's sexual presence. Get a grip, girl! // Vampires wayyy too glamorized—even more so than in Blood Sin

Love


I've plenty of quotes I picked out! You know I hate choosing favorites:
[Elizabeth] knew it would be a mistake to [get involved with Saloman] all over again, and she knew that when they met, she'd have to be strong enough to assure him of that. And yet she couldn't prevent the surge of excitement, of pure hunger just to talk to him, just to be in his arms for one more minute.

Well, if she was honest, the hunger went well beyond a minute in his arms, but she couldn't, she really couldn't afford to be that honest.
"I can't work out," [Elizabeth] said, "whether I'm perverse, or the world is."
— what I ask myself everyday LOL!
Another night of bliss with Saloman. There had never been more than one night at a time before this, and she was aware of the danger as she writhed under him, dragging at his clothes and wriggling to feel all of him against her desperate body. She was sinking deeper into the darkness and it felt increasingly like light.
— this one gave me shivers.
He stood under the café light, dressed in black, with his hair loose around his shoulders, glistening with moisture. Raindrops trickled down his forehead, trembled on his full, sensual lips. Shadows lurked in the deep hollows of his cheeks. His opaque dark eyes held secrets she never wanted to learn. And many, so many, that she did.
— have you fallen in love with Saloman yet?

Verdict


Blood Sin is indeed a sinful trek through steamy sex, a high-risk chase, and the morally exhausting complications Elizabeth must confront. Marie Treanor expertly brings her characters and scenery to life, which is bound to make readers writhe in arousal and fall in love all over again. A fresh paranormal pursuit and the wicked tug-of-war game for power divulges Saloman's greatest, familiarly human weakness: the ability to feel, and the capacity to love. A satisfying, addicting sequel for fans of the first story in the series, Blood Sin will not disappoint Americanflag

9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf (x)