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Sweet Blood of Mine: An Urban Fantasy Action Adventure (Overworld Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 444 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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A paranormal, sci-fi, YA story centered on a teenage boy named Justin. Justin would kindly be classified as a nerd and unkindly as a complete fat loser.
Justin's character is your typical hormone filled teenager looking for love in all the wrong places. What he lacks in food control he makes up for in conviction and self-control. He's waiting for his true love to be discovered before jumping into the naked pool. Poor Justin seems to find himself in one disaster after another when he unknowingly outs his special abilities trying to do the right thing.
No one's more surprised than Justin at his new abilities. Trying to discover their origin leads him into a world he never knew existed. With his mother and father inexplicably awol, he has to try to figure out what's happening to him and why he's suddenly one of the most hated monsters walking the earth. Everyone knows high school can be a bitch but this takes things to a whole new level.
I enjoyed the book but the time spent walking through the teenage mind and dramatics that might turn off readers that do not enjoy the YA genre. Justin has a lot of internal monologs through the story that at times made reading tedious but giving the genre and storyline, it's not surprising.
There is tremendous potential for the series and we do get a single flash of where the storyline seems to be heading. The future looks interesting for Justin and the motley crew he seems to have banded together.
This wasn't the greatest novel so I won't spend too much time on it, but I did want to hit a couple points.
For one, the idea of a teenager outcast who gains supernatural powers is far from original. Although the supernatural entity that our protag turns out to be is original, at least to me, I've never read a book where the hero is an Incubus. I'm still not sure how I feel about the hero being a soul sucking demon. But I guess if vampires can be heroes we should let Incubuses have a chance at the lime light too.
On a whole the book had a shallow feel to it, and there was no clear cut story arc, toward the end some vampires kidnapped his father and he had to mount a rescue, but that only happened in the last hour of reading.
On a whole it wasn't that bad, if you're someone who likes a book with a lot of teenage love/angst drama, this might be a good one for you. For me it was entertaining, and since I've been in such a horrible slump lately I was able to overlook a few issues to enjoy this book.
I won’t lie, within the first few pages of this book, I found myself grimacing at some of the writing. I could not help but wince at the interactions between the characters; how bland and cold the “bad guys” or bullies were from the start, or how non-dimensional the initial female love interest of our main character, Justin, proved herself from the very start. I thought to myself, Dear God, this is going to be a train wreck. Nothing about this book will be bearable. And for a while, that became more and more evident with every passing page and every interaction and dialogue traded between Justin and, quite literally, every other character. I also noted early on that every single character sounded EXACTLY alike. Their language choices and use of certain vocabulary had me audibly confused and groaning along. It didn’t take long for me to get bored.
But something happened. Not a cliff hanger or a single notable piece of the book, but something about it kept me hanging on. Yeah, for a while, I was complaining to my wife in sporadic pop-up fashion about how the characters were terribly written and the plot a cookie cutter replica of many Young Adult Fiction novels; however, I never put the book down. Whatever it was—perhaps the growth of the writing from a bad, high-school-grade essay to something more gripping, something deeper than the words on the page—hooked my attention strongly, and I finished every last word.
Sweet Blood of Mine, which I am assuming is a creative play on the Guns n Roses hit, perhaps tries a bit too hard to incorporate a realistic intensity of teenage angst and its impact on teens today. Yeah, some of the pop culture references are a bit too much and get a little cumbersome (Heisenberg as a chem teacher), but if you chalk those up to writer’s voice, strip them away as minute issues, and explore the novel’s story, you can easily fall away into Justin’s world. You can play the scenes of misfit teens braving high school over and over in your head, cheering on the protagonist in his newfound bravery. You can sympathize with a broken-hearted Justin, as he unjustly loses his true love interest, Elyssa. You can swell with pride as Justin drops that floozy harlot, Katie, for a girl of substance. The characters start to become something more than stereotypes personified and the world becomes believable, realistic, and beings for which you give a shit.
Thinking back to it, perhaps the side characters were so bland and tasteless simply because that is what the writer wanted. He needed his reader to understand that the high school bullies are simple nothings in the grand scope of things. They never develop or grow as people simply because they do not need to. As they stand, these characters are perfect examples of how much those high school bullies and bitches mattered; close to nothing. They get the story going, as they did for all of us; but, in the chapters that mattered, they served no purpose and really did not need to grow for us to get what we needed from them.
In the end, after I flicked past the epilogue and found myself staring down the empty Kindle pages with no more of Justin’s story for me to consume, I immediately text my wife, “I’ve gotta buy the rest of these books.” What started as a gamble into a .99 cent book advertised on Facebook turned into fandom; the excited clamoring of a reader for more. I look forward to the rest of the series, and I hope desperately that they are as engaging as the first