Author: Kristen Painter
Series: House of Comarre #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 09/27/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré -- a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world... and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
The author created a very unique new twist on vampires in this novel. There were different castes of vampires, and even a race bred solely to feed the royal vampires The comarre were very interesting, with their gold tattoos and their secrets. It was great to learn more about them as Chrysabelle educated Malkolm. There were also fae and shapeshifter races that I hope to see more of in future books as Chrysabelle continues her journey. There were a couple plotlines in this novel that twisted and turned around each other until everything came together in the end. I was on my toes throughout the entire novel, never knowing what was going to happen next and it was a fun ride.
Pace: 4 Stars
Although Chrysabelle's storyline is the main storyline of the novel, there were a couple smallers ones that wove themselves into the story as well. Because of this, the point of view switches between a steady number of characters throughout the story. What could've easily been muddled and confusing, was treated perfectly by the author. Each change in perspective was needed to understand the full scope of the story, and not just Chrysabelle's point of view. There were a few times in which this seemed to slow the pace down a bit, especially when multiple scenes were happening at the same time. After bouncing from point of view to point of view, it felt like more time had elapsed between scenes from the same point of view than had really elapsed. But it was definitely worth it to get inside the heads of multiple characters.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
This novel had a very strong cast of characters. Chrysabelle was a tough heroine that learned to stick up for herself quickly once she was out in the human world. Malkolm, with his voices and tattoos was a vampire carrying a curse. It took him a bit to open up, but he turned out to be a great foil for Chrysabelle. They tested each other, and neither would back down. Mal lived on an old ship with Fi and Doc. Fi is a ghost tied to Malkolm and Doc is a shapeshifter who is also cursed. Together, they make an interesting team that comes to Chrysabelle's aid. Tatiana, the noble vampire who is after Chrysabelle for the murder of her master, is a very evil woman. I really enjoyed rooting against her as the story progressed.
Cover: 5 Stars
This cover is absolutely gorgeous. I would've wanted to read it due to this cover even if it wasn't an urban fantasy centered around a new kind of vampires. Although Chrysabelle spends most of the novel in more casual clothes, I could totally picture her in the outfit the cover model is wearing. The intricate gold tattoos were the make or break detail of this cover, and the artist totally delivered. Even though Chrysabelle covered them at times, I couldn't imagine the cover without such an important detail to who and what she was. The intricate frame around the cover model is an interesting touch, especially once I noticed that the red ribbon is hanging out of the frame. The choice to have the cover model's back to the reader adds to the mystery of Chrysabelle, although I was glad when the covers for books two and three were released and we got to see her face.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel for review from Orbit.