“What is a use of a book, without pictures or conversations?” Protagonist Victoria Warrick can’t stand her school, St. Xavier, in upstate New York. Wherever she goes she’s ridiculed and mocked. One day, her biggest tormenter, Brett, starts up a confrontation. Angry he won’t leave her alone, a power inside Victoria which feeds on her emotions causes him to be seriously hurt. They both land in the hospital.
The next thing Victoria realizes is how she’s cheated death. Victoria doesn’t know what happened and is mortified how she almost killed Brett. Now even more, Victoria feels like a freak. Soon Victoria’s seventeenth birthday distracts her from her troubles. That is until, Aunt Holly, who has taken care of her since her parent’s died, gives her a special gift: a music box once owned by Victoria’s grandmother. Inside the box are some ancient journals, as well as a rose tinted amulet. Victoria finds the gesture lovely but soon wants nothing to do with the music box or the necklace because when she puts the necklace on it speaks to her and changes to a dark red color, searing her skin.
Soon, Victoria decides to leave behind her troubles to attend a new school, Windsor Academy. She’s also secured a couple of jobs. One of them is as an assistant to the school’s music director. Not only does Victoria have a paranormal power in veins, music is her heart and soul.
And music is what connects her to Christian Devereux, a hot French boy, who is a musical prodigy. But Christian is something he doesn’t want Victoria to find out. He’s a vampire. And ancient laws forbid vampires and witches from being together. Oh, did I not mention that Victoria is a witch? Aha! Victoria discovers she’s a witch through the magical music box, insightful diary entries in the journals….and the power of the amulet, and with the help of a “familiar” friend. But it’s not long until Victoria and Christian find out each others secrets! However, there are unseen forces which want to tear them apart. They will do anything to prevent them from breaking the covenant of the vampires and the century old curse which flows within Victoria’s blood.
“We’re all mad here.” Even though somewhat reminiscent of other vampire books, BLOODSPELL is fun, darkly entertaining and holds its own. I enjoyed the diary entries scattered throughout the book. It gives us a sense of the history behind Victoria’s witch ancestors and how they shaped her future. Throughout the story, we are in New York but the characters also take us to other places in the world. BLOODSPELL is believable in its scenes when focused on the normalcy in Victoria’s life, as well as the paranormal elements.
Victoria and Christian have a love-hate relationship. Their romance pops and crackles when they are together. Vampires and witches don’t mix, but Victoria and Christian can’t avoid it. Christian tries to hide his secret from her, but he’s drawn to her like a moth is to a flame. As Victoria attempts to throw herself into her studies and work, she can think of nothing but Christian. Her heart races every time he’s around. So did mine! How can you not love a vampire from France? Christian definitely has that over on you, Edward! I l also love the musical element shared between them. It makes their two worlds collide.
I am glad that Victoria finds friends at Windsor. Charla is quirky and fun and Angie has trouble warming up to Victoria, but eventually comes around. Gabriel, Angie’s brother, likes to flirt and play the field, but has dark secrets of his own and his eyes are set on Victoria. Lucian, Christian’s vampire brother, doesn’t want them to be together because the vampire covenant prevents it. He knows more harm will come to them than good. And of course, there’s Leto, Victoria’s beloved cat who holds the answers to Victoria’s questions. There are some other interesting characters which help and hinder Victoria and Christian along the way, but I don’t want to give too much away!
The writing is smooth and the story has a great sense of place and time. Although, sometimes a bit melodramatic in parts, Howard’s writing is solid. The story is exciting and I never knew where it was going. I did not guess who is good and who is bad. BLOODSPELL kept me in suspense until the surprising ending.
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” I’m looking forward to Howard’s second novel in the series, which is scheduled to be released sometime next year.
“Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” I’m giving BLOODSPELL 3 “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Characters” for being solid writing and a great story!
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