Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Blessed

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this third installment of the Tantalize series we are back in Austin with Quincie, our reluctant vampire and teenaged restraunteur. Zachary the guardian angel has been reassigned to Quince now that Miranda has died. It is Zach’s hope, and new assignment, to get neophyte vamps/Eternals to redeem themselves and return to Heaven’s fold.

Quince has other plans. She needs to get Sanguini’s up and running and she also needs to figure out a way to save all the people who unwittingly consumed Bradley’s blood and will be turning into vamps without their consent or knowledge. Nora and Freddy also turn up in Austin to help Zachary.

I have to admit that I didn’t get the purpose of the second book until the ending when Miranda died and Zachary was given his new assignment. Now in this book we were back at Sanguini’s, and the storyline I prefer. Since Quince has no legal guardian, Kieran’s parents have stepped in and taken on that role…which makes things very difficult for Quincie. She has to hide her vampire side from the only family she has left. Quincie is in nothing but tough situations all throughout this book. But being the tough girl that she is, she is able to rise to each occasion and handle it in a way that is wise beyond her years.

I was pleased to see Zach show up. His character is different in that his future hangs in the balance as well. Having disobeyed his supervisor many times, he is earthbound but has regained some of his angelic qualities…but not all of them, and there is a very real chance he could end up kicked out of Heaven entirely. He still can’t return to the ethereal plane and see his beloved Miranda. But Zach and Quince become very close, sibling-like close. I thought once Q saw Zach, she might forget Kieran, but I need not have worried. Together Q and Zach work well together as their individual “quests” become one.

Smith took a tremendous amount of inspiration from Bram Stoker for this series. And she does illustrate that fact in a number of ways. I do love to see how authors find their inspiration and then what they do with it. With the fourth, and seemingly final, book in this series recently released I am curious to see what Smith may do in the future. Will she take off in another direction entirely? Will she use another classic novel has an inspirations? Time will tell.

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