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Review: Blood Bond by Jeanne C. Stein

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Blood Bond
Author: Jeanne C. Stein 
Reviewer: Gikany and Una
Rating: B, 3 Stars


What We’re Talking About:


Blood Bond is the latest installment in the Anna Strong Chronicles, and it seems to be a transitional novel to the next story arc.  Although it is an emotionally charged novel, we felt a bit distanced from the storyline.

We must make it clear, Gikany and Una started this series two books ago, with Crossroads.  Therefore we do not have a strong connection to Anna’s family, their situation and, most importantly, her relationship and history with Frey.  Blood Bond is the culmination of the history of Anna and Frey.

Frey and Anna have decided to choose each other above all others.  There are many moments where Anna talks about being so utterly in love with Frey.  However, Gikany and Una feel that although they are explosive in the sack…sex is not the foundation of any long term relationship.  We do not doubt the personal connection they may have.  It is just that we do not see it.  Maybe it would be more noticeable to those that started the series from the beginning.  However, for the duration of Blood Bond the majority of their time together was slicked between the sheets.  Thankfully it was not overly graphic, but hotly passionate.  That being said, and noting that when vampires feed they require sex as part of the act, it should not have been the primary “quality” time they spent together.  We do have a few moments of “dating” but they were squashed between errands for the wedding, dealing with an overzealous detective, and grumpy old world European vampires.

Maybe we would have been given more courtship at the beginning of Blood Bond if right after Frey and John-John arrived, Anna had not gotten THE call.  The most dreaded call – her mother is dying and it is time to be there.  This portion of the novel was very emotionally trying for Gikany and Una.  As some of you faithful TWITA followers know, I lost my mother to cancer.  Gikany has lost her father to a long illness several years ago, and her mother is currently battling cancer.  Needless to say, this was a very rough portion of the novel for both of us.  We are grateful to say that we feel it was handled well.  At least the family handled it well.  We liked that for her mother, Death was not the end nor the greatest foe to fight.  Death can be just an experience that leads one to the next phase – whatever that may be.  Anna’s mother felt she knew what awaited her and looked, not forward to the end, but embraced the next journey.

Anna, through these two very contrasting emotional elements, felt bi-polar.  She bounced from one extreme to the next.  Is that believable, yes, depending on the person. However, we didn’t feel that was her character… to be so strung out between the two extremes.  We never truly saw her balanced between them.  She could have tempered her depression with joy of her impending nuptials, or vice versa.  The only time we really saw her balanced was when faced with the European vampires.  Being poised to rip out a foe’s throat could be argued as not balanced…but hey, she’s a vampire – let’s be flexible about this.

The conflict with the vampires seemed like an isolated incident in what was really a personal journey for Anna in Blood Bond.  Which is what led us to believe that this is a transitional novel.  We suspect that the “winning” vampire Anna met may indeed be against her in the next story arc.  Or… maybe a new ally with a new evil that will rise.  Maybe… maybe he is waiting to take Frey out so he can have Anna to himself… there are many options and this new European vampire is left a mystery to us.  We look forward to seeing what his role will be in the future novels.

For Anna Strong fans, you may indeed love this culmination of the past two years (speaking within Anna’s timeframe) of novels.  This is not a novel to jump into the series.  We would recommend you start the Anna Strong Chronicles from the beginning (or you can start at Crossroads as we did).  This way, Blood Bond will have a greater meaning and value to you. Either way, we look forward to seeing what awaits Anna in the next novel.

3 stars: Liked it, but we had some issues – recommend (B)

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About the Book:


As a vampire, Anna Strong has an immortal life…but now she’s running out of time.
Anna’s relationship with shape-shifter Daniel Frey has given her hope for a future with him and his son—especially when Frey proposes…

But just when Anna starts to think her life couldn’t be better, she must fly to France to be at the side of her dying mother. There she learns that not every vampire accepts her Chosen One status. And one such vamp is about to go rogue—by leading his followers in a fight to usurp humanity…

Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Ace
Series: Ann Strong Chronicles #9
ISBN: #978-0425258873
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (279 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

Purchase Info:
Blood Bond (Anna Strong Chronicles #9)

Reviews in the Series:
Crossroads by Jeanne C. Stein (Ann Strong Chronicles #7)
Haunted by Jeanne C. Stein (Ann Strong Chronicles #8)

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