Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cold Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Cold Blood
Series: Dirty Blood
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Previous Books in Series: Dirty Blood
Rating: 5 stars
Length: 7155 Kindle units (includes previews for other books)

Refresher:  Tara finds out she is half werewolf and half werewolf hunter – and destined to be a leader who can bring the two races together in harmony

In my review of Dirty Blood, I said that I would recommend it to any fan of YA paranormal, though possibly not my friend who is lukewarm on the genre. In his dedication to my blog, he did read it, and, though he did not love it, he conceded that it was better than “the tiger book.” (This is what he calls Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, which he currently holds up as the ultimate example of bad YA fiction. I haven’t read it, largely because the idea of a book about a girl who falls in love with a tiger weirds me out, so I can’t offer my own judgment.) Nonetheless, he has decided to read the second book, though as of now he has not finished it, so I cannot tell you what he thinks.

As for me, I liked Dirty Blood enough to read Cold Blood on the very same weekend, and, since that was so long ago that I couldn’t remember the details, I read it again this past weekend and got just as caught up in the story as I did during the first read through. If anything, I think it is better than the first book. It reminded me a little of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series in that it is about a talented fighter who needs to train extra hard to catch up with the rest of her class. But Cold Blood didn’t have any inappropriate student-teacher relationships, so bonus there.

Most of the characters in Dirty Blood are absent for most of Cold Blood, since Tara is off at boarding school with little contact with the external world. While this supports my theory that her alleged soulmate Wes is just not that into her, it allows for a new and interesting cast of characters. Of course, the two new cute boys she meets are named Logan and Alex, which are two of the three most over-used boys’ names in YA paranormal romance. (The third is Gabriel. If you are writing a YA novel, I beg you, name your boys ANYTHING other than those three names.) One of Tara’s new boy friends seems way more into her than Wes is, so I like to think there is hope for him. Of course, I would be foolish to pin my hopes on a boy who isn’t introduced until the second novel, but, hey, I’ve done dumber things in my time.

Another interesting thing about Tara is that she is a girl with anger management issues. Several times throughout the book she wants to punch out someone who upsets her. There is indication that her lack of control may have a supernatural cause, but it’s still nice to see a girl in a counter-stereotypical role, even if it’s a negative stereotype.

Tara’s superpowers also lead to a killer cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book three.

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  1. This doesn't follow your typical review format (The plot, the good, the...) I really enjoy the way you break it down and have bought a few on your recommendation. I was curious, why this didn't conform?

    1. I am glad you like my format! I do hope it is helpful in giving people what they want to know about books, but I have found that it really only works for the first books in series. For subsequent books, I realized that if I kept the same format, I would probably have the same things to say for most of the categories. Plus, I want to avoid giving too many spoilers to people who haven't read the first one yet. (And generally, if I liked a book enough to read the sequel, I figure at least some people will be wanting to read the first one.) So on Mondays and Thursdays I do regular posts in my format of first books in series, but on what I have creatively named Sequel Tuesday, I review 2nd, 3rd, etc. books in series in a shorter, less formatted style.