Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young

blood will tellWhat would you do if you were born to be a predator? Would you fight your natural instincts or give in to your nature?

Eden is a soul eater closing in on her Awakening. Her family has convinced her that soon she will have to take a life in order to save her own. It’s a decision Eden doesn’t want to deal with even as her hunger for souls grows stronger every day.

To complicate her impossible position, new guy in school Noah Valois’ determination to befriend her puts Eden in touch with a humanity she’s never known. Addicted to his company, his friendship and affection, she becomes more and more terrified that giving into her hunger will mean losing him forever…

… But when she discovers that Noah is not what he seems, his betrayal forces her to face two choices. One will offer her revenge and the destruction of a boy she loved. The other may offer her a life of eternal redemption…

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My Review:
4 stars — WOW.  This one starts off with a really dark bang in the prologue.  I found myself all kinds of intrigued by a heroine who lives with the evil people, and is aware of the evil things that are done in her home everyday.  It just felt very unique to me.  And you could really feel all the struggles that Eden was going through, growing up how she did but not having the same overwhelming urges that the rest of her family had.  There was a lot of internal struggling going on in Eden’s mind too, particularly after the “hunger” was awoken.  I couldn’t imagine what that must have been like to live with.

I found the relationship with her brother to be epically intriguing.  They had such a strange relationship given their upbringing.  And seeing Stratton have those dark urges, but try to quell them because of his love for his sister?  I just couldn’t figure out what to think.  I mean, I actually really liked him and the way he protected Eden, so it made the whole thing so much more shades of gray if that makes any sense.  I mean, he’s a guy who is genuinely tempted by “the dark side”, and yet because of how he feels for Eden, it actually gives him some sense of guilt…like he wants to be better for her.  It kind of broke my heart and got to me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

On the other side of things we have Noah, part of the “good side”, and yet I wasn’t always that impressed with him.  As I’m beginning to notice in Ms. Young’s paranormal series, there really isn’t a strong romance aspect…it’s really more about the building of the paranormal world and the conflict that arises in each.  Personal preference?  I miss the romance.  I’m used to reading these series and having a hero to root for and make into a book boyfriend, and we didn’t really get that in Noah.  I mean, he has a girlfriend for part of it, and is conflicted on his feelings for Eden and whether he’s disgusted by her (even though he’s spent 6 months getting to know her).  So that part was kind of disappointing.  I wanted more from Noah I guess.

The paranormal world is intriguing though — very different, though it still had that infodump feel to it as I’ve experienced in her other series.  And I enjoyed the backstory of her birth (even if it was seriously disturbing), and I’m liking Cyrus so far.  We really didn’t get to see much of the Ankh side, so I’m hoping the next books give us a better glimpse of them.

I was really surprised by some of the twists that came during her awakening — I can honestly say I didn’t see some of that coming, and so I’m curious who the big bad is going to be, and I’m saddened for the loss of one of the characters.

The strength of this book (and series) so far is definitely in Eden, and all the conflict she experiences (mostly internal).  I’m looking forward to seeing where this one goes…


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