Shades of Blood by Samantha Young

Synopsis:
13158451Eden’s life has taken a turn she would never have imagined. She’s gone from soul eater to warrior, left behind a family she was ashamed of and moved in with one she admires. She has a purpose, a future, and… she has Noah.

Life should be good.

But… the most fervent and powerful soul eaters are determined to take down the Ankh and Eden is the key to the destruction of the warrior race.
Moreover, a shadowed enemy is still after Eden, and the mortal Warriors of Neith have chosen the worst time imaginable to start an uprising.

With an enemy in every corner the problems before her are overwhelming. Then again, Eden hasn’t come this far to let anyone snatch her new life from her…
However, just when Eden thought she’d battled the monster within and won, the warrior who took something precious from her comes back into her life, tempting Eden to take a course of revenge there is no turning back from.

Vengeance is such a bitch…

… So is Eden when the stakes are high.

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My Review:
3 stars — Another strange reading experience — I stayed up until 3am finishing the book, but in the end it was only ok for me.  This review *might* be a bit spoilery, so you’ve been warned.

The plot was quite different from what I’m used to in paranormal reads, in that there wasn’t really a big bad guy to fight and win against.  There were a few enemies, but those plots really seemed to stay in the background, and the climax wasn’t traditional either…heck, our heroine wasn’t even there to deal with them all.  In the end the big bad seemed to be more Eden herself, and her inability to deal with her grief over Stratton and her thirst for vengeance.  And while I appreciate the uniqueness of this, I guess I just wasn’t completely won over.  I’m having a hard time pinpointing why.  I guess there just didn’t feel like a lot of build up to a climax, a crucial point where things had to be taken care of.

I also didn’t see as much growth in Eden as I would have liked.  Her issues ended up feeling very repetitive, so maybe I grew bored?  But then why did I keep reading til it was over?  Maybe I was waiting for something to happen?  It’s not that I don’t feel for Eden…I do.  I just ran into a wall with her character and I wanted more.

I had mixed feelings on the romance as well.  Geez, I’m not sure this review is going to be worth anything at all — I can’t seem to figure out what I liked and didn’t like.  Or at least I can’t seem to articulate it.  I appreciated that the romance was there, but I didn’t always feel it…it just existed.  I was even hoping for more from Tobe and Cameron, and I didn’t really get anything from that either.

And in the end I think the thing that bothered me the most (and bothered me with her other series too) was the questionable morals.  Not just in Eden’s thirst for vengeance (and quite honestly I don’t think she ever really got why killing Romany would be a bad thing for her).  But I wasn’t really down with Darius and his methods.  Or heck, for how they treated the rebellion.  I guess I want my heros to be spick and span, or at least have more reasons for behaving badly than these guys did.  They just wanted to protect their group of Ankhs, and the authority they had…yeah yeah, I know, so they could focus on the soul eater killing, but no…I just didn’t like that at all.  So they all went down in my esteem.

Also, the Unforeseen ability?  Felt like that was thrown in just to ramp up Eden’s thirst for vengeance…felt like a convenient plot device, and really served no other purpose…especially since they wanted to keep it hidden.

Wow.  So that really looks like I didn’t enjoy it at all.  It’s not that…it’s more like a feeling of disappointment in the end.  I guess I’m just not a fan of Ms. Young’s paranormals.  We’ll give her contemporaries a try, but she may just not be a fit for me.

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