Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Dark Blood of Poppies Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Freda Warrington

Published By
Titan Books

Genre
Horror, Romance

Synopsis

A tale of seduction, power...and blood

The ballerina Violette Lenoir has fallen victim to the bite of the vampire Charlotte.  Her fire and energy have fuelled a terrifying change and dreadful realisations; that Violette has become Lilith, the demon mother of all vampire.

Haunted both by what she has done and by Violette's dark sensuality, Charlotte and her immortal lover Karl are drawn towards the dancer and the terrible destiny that has fallen on her shoulders.

But other, far more dangerous shadows are gathering around Violette.  She poses a threat to the vampire Sebastian and the heirs of Kristian, and their plans to bring all of mankind under their dark wings...

Review

There have been so many vampire novels that mix both horror and romance that it's sometimes hard to find ones that stand out from the crowd.  There are some amazing authors in the genre such as Anne Rice and Tanya Huff but there have also been some that are, well, not so amazing.

Freda Warrington is one of those writers in the vampire sub genre that manages to merge romance, sexuality, horror and action all without falling prey to most of the cliches that befall a lot of writers in that world.  Her characters always seem to be clearly written, with multiple layers and motivations as well as having a touch of Anne Rice about her stories.  She does all of that while maintaining her unique and lyrical style of writing.

In this novel, she has crafted a dark world with a feeling of Gothic grandeur yet with an air of realism to the story as well.  I loved the lyrical nature of her prose because it flows in such a way that it turns in to one of those 'just one more page' novels and before you know it, you're halfway through the story itself.  That's not to say that the pacing is too fast, far from it.  It's near enough pitch perfect in it's execution.

The characters are given time to grow and develop as the action flows from the page.  In fact, it's almost as if you are watching a long running television series.  You grow to feel like you are involved in their lives and emotions.  That really works on some of the scenes where they interact with one another.  You can almost envision them and really can't help but want to find out what happens next.

Another strength of Warrington's writing is that she can really make the surroundings and the settings seem just as important a part of the story as the characters themselves.  In fact, I would even say that the writing has a real cinematic flair to it.  I love books that can really make you feel like you are there and Warrington has really done a superb job of that here.

Normally, I do find that these sorts of books can sometimes meander and there are times when loose ends don't really get tied up.  Yet here that's not the case and the ending has really made me want to grab yet more of her books.

All in all, considering I'm not the biggest fan of this genre in the world, this book did an amazing job of not only gripping me in but making me want to not put the book down at all.  Considering the fact that the book has a length of over 500 pages, the pacing made it seem like half that length but without sacrificing any character or plot development.  Definitely one to pick up if you're a vampire fan.

Story 8.5/10
Characters 8/10
Cover 8/10
Recommended 8.5/10
Overall 33/40

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