Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Blood and Snow by RaShelle Workman

Title: Blood and Snow: The Complete Set
Author: RaShelle Workman
Series: Blood and Snow #1-12
Release Date: February 17, 2013
Publisher: Polished Pen Press
Format: Kindle Edition, 518 pages
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance
Source: blog tour
Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she's chosen Snow White.

Snow isn't an ordinary girl. She doesn't know that yet.

When Snow gets bitten by a Hunter, her life is thrown into a whirlwind of change where instead of worrying about what to eat, she has to fight not to drink the blood of fellow high school students. She becomes a revenant - not quite human, not quite vampire.

With the help of an eccentric old Professor, his seven adoptive sons, and her best friend, Snow learns to control her blood craving. Sort of. She drinks a bloodlust tea, but she'd rather drink from her Hunter.

Or, a human.

She also discovers a whole other realm, one filled with fairies, dragons, and magic. And not only does the Vampire Queen want her, but there's a pendant called the Seal of Gabriel created for Snow by the Vampire Queen's twin sister. And Snow's supposed to use it to restore balance to all magical creatures. Including vampires.
Snow is an absolutely normal girl, with just a couple of normal eccentricities. She was unfortunate enough to be given the name Snow White, has two not-so-great parents, and is great friends with a professor and his seven sons. What happens when she suddenly has a desire to drink blood? Sounds eerily like a certain familiar fairy tale, with a couple of twists in a few choice places . . .

First off, it was cool to read a slightly morbid spin on a classic fairy tale, with Snow and her bloodlust. I personally didn't think that it drew as much from the fairy tale as a retelling would, but that suits me just fine. It was as if RaShelle Workman started with a fairly simple idea of Snow White and spiraled it into something so much bigger. It pulled basic characters out of the story, stuck them in their places, and added on to their personalities and characters, plus shining a different light upon them than the original story did.

Now comes the nit-pickin'. I like cute names. I like fancy names. I like simple, complicated, manly, feminine, normal, eccentric names. I don't usually have a problem unless the author uses the weirdest spelling for them, such as making Jessica into Yhehccykah, which I have never came across, thankfully. But something I really couldn't stand were the mass of fancy names that Workman used for the seven boys. I mean, if an author uses one or two fancy names in a book, I'd think that's kinda cool, giving off an air of classiness, but if you use like, five? I start cringing, big-time. Besides, it's a whole lot easier to remember classic names like John or Jack than having Heathcliff, Dorian and Salvatore thrown at you.

Something else I felt could be improved was how much was told, rather than shown. Instead of having Professor Pop tell Snow how much she means to him and his family, would it not hit closer to a reader's heart to slowly unveil how the professor truly felt as if she was part of their family through his actions? On that note, I often felt a bit tedious with Snow's inner dialogue. It was straightforward, which was good, but sometimes it just lacked personality and engagement. However, Workman's work was simple and easy to read, so I did end up not minding it as much in the end.

Ultimately, I liked it, but as many female characters would say in romantic YA books, I don't "like like" it. It was fun, but probably wouldn't be something I'd come back to a few months down the road, and might be lost within my piles of eBooks. It did have its faults, however I don't regret the journey the book took me on. The plot may have gone in weird directions, some of which that worked out for me, others that didn't (can't tell too much or it'll spoil the story!), but I can honestly say that I enjoyed it, though not nearly as much as I would've liked.
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