Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Balthazar by Claudia Gray


**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

My Thoughts:  I have read the whole Evernight series and my favorite character in all of them was Balthazar.  So I was very happy when Ms. Gray wrote a novel just about him!  What I really liked about this book was that even though there were references to characters and events from Evernight you didn't have to read the series for this one to make sense.  It easily stood alone.

Skye Tierney has returned from Evernight Academy after it has burned down.  She is trying to get back into the routine of her old life before her brother died, her parents buried themselves in their work and she was sent to boarding school.  She is also trying to deal with the new "gift" she has discovered.  She can see the events of a violent death, years after it has happened.  

Skye is riding her horse in the woods when she is confronted with a vampire.  He chases after her and almost catches her when Balthazar enters the story and saves Skye.  Balthazar knows the rogue vampire from his past and now must get ready to confront his own sire, Redgrave.  After the rogue vampire tastes Skye's blood, and in turn, let's Redgrave taste Skye's blood, they know she is someone special and they are hunting her.  Balthazar must protect her.  

I loved the relationship between Balthazar and Skye.  It is heated and filled with passion but Balthazar keeps pushing Skye away because he has a "no humans" relationship rule.  Skye intentionally does not make it easy for Balthazar to push her away though.  

There are some appearances from characters of Evernight, including Clementine, Bianca and Lucas.  I enjoyed their brief interactions with Balthazar and Skye as it's always fun to see what old characters are up too.  

Skye was a great character.  She was strong and even though she was hurting from the death of her brother, she was moving on, unlike her parents.  The only thing I found annoying was her constant demand that her parents needed her to stay at the house and to be strong for them even though they were never there.  Skye suffered from the "absent parent syndrome" that so many characters in YA novels suffer from but she constantly demanded that she couldn't leave because her parents would be lost without her.  I honestly don't even think her parents would have noticed if she had left.  

I loved how the book went back into the past and showed Balthazar's life throughout the centuries.  There were "interlude" chapters that showed his life that were very entertaining and gave you more insight into Balthazar.  

The ending left with a great cliffhanger so I am guessing this is going to be a new series.  I can't wait to read more about Skye and Balthazar!  

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