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Monday, January 13, 2014

Born in Blood by Alexandra Ivy

I'm a fairly prolific reader but BORN IN BLOOD is my first Alexandra Ivy novel. Her Guardians of Eternity series never appealed to me but I had to try BORN IN BLOOD after reading the cover copy. I love a good murder mystery, especially when it's coupled with fraught tensions between groups, in this case regular humans ("norms") and high-bloods, people with magical mutations who live apart from the norms in Valhalla, a domed and secretive city near Kansas City.

Ivy has created a very interesting world for her newest series. I love the origin of where all of the high-bloods' abilities come from. It's wonderfully original. The idea that soul gazers, witches, necromancers, physics, healers and more are all the result of mutation gives the Sentinels series a more scientific feel -- but the book actually isn't science-y at all, which was a bit of a disappointment but okay in the end. Once she mentioned mutants, I figured things might develop more of an X-Men vibe, which was not the case. I do still like her approach to magical abilities, though. And Valhalla is a really interesting society, one I look forward to seeing more of in future novels.

Callie and Duncan are made for each other. Their chemistry is off the charts and they both have distinct, strong personalities. You get a really clear sense of who they are from the get go, which I always appreciate. I love it when a character comes alive and Ivy does a wonderful job of giving each of her primary and secondary characters their own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. And while Duncan comes off a bit strong at first, he's quite endearing by the end of BORN IN BLOOD. I had a soft spot for Callie from her introduction and I liked her more and more as the novel progressed. I was particularly fond of some of the supporting characters, like Fane, Callie's Sentinel bodyguard, and Serra, Callie's best friend, and I'm very curious about the Mave and the Tagos and what's going on between them. (C'mon, future novel!)

Small quibble: the female cover model looks nothing like Callie is described in the book. Callie is supposed to have spiky dark red hair and brilliant sapphire eyes. She also owns shirts that cover her top half, not leather tube tops, but I can get past the questionable outfit. The model is lovely and gives good smoulder but she really doesn't match the Callie from the book, or the mental picture that I created. The guy is a bit better.

On the whole, BORN IN BLOOD is a solid paranormal romance. The chemistry between Callie and Duncan is intense and the plot is nicely developed, if somewhat lacking in surprises. I'm not sure if this is a typical Alexandra Ivy book but I'm definitely intrigued enough to pick up the next Sentinels novel, and to see if my local library has any of Ivy's back catalogue on the shelves.

Read an excerpt


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. Lovely review Jenn, thank you! I have never read her other series, though I do have some of them on my shelves.

    And hooray, I am finally getting the blog emails again.

  2. So Callie and the cover girl are not the same person? I hate it when they do that:( I've got this book too, hope I get to it soon.