Other Beasties

Book Review: Born In Blood by Alexandra Ivy

Title: Born In BloodBorn in Blood (The Sentinels, #1)

Author: Alexandra Ivy

Series: Sentinels #1

The Verdict: ★★

For: Lovers of necromancy, witches, tattooed men, cops with a twist

Genres: Fantasy romance, Paranormal romance

Publication details: December 31st, 2013

Format: Kindle, 352 pages

 All images link back to their respective Goodreads page

Book Synopsis

Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line…literally.


My Review

For the first 50% of this book all I thought was “what am I doing?”, the second 50% I wanted someone to gag me with a spoon.

It took me five days to slog through this book. It generally takes me about 6 – 8 hours to read 300+ pages if I’m reading leisurely, even less if I don’t put the book down but Born In Blood took me five DAYS; it was a case of picking it up, reading a chapter or two and putting it down and then leaving it for ages before I picked it up again.  I really, really struggled to get into this book and when I struggle to get into a book I just don’t want to read it anymore.  I pushed through in the end but it was so hard.

The plot line was mediocre at best – cop has fascination with the freak girl from the walled city, cop investigates death of a dead girl with no heart, freak girl is a necromancer who can “commune” with the mind of the recently departed. Necromancer meets another necromancer who gives her the creeps, she has a bodyguard who has a complete distaste for the cop, they have to meet with the head of the high-bloods, drama ensues, bad necromancer is good necromancer’s father and his pet witch is her mother who abandoned her.  Bad necromancer needs his daughter as a sacrifice in order to take over the world.

It was all very blah. The writing style is completely different to what I’m used to from Alexandra Ivy, I was genuinely disappointed in it – it jumped from place to place, read too much like many other books that I’ve read years ago with no individual flair to it and it had this overtone to it that just made me grimace.  The dialogue was basic and modernised, the background to the characters minimal and jumpy with little to be desired.

The characters themselves were to me a little mis-matched. Callie Brown and Duncan O’Conner had met before, multiple times on cases but I felt like they jumped into a sexual relationship and then a relationship a bit too soon for my taste.  We first hear of Duncan’s near obsession with Callie in the first few chapters and then it shifts to Callie’s POV and lo and behold she also has this weird obsession with Duncan. Later they consider their relationship fate – that’s all well and good and I’m not disputing the fact that it can and does happen like that for some people.  I just feel that there should be a little bit of build up in books especially in books that are over the 300 page mark, you’re not time constrained to make the relationship happen and happen fast.

Duncan is hiding a secret of being a high-blood himself and it was obvious that he was a little more than just a cop.  Callie Brown was – unfortunately – the typical type of female character that I’ve been seeing more and more of – she was abandoned as a baby, didn’t know her parents, is sheltered in lots of things, came across as quite weak at times and has little to no romantic experience at all but manages to get in a relationship with this guy she’s worked with briefly before.

I don’t like writing bad reviews but I didn’t find much – if anything – to make me want to recommend this book to anyone unfortunately; I just felt it was bad all round and gave it a 2 star rating because it wasn’t awful.

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