Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

On Tori’s 17th birthday, she is given a mysterious family journal that once belonged to her ancestor, Brigid. Upon reading the entries, Tori discovers that Brigid was a powerful witch, and that Tori has the same powers. Through Brigid’s story was one full of pain and heartache, Tori vows that she will not have the same demise.

After Tori switches schools, she meets the mysterious Christian Devereux. Like Tori, Christian has a secret of his own–one that should keep them apart forever. Against everyone else’s wishes, Christian and Tori begin to fall in love. The blood that runs through both of their veins may be their own undoing as they fight against friends and foes for what their hearts want.

The description of Bloodspell by Amalie Howard and the intriguing cover hooked me right at the beginning. Eager to start what I was hoping would be a fresh, new perspective on two of my favorite paranormal character types (vampires and witches), I soon found myself tired of Howard’s characters and writing style.

Christian is a nearly 200-year-old vampire, but he is unconvincing. In the beginning few chapters, he nearly slips and reveals that he is otherworldly. Considering that vampires must remain hidden from humanity, I find it difficult to believe that he could have a slip of the tongue so carelessly. Tori is more plausible of a character than Christian, but she puzzled me in some ways. At her first school, Tori is a bullied outsider. When she arrives at Christian’s school, she easily makes friends and gains the affections of Gabriel, the sort-of boyfriend of her new friend, Charla. Everything that happens in Tori’s social life at her new school seems just too convenient to me.

Howard’s writing style is what ruined all enjoyment of Bloodspell for me. She spends too much time spelling out every thought and action of the characters; the book is made up of “telling” rather than “showing”. Additionally, the book seems to lack editing in regards to punctuation, which will frustrate any reader who knows grammar and punctuation rules like the back of his or her hand. As interesting as I found Tori’s birthright to be, I don’t see myself picking up the next installment in this series.

Rating: 1.5/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Langdon Street Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.