I do not remember being bitten. I wish I did, for then I would know the creature who did this to me and I would have a purpose, to track him down and repay him for the poisoned gift he gave me.
Back in the Thirteenth Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia, although he never lived to inherit his title. In the centuries that follow, Will has led a lonely life, learning to deal with whatever the present day throws at him, always searching for answers but never finding any. Until this time, when he awakens after a 20-year-slumber and befriends a runaway girl, Eloise. With a hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath and a companion for the first time in decades, it appears that Will might finally be getting a glimpse at why he exists. He does indeed have a destiny, and an enemy, but revealing that fate will be a matter of trust...
Blood by K. J. Wignall is the first book in the Mercian Trilogy and when I first picked the book up I thought 'would this be another typical vampire story?', but as it turned out Blood was quite different to a lot of other vampire YA's on the market at the moment.
Specifically, Will isn't your typical swoon worthy bad guy gone good, nor is there quite the same overused love story. Blood really doesn't have a strong romantic plot. However, I personally won't be remembering this book as anything overly special, and it doesn't do enough to stand out from the many other paranormal books in an overly saturated genre.
My one main complaint with this book was that not much happened. Blood had a lot of setting the story up, which wasn't all that exciting and at times just read like one info dump after another, interesting - Yes, but gripping - No. It did take me quite a while to get through this book and I kept on putting it aside for other books on my TBR (to be read) pile. I was enjoying it, but it just didn't hold my attention as much as I would have liked. I think I just needed a bit more action, a bit more plot, I also had pretty much all the plot twists figured out well in advance, if I'm honest this book reads as thou it was more of a set up for the next books, an introduction. I just wanted a bit more and although I don't expect a first book in a series to give me all the answers, this one didn't really leave me with any answers or even a very interesting cliffhanger.
The story really isn't anything new in the YA genre and especially in the vampire fiction that is already out there, but it is very readable and the writing was good even if the pace wasn't. I liked that Will didn't feel the need to say 'sorry' for what he was, he was a vampire, he killed, it was a large part of his life. In fact, Will was a great character and made for interesting reading. However, I was taken slightly aback by how easily Eloise seemed to accept that Will was a killer and showed no fear. Eloise wasn't a favourite character of mine, I thought that she was quite bland and even her background seemed a bit clichéd. With the exception of Will none of the other main or minor characters really stood out.
Blood wasn't all bad, I still enjoyed reading it and there were a few chapters scattered throughout the novel that were flashbacks to Will's past. I would have loved more of these, I think they gave the story some much needed depth and were by far the most interesting sections.
To sum, this book was good and readable, but far from great or memorable. I may still be tempted to read the next one in the series, but sadly I won't be eagerly awaiting it.
(A good read, but only just)
Genre - YA, paranormal/vampires
Published by Egmont Books (Sept 2011)
Paperback 288 pages (£6.99)
Source - I received a copy of 'Blood' by K. J. Wignall in exchange for an honest review.