Review: Blood Traitors by Stella Dorthwany
I've been looking forward to this book. I loved the first and if you want to check out the other review click here. Blood Traitors starts off perfectly. A little tradition and science with enough to settle us right back into the world.
I love Cora, older than your usual teenage hero she is much more relate-able to me. Especially since she is smart and pragmatic. This is beautifully balanced against her insecurities. Thankfully she doesn't descend into a whiny character as her pragmatism always seems to win out.
The cousin, Faryn, is awesome and a great foil against her mature cousin. I'm starting to like Cora's husband. Besides Cora he is my favourite character. Cora's husband is the emotionally damaged he tries so hard to change though that he wins me over. Shaun is a lot more sincere and down to earth. It is so easy when doing an ensemble cast to let them all blend into each other but that never happens in this book or the previous.
Love the Freudian slip in Shaun's transport.
There is an Easter egg as well as the paper is named after the author.
The relationship between Cora and her husband is interesting. There are light moments that give you hope that if only they can work through the damage to his soul they can have a bright and happy future. Then those hopes are dashed only to be raised again. As a conflict to build tension it is interesting. The verdict is out though on whether it is the right way to go. One thing I do know is that instead of glorifying the damaged genius trope Stella tries to fix it in a meaningful way. I'm curious to see how this all plays out and whether he can really maintain his changes.
I was impressed actually in the end how she wraps this all up. I think it is because of the subverting of tropes. This isn't a in-your-face kind of subverting - we still stick to many of them - instead I think she makes the tropes her own. Little things like an incident that could easily have been your typical - why didn't they just talk to each other and the misunderstand can be solved - Guess what? She talks to him and the misunderstanding is solved. Amazing to have a woman actually solve her own problems.
I hated Amara in the first book and loathe her in this one. But that might change.
I think the thing I like the most is how often my heart is in my throat. There are times I literally thought I'd have a heart attack over the ups and downs of their relationships.
Gavan was interesting but I won't say more because - spoilers.
I think Stella has become a more mature writer and the plot is a lot clearer and easier to follow. I loved her first book and I will tell you I am now a life time fan. Loved, loved this book. Stayed up till 1 am in the morning to finish it. Please write more.