Bloodmark is the first book in the Bloodmark saga (of three books).
It is a rather intriguing idea, with some complex twists and plot shifts, a great way to entwine numerous folk lores into a story.
Alas, the unpredictability, sheer idiocy and childishness of the female protagonist, Ashling, undid every piece of great work Aurora did with the history and storytelling.
In one breath, Ashling is a childish little brat that makes stupid remarks to her elders when discussing serious topics of which she has no knowledge.
In the next, she's psycoanalysing those around her and making decisions that will impact a whole race like she was born to do it...oh wait, she was.
Her impulsivity and idiocy aside, the eye-rollingly juvenile expressions of true love between 'soul mates' left me with a sprain in my superior rectus (that's an eye muscle!) and a gullet that was trigger-happy to vomit at the purple prose that spouted out of Ashling's mouth at the slightest provocation.
The story arc follows a pretty stock standard direction. Yes, there's some pretty cool folk lore and beliefs thrown in, but it's a typical YA paranormal romance at heart. With characters that portray the norms for this genre.
A young heroine who is both wild and Royal, but feels trapped and rages against tradition, only to escape and get in major trouble, needs to be rescued and then... Then Daddy might accept her dark-horse of a boyfriend.
I started getting all hot and tingly (I must have spilt boiling coffee on me during one of my eye-rolls) at every mention of Grey. He's the big bad-ass boyfriend who is suitably messed up, but still totally redeemable... Especially when he happens to be the answer to all Ashling's prayers.
My issue with the Insta-love was never more horrendously obvious as it was at 25% through the book. Ashling had met her 'soul mate' a total of three times in two days (for minutes) and professed her undying love for him. He said it first!
In summary, I loved the idea, loved the rich history and folk lore added to the story and even some of the traditional rules the werewolf race adheres to, but poor characters and an unfinished manuscript have forced me to rate this low.
The book needs a serious edit, there's continuity issues, far too much repetition, typos and just too many words.
I'm not sure why, but I am curious to see where Ashling and her pack end up, but I'll take a break before trying this author again.
If you like YA paranormal romance, give it a try. If not, avoid it like the plague.
Some things I noticed:
2% - I was certain Father was going (to) brand...
21% - "I(t) wasn't my fault...
33% and 34% - two instances of 'the week flew by' two pages apart. There was only one week mentioned before school.
42% - ...to think he liked(space)playing human...
51% - He was my(space)Grey.
75% - ...it was risky too(delete o) return and leave...
1. It was decided that they'd leave tomorrow night, but then she gets prepared and leaves tonight.
2. Ashling never picks up her leather jacket and the journal before leaving...
83% - "Than (Then) what are you doing?"
94% - ...and raged(delete d) consumed him.
...already into March as(delete as) when we arrived...
95% - continuity error: the night they danced around the fire of skulls and furs. The next paragraph nightfall came and the guys moved furniture.