Review: Blessed

Review: BlessedBlessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Series: Tantalize #3
Published by Candlewick on January 25, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 480
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

With a wink and a nod to Bram Stoker, New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites the casts of Tantalize and Eternal in a delicious dark fantasy her fans will devour.

Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?

The story lines coming together is pretty cool. I actually had no idea that these book were a series when I read the first two a couple years ago, or, I knew they were supposed to be and was very confused to find they weren’t particularly. The world that Smith created still strikes me as an interesting one, although I still wish her characters could be a little more interesting.

Quincie bothered me the slightest bit less, but mostly only because I was prepared for her annoying-ness. Her new obnoxious trait is complaining about the words people use, but not being smart enough to come up with a replacement of her own. Oy. Anyway, Kieren I still like, as much as one can, considering that he doesn’t get much screen time or depth in his personality. Zachary is a bit less cool in this one, since he’s trying to be good again. Miranda’s gone and I didn’t miss her, but I sure could have done without the constant missing of her.

I want to talk a little bit about the restaurant that Quincie owns. Sanguini’s: A Very Rare Restaurant has a vampire theme. This makes for some humorous jokes and doesn’t seem like something to be taken seriously. However, the restaurant does really well. What I want to know is why? The menus are completely nauseating. Note the baby squirrel dessert from the menu above. Another food featured is crickets. Why?!?

Smith decided to end this volume with a slightly happier note. This actually struck me as a bit forced; the ending seemed to wrap up to nicely, and not entirely realistically. Of course, maybe Smith is saving the real emotion punch for the end of Diabolical.

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