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Review: Out for Blood

Out for Blood is the third book in the Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. It was released in the U.S. on December 21, 2010 and is available in hardcover and paperback editions. It was released as an eBook for the Kindle but at present Amazon says it is “currently unavailable.” It is available as a NOOKbook through Barnes & Noble. Print length: 304 pages.

Goodreads description:

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything.

Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more.

When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

First came Nicholas and Lucy, then we met Logan and Isabeau and got a sneak peek at Solange and Kieran. Now it’s Hunter and Quinn’s turn.

Hunter Wild comes from a long and distinguished line of vampire hunters in the Helios-Ra – and yes she is aware of the irony of her name. Raised by her grandfather to be the very best fighter she can be, Hunter is one of the top students at the Helios-Ra Academy. Her training and her desire to take down vampires has always been priority number one. That is until she meets Quinn Drake.

From the moment they meet, Quinn gets under her skin. Everything about him affects her – from the way he looks to his ever-present smirk to the way all the girls seem to fall at his feet to the fact that he calls her “Buffy.”

Quinn Drake and his brother Connor are identical twins. But that’s where the similarity ends. Quinn’s long hair, charm and appeal to females – human and vampire alike – make him the more popular of the two Drake brothers. Where Quinn loves a good fight, Connor prefers to stay in his room playing around on his computers.

Although his sister Solange is involved with vampire hunter Kieran Black, Quinn is definitely not one to settle on just one girl and especially not a vampire hunter. But Hunter presents a challenge to him by not immediately succumbing to his charm, and he loves a challenge.

***

Out for Blood, the third story in the Drake Chronicles, gives us yet another look at the Drake family – this time at Quinn, the most charismatic of all the brothers Drake. It is another entertaining addition to this series that “chronicles” the different members of the Drake family.

The story is a light and fun read that will keep you up-to-date on the family we first met in Hearts at Stake (entitled My Love Lies Bleeding in the UK). In this book, however, more of the focus is on Hunter’s character and the events at the Helios-Ra Academy than on Quinn and the Drake clan. But, some of the best scenes in the story are those where Quinn and Hunter are fighting off the Hel-Blar or engaging in some passionate kisses.

Out for Blood moves the continuing story along in addition to adding in new characters and elements, making this series more complex as we learn more about the Helios-Ra and just what lengths they will go to in order to battle their vampire enemies.

Hunter is a strong and determined female character but is also loyal, open-minded and very likable. And Quinn, who is already very delectable, is that much more so because of his immediate connection with and devotion to Hunter. While the pair may not have quite the same appeal as Nicholas and Lucy, they are another perfect couple.

Author Alyxandra Harvey has written a very addictive series. It may not have the depth of some of the other series being written, but it is just as enjoyable. Her writing has moments of both humor – such as when Quinn compares his reaction to the smell of blood to a human’s reaction to a grilled cheese sandwich – and beauty.

He was dangerous like water, soft and smooth, even as it filled up your lungs, relentlessly stealing your breath away. (Hunter describing Quinn.)

There are (hopefully) several books left in this series. We still have a few Drake brothers to meet, unanswered questions about the mass numbers of Hel-Blar, the strange development with Solange, a Blood Moon event and possibly a love connection made with Connor and Chloe (Hunter’s roommate).

The series is a “must read” for readers who like the vampire genre and who are maybe looking for something a bit less serious.

The next book in the series, Bleeding Hearts will be available in November 2011. (Just in time for the Blood Moon event.)

Reviewer gives this book

On a personal note:

I discovered this series just before the second book was released. At the time I had run out of YA vampire stories to read and was waiting for a number of series books to be released. I’m not sure how I happened to discover this one, it was either an Amazon recommends or a Google search for YA vampire stories, but I am so happy I did. It is completely a “guilty pleasure” read – light and fun, with just enough action and heat to keep you hooked.

I fell in love with Lucy in the first book. (Of all the characters in this series she is my favorite.) We didn’t get to see a lot of her in book two, but there is a bit more of her in this one and I am so very glad, as I have definitely missed her.

I really got to like Hunter but wished we had a chance to see more things from Quinn’s perspective. Although the chapters did switch between their viewpoints, more were from Hunter’s p.o.v. so we didn’t get as comprehensive a look into the Drake side of things in this installment.

And, poor, poor Solange. Not to give any spoilers away, but things are not going too well for her at the moment, and I really hope that things get better for her in the books to come

I’m glad the next book will be coming out earlier than this one (November versus December) – fingers crossed that the scheduled release date is for the U.S. and not just the UK.

Click here for Chapter 1 from the publisher, Bloomsbury.

An unofficial Out for Blood trailer from the author’s website:

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