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Review: Blood Burned (Pulse #3)

Blood Burned is the third installment in Kailin Gow’s Pulse series. It was released in Kindle format on November 7th and the paperback is now available at Amazon.com – ahead of its originally scheduled release date of November 23rd. The fourth book (of five), Blue Blood, will be released on March 8, 2011.

Description from Goodreads:

Kalina has returned back to Rutherford, but now there are more problems than before. The Consortium of Vampires has been destroyed except for one – Octavius – and the most powerful of vampires has been unleashed. This sets off the ultimate horror – one of the Greystone Brothers has been turned, and his love for Kalina has turned into a destructive obsession. Now armed with an unspeakable power and thirst, he has sent Kalina and the other brothers who love and protect her a shocking threat. And he won’t stop until Kalina is his.”

Blood Burned immediately grabs the reader as it picks up right where book two, Life’s Blood left off – the cliff-hanger ending where Jaegar, Stuart and Aaron were being held captive by Malvolio. Jaegar is being forced to consume Kalina’s Life’s Blood, which will turn him from Kalina’s friend and suitor into a very dangerous enemy who will stop at nothing until she is drained of all her Life’s Blood or turned into a vampire.

While the initial pages pull the reader into the story once again, the lack of movement of the storyline through the course of this book, until the last several pages, makes this a frustrating read. The majority of the story consists of Kalina’s inner monologue as she flip-flops between what she wants and doesn’t want, who she loves and doesn’t love, and what she should or shouldn’t do. And while in many books, this inner crisis can be tormenting in a good way, that is not the case here.

The author, whose previous two books in the series introduced entertaining characters and an interesting plot, chose instead for the main character to wax poetic, redundantly, about who she is – whether human, half-human, vampire, half-vampire, or something other – and about times gone by – when she first met Jaegar, her time in Europe with Octavius, the simpler times when she was happily dating Stuart.

Revisiting events from previous novels while reminiscing about the past along with a character can be enjoyable, but when it becomes a majority of the book, and is from a past that is just days, weeks or months previous in the life of the character, it feels disingenuous. In a series that is set to span five books, if there is not enough material to keep the story moving along, perhaps a shorter series would have been a better option.

This series as a whole has its merits – even if this installment is lacking – with characters in constant peril, the jealousy inherent in a love triangle turned quadrangle, and a heroine whose feelings are torn between each of these men. And, for a young adult novel, this book has some rather graphic love scenes and coarse language making it edgier than some of the books in the YA universe.

However, while the ideas and creativity are there, the book is riddled with not only grammatical errors (as were the first two), but numerous incorrect and unusual similes, metaphors and descriptive phrases. Just a few of the more unusual include:

  • “The car sped through a night as thick and black as a starless sea…”
  • “Stuart’s voice – so calm, like warm milk…”
  • “He was much more handsome, with a sultry smile in his eyes.”
  • “They were bruised now… as he let his fingertips shiver up to the bottom lip…”
  • “In her sleep she moaned and sighed, arching her back and neck so that the delicate taste could be sucked down into her neck. He sighed with her pleasure, seeing her give a low, sensual cry – deep in the mind of sleep…”
  • “The voice was filled with smiles – a lascivious grin in the middle of the tones.”
  • “She had seen Jaegar’s soul … had felt the power of their electrifying kiss spider out through her veins.”
  • “He laughed in the face of Octavius’ careful feints – rushing at him with pure liquid adrenaline shining in his eyes…”
  • “‘He was never in my steps!’ said Octavius gravely.”

As difficult at times as it was to finish Blood Burned, the series as a whole is slightly addictive. And because the first two books in the series showed such promise, Blue Blood deserves a read. Check back for the review in March.

Reviewer gives this book:

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Blood Burned (Pulse, #3)

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Blood Burned (Pulse #3)

by Kailin Gow (Goodreads Author)
5.0 of 5 stars5.0 of 5 stars5.0 of 5 stars5.0 of 5 stars5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 · rating details · 3 ratings · 4 reviews

Kalina has returned back to Rutherford, but now there are more problems than before. The Consortium of Vampires has been destroyed except for one – Octavius – and the most powerful of vampires has been unleashed. This sets off the ultimate horror – one of the Greystone Brothers has been turned, and his love for Kalina has turned into a destructive obsession. Now armed with an unspeakable power and thirst, he has sent Kalina and the other brothers who love and protect her a shocking threat. And he won’t stop until Kalina is his.

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