Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review - One Bite by Jennifer Blackstream

Title: One Bite
Series: Blood Prince #2
Author: Jennifer Blackstream
Release Date: September 30, 2013
Pages: 169, ebook
Goodreads Rating: 4.6 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Explicit sex)

Summary from Goodreads: Irina is determined to continue her fight for freedom. Freedom for her from her evil sorceress stepmother, and freedom for every faction in the kingdom of Dacia. Unfortunately, her stepmother isn’t about to let that happen and she’s got a poisoned apple and a glass coffin with Irina’s name on them…

Kirill is a vampire prince determined to be a vampire king. Unfortunately, his vampiric father has no intentions of vacating the throne anytime soon and the prophecy Kirill found hinting at a “Great New Kingdom” is proving tricky to translate. It doesn’t help that the beautiful woman he found unconscious in the woods seems determined to undermine his authority at every turn. He’d kill her himself if she didn’t have the strangest gift for soothing his bloodthirsty spirit.

Even an undead mastermind can’t foresee everything. Seven dwarves. A poison apple. A glass coffin. It’s a strange and terrifying world when events can take a turn for the better or worse with just…One Bite.

This review is spoiler-free and safe to read, even if you haven't read the first book in this series.

One Bite is a fun fairy tale retelling of Snow White set in the same world that book 1 (Before Midnight) took place in.  This time, we get to learn more about the vampire kingdom and Prince Kirill.

The negatives:
  • Not quite as engaging as book #1.  I'm not sure if it's because I wasn't as enthralled with the fairy tale retelling in this book as I was with the Cinderella retelling or if it was because this book seemed to focus a little more on the lust factor between Kirill and Irina, but I didn't love it quite as much as I loved Before Midnight.  Don't get me wrong - I still really enjoyed it, but it didn't quite match up to book #1 for me.
  • Use of that word.  This is totally a personal issue that I have, but I don't like it when certain words are used to describe male and female anatomy - somehow it's a line that I don't like to cross that makes me feel like I switched from reading a book with explicit content to one that's actually erotica.  This book used the male word (c...), but thankfully not the female word (which bugs me more).  I know this is totally just me being prudish and creating arbitrary rules in my head, but I can't help it.  And I know I've heard of others that somehow feel similarly, so I thought I would mention it.
What I enjoyed:
  • Overarching story.  I loved that, in this book, we learned a lot more about the overarching story that ties each individual book together.  While in Before Midnight, we only got a glimpse at the five princes and Eurydice, in this book we got to see more of them and learn a bit more about why the princes are coming together at the Great Tree to give their blood to the tree.  Kirill knows more about the prophecy than Etienne did and he is actively pursuing the power that he thinks he can gain from it.  I'm eager to learn even more in the next few books!
  • Kirill and Irina.  Irina is an awesome character - she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it, even if doing so puts her life in danger.  She is motivated by love for the people of her kingdom, but she's far from perfect - she freely admits that vengeance on her step-mother is even more important to her.  Still her sense of love and friendship earns her friends throughout the kingdom.  Irina is the perfect foil to Kirill, who is, for all practical purposes, friendless and only knows how to use people for political gain.  It takes Irina to finally break past his calculating exterior.  And the sparks between these two are crazy good!
  • The fairy tale elements.  It was really fun to see the twists that Blackstream put on the Snow White fairy tale.  Just like with book #1, lots of the original elements were still there, but with a new twist, from the seven dwarfs who take Irina in to the glass coffin that her step-mother occasionally locks her in.  I thought it was a fun send up to the Disney version of the tale that Irina is a Rusalka and she sings to all the creatures of the forest!
One Bite, like Before Midnight, is another sexy and charming fairy tale retelling!   I am looking forward to seeing what Blackstream has in store for us in the next installment of the series!  4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***