In the stunning follow up to The Secrets of Life and Death, Rebecca Alexander has created a gripping supernatural thriller that bridges time, legend and the power of blood.
Following her showdown with Elizabeth Bathory, Jackdaw Hammond is running from her past, hiding from her future, and hoping to contain her newfound thirst for blood. Buying an overgrown home in the middle of nowhere seems like the perfect place to escape…at least until she finds herself in the sights of a murderous family with a terrible secret and a penchant for dark magic. Meanwhile, her old ally Felix Guichard has gone to New Orleans to conduct his own investigation into the nature of blood magic, but is soon sucked into the intrigues of the city’s occult underworld. But Jack will need Felix more than she knows, for the battle for her soul is set to begin.
Her only salvation may lie with the secrets of 16th century master occultist Edward Kelley, and a dangerous mission he undertook in Venice to confront the Inquisition, the darkest deeds of his own past, and the fearsome power of Elizabeth Bathory.
This is the second installment in the Jackdaw Hammond series by Victoria Alexander. In this book there are two different stories being told at once. One is set in the present time following a Jack.
This was slightly confusing. Every other chapter is in a different time setting. There are a lot of characters to follow. The haracter development wasn't very strong so it was easy to forget who everyone was.
Present day, you have one girl, Jack, who was saved from death by magic struggling to understand what she has become as a result. Another, Sadie, fighting for her life. Both girls have some weird abilities, which, in my opinion, is really the only thing that saved the book.
The parts set in the past were boring and gloomy. I really think these parts of the book should have been trimmed down because they seemed to drag on forever. Actually the whole book could have been trimmed down, and would have been much more enjoyable if it had been.
To be honest, this book was all over the place, and slow moving. I am still confused about things, and not because of the way it ended in a cliffhanger. I didn't read the first book, but I don't think it would have made a big difference. I am a huge fan of books from this genre, but this one was just blah. I really wanted to like this. I was excited after reading the synopsis and had seen reviews of this book stating that it would be okay to read it as a standalone.
Also, there is a rather descriptive sexual assault scene. If those things bother you, stay away. The incident is brought up over and over.
"Borrowed timers are always skinny." Jack thought back to the moment when she had augmented her life - preserving magic with a mouth full of fresh blood. It had infused her with energy, enough to last three months. For a moment, the craving for Felix''s warm arm, the cut skin against her tongue, the slow pulsing of salt into her mouth, overwhelmed her.
About the Author:
REBECCA ALEXANDER is the author of The Secrets of Life and Death. She has worked in psychology and education, and has an MA in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband on the coast of England.
I recieved a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.