Flesh and Blood – Book 1 was better, but I sort of expected that
Crysabelle and the gang are back without much of a wait in this second installment of the House of Comarre series by Kristen Painter. The storyline for Flesh and Blood continues from book 1, so this entry does not work well as a standalone.
Crysabelle hasn’t seen Malkolm for months since her mother’s funeral, making for pretty crazy tension when they reunite. He still needs her help to rid him of his curse, so that is a large plot point of the book.
There are a lot of things happening, so the author often switches back and forth between multiple POVs. I didn’t mind it so much in the first book because it was primarily Crysabelle, Mal, and Tatiana. Now we add more of Dominic (her mother’s former lover), Doc (shapeshifter friend) and Creek (new badass human vampire slayer from the Kubai Mata). That just names a few, but the point is clear. This made the book cluttered at times which kind of hindered my enjoyment.
Another new aspect that almost had me contemplating taking a break was the love triangle. It is so awkward and out of nowhere. Creek as a character is fine, but I just don’t understand the need to inject the love-interest angle with him. No, it does not make the story more appealing because the author ends up busy focusing on romance angles for two guys instead of using that time to keep the plot interesting. I am hoping soooo badly that this gets resolved in the next book.
Tatiana is a grade A beotch and is completely unrelatable, regardless of anything that’s happened in her past. This makes her a bit more one-dimensional than I was hoping for. I tend to enjoy complex villains, especially if we have to sit through her POV. However, she’s not the only bad guy in town as a we’re introduced to two new surprise adversaries that I imagine will get a lot more face time in the next book. You think things are bad now…just wait.
While I had more gripes here than in book 1, I do enjoy the action along with the Crys/Mal screen time. I also enjoyed Mal coming out of his shell a little more. He’s definitely a fighter and I liked seeing that aggressive side come out on something other than a poor helpless victim.
This book ends with a cliffhanger, which wasn’t at all surprising since the 3rd book was slated to come out soon after. This is specifically why I waited until it was released so that I can read them both together.
So overall, I give this book a 3.5 because I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, but it is still worth a read. I expected this because book 3 follows soon after, signaling that a lot of issues would remain unresolved.