After nearly dying at the hands of the Aurelian, Chrysabelle finds new determination to move beyond life as a comarré. That is until the Kubai Mata bring a new task to her doorstep: rescue the child Tatiana has kidnapped, or Mal becomes enemy number one.
As a loyal follower of the House of Comarré series, this book actually shocked me to the core and broke my heart with what happens to Chrysabelle and Mal. You would think that I would realize that Kristen Painter is something of a torturer when it comes to ensuring her characters get something of a happy ending. She loves pulling them in so many directions that you need a scorecard to keep track of all the situations they’ve been in.
In this, the fourth book of the series, Chrysabelle wakes to find that she has somehow managed to survive her re-visit to the Aurelian in an attempt to find the name of her brother. The only problem is she doesn’t remember anything about her visit or how she managed to get home after dying. This came after she had the Ring of Sorrows melted down and had her former signum replaced with the gold remnants. It would seem that by melting down the Ring of Sorrows, Chrysabelle has the ability to survive situations that others would have perished from but with certain side effects. It also happens that she has Mal’s blood flowing through her veins which has caused her to become a force to be reckoned with.
Chrysabelle remains on a mission to find her brother no matter what anyone else thinks about her intentions or the fact that the KM (Kubai Mata) now wants her to drop everything she’s doing and go after the child known as Lilith.
Out for Blood has several points of view as usual. We have not only Chrysabelle’s POV, but Malkolm’s, Tatiana’s, Maddoc and Fiona’s, Thomas Creek’s, and Delores Diaz-White (the mayor of Paradise City) whose own actions really got under my skin and has now become a player in the Lilith stakes with her change of heart. Painter also adds several key players to the equation including Luciano (vampire) and Annika (Basilik) who is the new chief of station for the KM.
As for what’s normal for this series, Mal and Chrysabelle’s relationship is tested to the ultimate limits and is left hanging in the balance after Chrysabelle tries to discover what the Ring of Sorrows is really doing to her body. We actually get some nice scenes where Mal and Chrysabelle are actually hospitable towards each other and Chrysabelle realizes that yes, she does in fact, love Mal and there’s no getting around her feelings.
One can only hope that the situation Painter has painted herself into with Mal’s sudden emotional swing, and Chrysabelle’s shocking revelation, is fixed in Last Blood for the sake of my sanity.
Fiona and Maddocs situation is confusing as all hell especially now that he’s the Prides Leader and she is utterly paranoid at the fact that she might lose Doc to the pride. As a reader of this series, you realize that Fi and Doc really do love each other but have been through so much. Doc has issues that need to be resolved and there is the feeling that you shouldn’t trust what Painter has in store for either Fi or Doc until you’ve read the very last page of Last Blood (2013).
I’ve been a Tatiana hater from the onset and that’s good writing on Painters behalf. She is able to write in such a way that you can’t help emotionally wanting to rip Tatiana’s head off yourself. You can’t wait until either Mal or Chrysabelle gets the final laugh at Tatiana’s expense. With Out for Blood, you see a different aspect of Tatiana; that of the caring mother to a child that really isn’t hers. Yes, she still schemes to become Queen of the Vampires and there are plenty of political moves on her part towards that goal. But, she genuinely has an emotional connection to Lilith now and has slowly built up a small family in order to take care of her every need and to protect her. Of course, nothing is fallible and everything is subject to change at a moment’s notice.
Thomas Creek, an agent of the Kubai Mata, is put into a difficult situation when he is forced to ask Chrysabelle to go after Lilith or face the consequences of Mal being hurt or worse. Creek finds that he is facing challenging circumstances when the deity Yahla comes to visit and things go south from there. I liked the fact that there’s a new station chief who’s a basilisk and seems to really connect with Creek. I hope that Creek is the one who is forced to take care of the situation with the now changed Mayor of Paradise City who has her own agenda in regards to the child Lilith who is supposed to be her granddaughter.
Overall, even though I am completely shocked by the ending of this book, I can’t really complain by the overall direction that Painter seems to be heading. I love the fact that she has written a dystopian type novel with vampires, varcolai (shape shifters), fae, and humans all living on the same plane. There is also the underlying danger from the Castus Sanguis (fallen Angels) who created the othernatural races and have something of an agenda when it comes to the child Lilith.
This series comes highly recommended to those who love Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I received this book straight from the publisher in lieu of an honest review. No money change hands, nor was any expected for my thoughts.
Title - Out For Blood (House of Comarré # 4)
Author - Kristen Painter
Publisher - Orbit
Published - October 30, 2012