Review: Blood for Love by Chris M. Finkelstein

    Blood For Love (Volume 1)
 Chris M. Finkelstein; Kindle Edition, Published March 3rd 2011 by Crave Books; Paperback Edition, Published April 3rd 2011 by Crave Books

This is the story of the life of Jan, a gifted male D’otian living on a violent, predatory planet. His mother Martha is part of a love-preservation network, outlawed by a world in which love is punished by DeathBT, (Death By Torture.)
 When the underground network attempts a daring escape into the poisoned wildlands, they inadvertently cause a catastrophic explosion.
 The explosion draws the instant wrath of the now doomed NOV, the only remaining nation on D’ot. The escapees take off into the wildlands, with stolen vaccines that they need to survive out there. The wildlands are aptly named.
 Jan is guided to a five thousand year old hidden temple, which holds treasures and knowledge never before seen. The escapees begin to hope for a brave new world of peace and freedom, but the NOV continues to haunt Jan’s dreams.
 Can the reptilian humanoids overcome their violent nature? What will they do with freedom? Can they control what they have found in the hidden temple?
 – Goodreads on Blood for Love

Ok, wow, where to start? Characters, I just have to say it: reptilians? Really, Chris? How could you? I LOVE reptilian-staring stories, it’s crazy how much of a fan I am, seriously! You know that sort of old series, Farscape? Well I was rooting for Scorpius, he was my most favorite character there, I sort of had like a reptilous-crush on him  But I’m sure that hasn’t influenced my thoughts on Chris Finkelstein’s novel (well, ok, so it has, deal with it!)
 Obviously, I was almost fangirling about it as soon my eyes met the magic word “scales”. There aren’t enough good stories about reptilians out there, though Chris Finkelstein‘s “D’Ot Hexalogy“, of which Blood for Love is Book 1, gives me great hope the situation is going to be vastly improved.

Now, on with the more objective part of my read. The entire world pretty much fascinated me; it’s a hard thing to do, to build a fantasy world without describing it in grueling detail, and without skipping descriptions so much so that your reader forgets how it’s all supposed to be. Chris Finkelstein hit a fabulous balance, making me feel like it was my town he was describing, possibly my backyard, so to speak, and yet another world altogether. The vast presence of metal gives you a sensory clue as to the life in this world; there are actual laws against love, so you can imagine just how heavy, hard and cold life there would be. Of course, all hope is not lost. But I won’t go much into details, or I’ll spoil the read for you guys, and we don’t wanna do that, do we?

Now, I will address one aspect that I didn’t find bothering, but slightly surprising. In a world of cold, hard laws, brute force and violence, you wouldn’t quite expect there to be a religious movement that is centered on love, or at least I didn’t expect that. It’s more of a moralizing streak then a religious one, I’d say; the book has one message that I find great, to lose the ability to love selflessly is to lose that which makes you a real person, as opposed to some drone or beast. I will say though that there may be some that would find these streaks to fall more into a religious-like area, what with the exodus and all. I myself am not the sort of reader that enjoys strong religious undertones to books that aren’t on religious matters per se, however I find in this novel it’s more of a general message of love, and it’s not the main focus, but a balanced part of the plot.

The novel is rich in action, without becoming a chronicle of battles every 5 seconds; yet again, the author hits a great balance. What would have I liked to have more off? Well, villains. But then again, I’m the villain-supporter sort of gal, so that’s something I always wish I’d had more of. Don’t get me wrong, there are all sorts of nasty d’otians in the story, but there isn’t a main antagonist for me crush on
 Could this have been a 5 butterflies material? Yes, actually. I loved the plot, the pace of it, how the writer built his characters, events didn’t feel at all rushed or dragged on, I wasn’t left with “blanks” along the ride, as it sometimes happens with books that were designed to be part of a series.
 But why haven’t I given it my ultimate book-crush 5 butterflies rating? Honestly, the style of the writing; eloquent, beautiful, but less on the highly cursive side, and I hope I make myself clear on this: it’s not in any way lacking, but if it would have been a bit more fluid, it would have made this novel a killer, in my opinion.

Product-wise, e-book has a beautiful presentation, I also very much so loved the cover, and I LOVE the paperback as well. There are many things that tempt me into giving it my 5 butterflies rating, that have to do with the paperback reading experience. The font, the care with which it has been styled, the feel of the actual page – it’s all worth an A+, honestly. As a sensory-oriented reader, all these things will greatly impact my reading experience. For instance, I was reading a book once, and though the story, the writing, the characters, all were great, the quality of the paper it was printed on, the small size of the font and the overall cluttered feel of it left me with a sour taste. It may be unfair to factor that in with the writing, but as soon as you make your art into a product, all aspects of it will factor in.
 Honestly, I’d give the paperback a 4 and a half butterflies, jut on account of it being so rich to the touch.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to reptilian fans like myself, to fantasy fans as well; there were moments the movie Equilibrium came to mind while reading, you know that thick atmosphere the movie made such a brilliant job at impressing upon you? Well Blood for Love does impress its thick atmosphere on you major-style, so when reading it be prepared, be strong enough to go through the storm before reaching the “light”, there are some pretty intense themes that will come up.

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-paperback: $14.95



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