Book Review: Kristen Painter’s Last Blood

Posted December 31, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kristen Painter’s Last BloodLast Blood by Kristen Painter
This urban fantasy is a paperback edition was published by Orbit on July 30, 2013 and has 464 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

two-stars

Other books by this author include Blood Rights, Flesh and Blood, Bad Blood, Out for Blood, House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires

Fifth and last of the House of Comarré urban fantasy series revolving around Chrysabelle and Mal and set in the fictional Paradise City in an alternate world New Florida in 2067.

My Take

I have loved this series and have devoured each installment as it came out. I expected Last Blood to continue the excitement and was devastated when I got a bit of a ways into this. It was terrible.

Painter had characters acting out of character, going so far over the top that it was unbelievable, and being so gullible, it was terrifying. Preacher’s, White’s, and Samael’s actions were ridiculous. Preacher is so contrary, why on earth would he accept Creek’s tattoos as proof or acquiesce to his request so easily? The mayor and her unthinking fanaticism? Her hiring of her new aide?

Reactions were melodramatic: Remo? He’s a 20-pound sledgehammer unsure if he’s going to bash away or rest quietly in a corner. The blood thing with Mal? Is he really that stupid…I don’t think so. We do get hit over the head about Lilith. I ain’t buyin’ that one either. The Castus being that ignorant? Need I say more?

Oh, please, White actually thinks her daughter was a comarré? In what universe? The Kubai Mata doesn’t know that Octavian can swarm?

Now, I will buy how Malkolm reacts to Tatiana’s offer.

Painter sets Damian up to be iffy, and goes nowhere with it.

What was the point of all the set-up for the fight between Creek and
Annika?

Why is it that Painter disrespects her own series so much that she weasels out like this?

The Story

A raptor fae has taken Mal’s love for Chrysabelle and destroyed her happiness even as she learns what she’s gained. She seeks distraction with Fi’s help in changing her look and with Fi’s encouragement. After all, Fi was one of Mal’s ghosts.

Fi does have her own troubles. While Heaven’s father seems to have accepted her death, her brother, Remo, has other ideas. Meanwhile, the Kubai Mata step up their interference with a new undercover operative. It’s too much, and Creek simply wants out.

The Characters

Chrysabelle Lapointe is a former comarré who has found true independence. Velimai is a wysper fae and serves Chrysabelle as her assistant now that Maris is dead. Jerem is her ursine-shifter driver. Damian is a comar who defected from Tatiana in Bad Blood, 3, and is Chrysabelle’s brother. Amylia is the comarré Damian brings with him.

Malkolm Bourreau, a noble vampire who was declared anathema due to Tatiana’s machinations, is back to despising the very ground Chrysabelle treads. His voices are back, and…and…he can’t indulge them. Sophia is the daughter he had when he and Tatiana were human.

Seven
…is a vampire nightclub run by Dominic, an anathema vampire for whom Maris, Chrysabelle’s mother, left the comarré. Mortalis is a shadeux fae who works for him; Nyssa is his partner. Amery is another shadeux fae. Katsumi Tanaka is a vicious vampire who finally got the navitas she wanted. Luciano is Dominic’s nephew from the House of Paole. He believes he’s helping Dom when he turns the mayor.

Preacher is a day-walking vampire who lives in a church even as he hunts for his human-vampire baby, Mariela.

The Varcolai
Maddoc “Doc” Mayes is the leader of the Paradise City pride and takes on ownership of the nightclub Bar Nine. The ghostly Fiona is now Doc’s mate! His only problem? He still bursts into flames when he gets emotional. Isaiah is their butler and a minister of the Church of Bast. Omur, a cheetah-shifter, and Barasa, the pride’s chief physician and a tiger-shifter, are on the pride Council. Fritz Haber is the council member who quit. Rodrigo Silva, the São Paulo pride leader, sends his third son, Remo, to Doc as his third councilor.

The Kubai Mata
Thomas Creek is a Kubai Mata agent recruited when he was sprung from prison by them. They own him now, lock, stock, and family. Rosa Mae Jumper, a.k.a., Mawmaw, is Tommy’s grandmother, a tribe healer. Kubai Mata is a powerful organization that cares only for its own ends with a mandate to police the othernaturals. Annika is a basilisk who replaces former Section Chief Argent. She introduces Creek to a new undercover operative, Octavian, who has his own agenda.

Police Chief Peter Vernadetto is sympathetic to varcolai issues; he has his own secret.

Lola Diaz White is the mayor of Paradise City who recently became a vampire, and it’s gone to her head. Hector is the comar she buys. Valerie is her administrative assistant with a crush on John. John Havoc, a varcolai, is her personal bodyguard (I guess he rejoined after quitting in Out for Blood, 4).

Tatiana is the Dominus of the Tepes Clan, and she’s mourning the loss of her “daughter”, Lilith, as well as the betrayal of her new husband Lord Octavian Petrescu, who died in Out for Blood. Aaron is her new comar. Lady Daciana is an Elder and one of Tatiana’s who escaped in New Florida. Jonah is her comar. Kosmina was Lilith’s nanny and replaced Octavian as household chief of staff.

Samael is the head of the Castus Sanguis which created vampires. He removed Lilith from Tatiana’s care as she was inadequate for the task.

Lilith is now a rebellious, spoiled teen with too much power.

The New Orleans fae
Khell is the Guardian Chrysabelle put in place in Out for Blood; Beatrice is his fiancée and an ignus fae. The Claustrum are the fae lands, fatal to humans, where they keep the worst of their own kind. Olivia Goodwin is the vampire queen. Augustine is Mortalis’ brother, one unlikely to risk his life for anyone; he lives with the vampire queen. Hugo Loudreux is the elektos Prime who despises Chrysabelle.

Eae is the cherubim who guards the gate into the Garden of Eden. Michael is the archangel with unexpected news, and Chrysabelle gains a favor from him.

The comarré are humans specially bred for the richest, most intoxicating blood. They’re then sold for tremendous sums of money to the vampires who can afford it. Only, they have an ulterior motive in their existence. One the vampires would destroy them for if they knew of it. While comarré is an all-encompassing term, it also may refer to a female. A comar is the male. Nadira is the Aurelian, the comarré historian. Madame Rennata leads the Comarré at the Primoris Domus in Corvinestri, Romania.

Kine is how the vampires refer to humans. An ancient term for cow. Varcolai are animal shifters descended from fallen angels and animals.

The Cover and Title

The cover continues the tradition of the ornate black frame with the brocaded bottom panel and the red skulls in the two upper corners and the bottom center. It’s the outfit Chrysabelle is wearing that’s different. A deep blood red leather with an ornate design and a cutaway back that shows off the golden signum on her back. Naturally, she carries one of her sacres across her back, a sword she’s pulling from its sheath.

The title is a nice finish and hopefully it truly is Last Blood.

two-stars

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