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Christina Reads YA

"A children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." --C.S. Lewis

Review: The Blood of Eden trilogy - Julie Kagawa

5 Reasons to Read the Blood of Eden trilogy:

1. If you like The Vampire Diaries, you may well like the character dynamics and focus on redemption/facing the monster within in this trilogy (RE: character dynamics - Stefan:Kanin, Damon:Jackal, Vampire/B.A. Elena:Allison, Stefan when he was with Elena: Zeke; these are not exact resemblances, particularly since I am talking of them *without* the love triangle elements in TVD, but regarding character attitudes and redemption, I was reminded of those in TVD). Allie's character growth over the trilogy, particularly as it relates to her struggles accepting and struggling and finally embracing her vampiric nature, was a treat to read.

2. Since the entire trilogy has been published, you can read all the books back to back. There's plenty of recap, too, if you want to space them out in your reading schedule. The first two end with major cliffhangers, but now you can read all the way through until you reach the beautifully open ending in The Forever Song that has just the right amount of hope and character resolution while allowing you to picture the final details for Allie and others. This ending stays true to both its characters and the bloody post-apocalyptic setting Kagawa has established.

3. If you're an action-oriented reader or love vampire novels, you may well like Kagawa's take on both. They've got the blood tears of Charlaine Harris's vampires and the constant Hunger in the Vampire Diaries and the badassery of old school vampires who know their power and strength and rule humans instead of submitting to them. That mixed with a post-apocalyptic setting = blood-soaked, action-packed adventure.

4. Allison. Remember what I said about her character growth? I also love that Allie is an unapologetic survivor, even when she learns that there are other things to live for in her destroyed world. She's brutal with her katana, quite capable of defending herself with both words and weapons. Fierce. Determined. Sarcastic. And her struggles to keep her humanity - to understand what's most important to her; what sort of monster she becomes - are easy to empathize with and ground the story. Her relationships with the other key characters add to the mix a sweet romance, a torturous take on redemption and hope, and humorous banter to lighten the harsh edges of her world.

5. If you're a fan of Kagawa's Iron Fey series, you may well like this series of hers for the similar writing style. Again, very cinematic with a lot of details that make it easy to imagine the world despite it being so very different from our own. Although this sometimes means that every one of the novels starts out slowly and has quite a bit of recap, it also means that the action is well choreographed and easy to picture.