November 14, 2013

Review: Blood Debt (Touched #1)

Blood Debt (Touched #1) by Nancy Straight
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: July 15, 2012
Buy Links:

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Book Description:

Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father.

Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a Centaur touched by Zeus.

As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her family acknowledges her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions.

The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately desires.

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I'm a huge nerd when it comes to Greek Mythology, so a book series about centaurs that were touched by Zeus, is something that's right up my alley. And I'm pleased to say that Nancy Straight's "Blood Debt" did not disappoint.

The book starts out very high paced, with Cami's mother dying, to her finding her father, to meeting her brothers, to learning that she's a centaur, all within a few chapters. At first the pace is a bit of a whirlwind while reading, but you get used to it. I actually liked how quickly it moved because it was like we were swept up with Cami on her journey from normal girl to Centauride (a female centaur).

Even though Cami is told by her new family (she goes from her mom dying and having no one to having a father, stepmother, and five half brothers) that she is a Centauride with special powers, she doesn't fully accept it right away. I enjoyed that Cami questioned things at first; instead of just blindly gong along with everything.

Too many books that deal with the real world colliding with the fantasy world have their characters fully adjust to the supernatural without much thought, and that always rang false with me. If someone came to you off the street one day and told you that you were really a centaur or a fairy or a werewolf, would you believe it right away? I know I wouldn't (even though it'd probably be pretty badass to be a fairy).

Obviously my favorite part was when all off the Greek Mythology came into play. Cami's grandmother (who is definitely not a kind old lady who spends her days knitting and eating hard caramel candies) starts to give her lessons about the Centaur history with the gods, and I loved it. Not only did it feed my geeky mythos love, but it also added more layers to the story and background to this creature that hasn't really been written about much before.

Then there's the love story. The love interest in this story is Drake, who just happens to be engaged to Cami's first friend in the Centaur world, Bianca. Romeo and Juliet forbidden love is always a fun read, but I usually question the instant love that seems to happen as a result. I was glad to see Cami taking things slower instead of jumping into thoughts of love and marriage, even if Drake was professing that he was all in. Reading their story, I did see them grow closer together at all of the obstacles that were thrown at them, and I was more fully able to believe they cared for each other on a deeper level than ‘love at first sight’.

One qualm that I had with the book was how things just seemed to happen to Cami. When she gets kidnapped, it takes her a full seven days to realize that no one is coming to her rescue and that she should look for a way out herself. Really, Cami? Seven days? Why not let your hair grow out so a knight in shining armor can climb up it and come through the window to save you while you're at it? I'm not buying the damsel in distress thing, and I hope that there will be some growth for her as the series goes on.

I'm also hoping that Straight will educate us some more on Centaur Society in the books to come. So far we know a lot about the dating and marriage rituals, but I'd love to find out more about their rules and customs. But maybe that's just the whole ‘I'm a huge nerd’ thing coming into play again. I look forward to the next books in the series, and recommend "Blood Debt" to anyone who needs a break from the vampires, witches, and werewolf stories we've been reading for years.

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Author Bio:

I LOVE Starbucks’ White Mocha Latte and Mountain Dew, (but not together). I have a lead foot so I set cruise control when I drive, even in 25 MPH zones. I almost never win when I play Angry Birds, but have my 9 year old close, so he can clear the hard levels for me. I grew up on a farm and am opposed to eating fresh chicken (not opposed to meat - just opposed to any meat that was alive a few hours before lunch). I am a huge fan of the show, Big Bang Theory, on CBS.  I have two fantastic sons, three rotten dogs and a husband that I adore.

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