Fifteen year old Susannah Skelsby is one of the most powerful Overworld variations, humans, alive. Gangs often try to recruit her to use her magic as their weapons, but she has resisted every recruitment attempt until she met Krig Carter, the leader of another resistance group. The difference for this resistance group is that it seeks equality between Overworld and Underworld variations. Susannah and her friend wait for an incident to occur before they finally join the resistance group.
Through missions, Susannah finds it harder and harder to hide her power from the attention of the ruling Demon Lords. The most trouble strikes when the rebel group realizes there is a traitor in their midst, but they can’t very well weed out the traitors when doing so would result in their disbandment. Even when all seems bleak, the group receives help from an unlikely (but not really if you were paying attention) individual.
I wanted to read this book because I’ve read fan fiction by the same author on FanFiction.Net under her pen name The Fictionist. I love her Harry Potter fan fiction, so I thought I would see the same depth and writing in her original works. This isn’t as intricate or deep as her other works on the Internet. Unfortunately, this was not one of her writings where I was gripped from beginning to end. I didn’t really get absorbed into the story until the last few chapters. I look forward to future additions to The Chronicles of Reflection, but only if I can stay drawn into the plot.
The world itself is wonderful. It’s a nice new flavor to the fantasy genre. Although some of the explanations of magic remind me of her HP fan fiction, the magic her characters possess is completely her own, and it’s unique. I could picture the general layout of the realm Susannah lives in; there is no need for a map or extra explanation.
I saw this book as initially having a good premise, but it grew cliché with the introduction of the traitor in the group. At least it did follow along the lines of you can’t easily figure out who it is. In my guessing of who the traitor was, I touched on the person a couple of times but dismissed them. I don’t really know how Delilah’s strife over how her parents actually died really ties into the rest of the novel, but it may tie in to future installments of the chronicles. Susannah’s lessons of control could have been woven better into the ending.
As far as character development, there is some, but I think the character who is most round is Jamie. More work could have gone in to developing Susannah. Marco is a villain you love on the outset, but I can’t put him on a favorites list until I see more development from him. Points for him being a scary demon. I give King credit for her characters’ sarcasm and, for at least Susannah, common sense. It’s nice to not see characters fall into cliché roles or dialogue.
For themes, I mostly see loyalty, devotion to a cause and equality. The loyalty comes to family and to a cause. The devotion is tied to loyalty. The equality is the who reason for the resistance.
One comment about the cover and title, it doesn’t do the story justice with the picture. I think the cover could be better to show something to do with the society or city. The title itself doesn’t fit the novel. I can only think of one but not a very good reason as to why this is the title. It could only relate to the Demon Lord or the Dark Angel assassin, but that is not enough for me to believe this was the best title choice.
An issue I have with this book – I’m not sure whether this falls under the general problem with some e-books or if it is due to self-publishing – is the grammar and spelling errors. There aren’t many, but there are enough to be noticeable. One word was in its noun form instead of its adjective form. There were a couple words that were missing a letter in certain places. I see this as one of the issues with self-publication because King is a great author but every writing can stand to be looked over for spelling errors. Also, I wish the formatting allowed for a better way to indicate the start of a new paragraph (indentation, spacing between paragraphs, etc.). A small issue, but one that is important to me, is labeling one of her female characters as “Latino” when she is “Latina.”
Blood Lines is an overall good book and worth the time to read. I recommend this to people who like fantasy and plots surrounding rebel groups.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
3.5 Out of 5 Stars