Friday, June 24, 2016

Spells of Blood and Kin

Spells of Blood and Kin is a debut novel by Claire Humphrey.  Lissa Nevsky just lost her grandmother or Baba (as Lissa called her).  Baba was the local koldun’ia (sorcerer) and Lissa is her successor.   Lissa has to make the spells (with eggs) for their clients.  Maksim knew Baba.  Maksim had saved Baba from the Gulag, and, in return, Baba saved him with a spell (one that goes against her teachings/beliefs) which ended when she passed away.  Maksim needs Lissa to recreate the spell for him before he gets completely out of control.  Maksim has already harmed a person by changing him (he licked Nick Kaisaris).  Maksim needs to find Nick before he harms people.  Can Lissa find the spell she needs and do it in time to help Maksim?  Will Maksim be able to find Nick in time?

This sounded like such a great book, but it turned out to be very boring (I actually started drifting off to sleep a couple of times).   You would think with magic it would be an interesting or lively novel.  The magic is never fully explained.  Why do they need to use eggs for the spells and only during a full moon?   What exactly Maksim is (the type of monster as he calls himself) is not fully explained in the novel.  We get a little bit, but not a full description.  If the author had enlightened the readers (provided details about the characters) it would have improved the story.  For the most part the characters are unlikeable.  Lissa is just plain boring (and I thought my life was dull).  Lissa is uptight, rigid and has no idea how to enjoy life.  I thought the writing was awkward/stilted and the pace of the novel was slow.  I ended up speed reading through the majority of the book.  The ending is just plain odd (makes no sense). The novel is told from the main characters (Lissa, Nick, and Maksim) points-of-view.  It goes from one to the next to the next and then starts over.  I think it would have helped the story (at least a little bit) if it had just been told in the third person.  I’m sorry, but this book was just plain unenjoyable (I dislike saying that about any book, but it is true).  I was not taken into this world or engaged in any shape, way, or form.  I give Spells of Blood and Kin 1 out of 5 stars.  Fair warning that the novel contains violence and alcohol (great quantities of alcohol are consumed by the characters).  It is said to be a dark fantasy. I agree it is dark, but there is definitely no fantasy!

You can follow Claire Humphrey on Facebook and Amazon.  You can check out Claire Humphrey on Amazon.  I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and reading my book reviews.  I really do appreciate it.  I hope all of you have a wonderful and relaxing Friday evening.  I am currently reading Engaged in Death by Stephanie Blackmoore.  I will return tomorrow with a new review (fair warning)!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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