Thursday, July 14, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Blood Will Tell, by C.S. Donnell

As those that follow my blog and my work likely know, I took part in a couple online cyber cons put on by Brain to Books this passed spring and earlier this month. In addition to meeting some really cool other authors and potential readers, I also snagged a few books to review.

The first book I am reviewing is C.S. Donnell's Blood Will Tell. As far as genres go, this one is a tad difficult to categorize. Though I would be more likely to place it in the categories of crime thriller, romance, and family drama with a touch of horror.

Family ties. A good thing, right? Not if you come from Amy's family. Amy escapes her gilded cage only to find herself alone. One by one, everyone disappears from her life, including her baby daughter on the day she was born. Eighteen years of futile searching end when a letter arrives and leads her through a maze of shifting identities, kidnapping and attempted murder. Will she find the answers in time?

I will start by saying that the story gripped me from the very beginning. There was just enough intrigue within each chapter that left me wanting to read the next and find out what was going to happen. The characters were very well-written, appeared to have many layers, and the love story that is intertwined with the mystery and drama added a great touch.
When I first started reading it, the story reminded me a little of the popular V.C. Andrews book, Flowers in the Attic (minus the all the incest), having a similar dark family secret theme of someone being locked away and shut off from the rest of the world. Add to that some beautiful, poetic prose, the author immediately had me roped in. I will say, though, that while the first half was a definite win for me, the second half of the book lost a bit of the magic that made the first half so great. As I read on, the plot seemed rushed and I didn't feel that the writing was on par with the lovely prose present in the first half of the book. For me, this was rather jarring and it seemed like the author was trying to cram every last person's story and point of view in at the end. This left me wishing that more time had been taken to develop the characters and their stories further (there was HUGE potential to do so there, especially with the very complex plotline). Sure, this would have made the book longer, but I also think it would have allowed me to empathize more with the characters and feel as if I were part of their journey like I did in the beginning of the book. Instead I just felt a sort of disconnect in the latter half. This was especially so with one particular key character that seemed to be just 'thrown back in' at the end.The premise of the conclusion was great and there was still some good characterization, but I think that a little more fleshing out would have taken it up a few notches from being a good book to an excellent book. And yes, it was certainly a good book. C.S. Donnell has a talent for putting words together beautifully and creating complex storylines and characters. She had me wanting to continue reading and see how it would all come together at the end.
All in all, it ended up being quite a fun and enjoyable read. Blood Will Tell is one of those books that is great to chill out with and read while sitting outside on your porch during a summer night. So I say add it to your summer reading list!


Check out Blood Will Tell on Amazon


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