Book Review: Balthazar
An Evernight Novel
By: Claudia Gray
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher
Audience: YA Fantasy
My Thoughts:I gotta say, I loved it! I will definitely be looking up the Evernight series, because I can't get enough of Balthazar. I've heard my bookish friends praise the series to the moon and back, so I was glad I could take on this stand alone and not get lost. I feel confident, even though I haven't (yet) read the series, they will love getting a look into Skye and Balthazar's little slice of the Evernight world. Additionally, I can't wait to see where Claudia Gray takes the rest of Skye and Balthazar's story, as well as his heartbreakingly damaged sister, Charity.
I liked Skye from the word go. She was smart, realistic and haunted, but not to the point where it was overly dramatized. And I do mean haunted literally - She has the ability to see and even feel the deaths of the past when she comes into contact with the spot.
She is also quite capable of handling her own business, and not the swoon and shriek type, even faced with a horde of fangy threats. She also wasn't a coy, seductive tramp. When she realizes she wants a relationship with Balthazar, she's upfront about it, and doesn't jump to cleavage baring, rear shaking, or otherwise skanky antics. Well done, Skye! In a world where being stupid and slutty are marketable commodities, it's a huge relief that this novel and its heroine are what the teens are reading!
Balthazar, while not tripping my personal trigger, is a good guy - Honorable, moral, and tortured. I liked him a lot but I wasn't swooning. His waffling between desire and what he assumed was best made me want to smack him upside the head. But he is a great character, and enjoyed him very much. He can also kick some serious ass when called to do it. It was also great to see him purge some of his less noble times in history as the story progresses. Also, for Balty fans, there are a series of well written flashbacks that will give you more 411 on the vamp you all love.
Now lets get to Charity. You know I love me some crazy. Whether its homoicidal crazy ala The Shi'ning or fun, smark aleck crazy like Nick Gautier in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Chronicles of Nick series. Charilty is a mixed bag of both, with a healthy dose of tragedy thrown in to make her a little bit more sympathetic. (According to my Evernight friends, she isn't so much likeable)
Overall, I truly enjoyed this read and this world. I want to spread the love, so please look for this ARC in the next Emptying The Nest giveaway!
In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.