Tuesday, May 14, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Requiem for Blood ~ Alexandra Hope**


Hi y'all! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Requiem for Blood by Alexandra Hope. My stop includes all the details for the novel, a guest post from Ms. Hope, my review and a giveaway. This tour is presented by Xpresso Book Tours and you can click here to follow all the stops on the tour.


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Requiem for Blood by Alexandra Hope

Publication: February 7th 2013
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal/Dark Fantasy

Synopsis:
Marrying East Asian mythology with Western folklore, this novel has a surprising twist for fans of the paranormal genre!
Seventeen year old Olivia Cohen has also had an appetite for blood and an aversion to the sun as a human and when she is killed by a mysterious young woman, she finds her appetite has heightened and her skin is now burned by the sun. Living her life in a colony with other people who live a "vampire-like" lifestyle, she has grown up hunting humans and believing there is a blood so powerful it will turn them from vampire-like into true vampires. On one of Olivia's final nights as a human she meets eighteen year old Troy Evans and is immediately drawn to the unique scent of his blood. Now as an actual vampire, she must learn how to suppress her need to hunt and kill for his sake and decide if his unique blood is worth saving from those who seek it.

16+ for dark themes.


PURCHASE: 

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Guest Post 
The Difficulties of Blending East Asian Mythology with Western Folklore


I think when you are trying to marry two totally different topics, including mythology, you have to be sensitive to those who aren't familiar with one of the two. With the Japanese mythology I pull from, I had to make sure I got readers up to speed so they don't feel so out of place and at the same time, try to avoid info dumping (though it's not completely possible). So when I went into Requiem for Blood with an idea of basing it around kitsunes (foxes), I had to write as if I had never heard of them, so I could hopefully convey the mythos as clearly as possible to Western readers. That's a bit of a challenge because all I'm thinking is who hasn't heard of a kitsune?? Even with the mainstream influence of Japanese animation and one popular anime/manga, InuYasha, which does have fox spirits, I have to assume that it isn't quite known which wastes a lot of time in the story because I have to give background—what they are, what they do, etc. Obviously with the vampire part, it's as simple as writing: they have fangs, drink blood and go out at night—all common knowledge and needs little explanation. The part of why kitsune are important to the vampires, is of little difficulty and is probably the most fun because it sets up explanations for everything about the vampires; why they need blood, why they avoid the sun and so on.

On info dumping: I don't regret the massive amount of info dumps, because it was necessary and I wanted it to set people up so that when book two comes, we are ready for the adventure and less concerned with why Troy is the way he is or how Olivia came to want blood the way she wants it. I guess that's another part of the difficulty of having to explain something that isn't quite as mainstream as werewolves, is that the first book becomes more of an introduction and less of a story and it's hard to get people to stay interested and stick it out for the story that is coming.

Honestly, it was more fun than challenging to have both mythologies set up their home in my story. I think both of them got their equal “screen time” and I can only hope, I did the Japanese culture justice and made people more aware of the complexities in their mythology.

Thank you Bookworm Brandee for the topic, I absolutely loved it.



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My Review

I believe I've mentioned before that I love me some vampires. :) I particularly love it when an author takes the vampire myth and makes it their own. Alexandra Hope accomplished this with Requiem for Blood. And although I felt the storyline meandered at the beginning, I quite enjoyed it.

Requiem for Blood is very unique as it blends Asian and Western myth together. I liked the way in which Ms. Hope connected the vampire myth with the kitsune. Another unique aspect is the strong cast of supporting characters. Noah, Troy and Erika, as well as Mar, Alexa, Felicity, Allison, and even David are all such integral pieces of the story, I felt as though there wasn't a true main character. But as the story hinges around Olivia, she is our heroine.

Olivia Cohen has been raised in a colony of people hoping for the immortality promised as a vampire. She has always fed on human blood and is trained in vampiric ways. Olivia is a likable character. She seems quiet and studious. She's been very sheltered as well. But she does wonder what life is like outside the colony. Her best friend, Noah, is very loyal and selfless where Olivia is concerned. And he encourages her to leave the colony as he doesn't want vampirism as Olivia's future. 

Troy Evans is Olivia's sister, Alexa's boyfriend. Troy seems like such a pure soul. He loves Alexa and takes Olivia into his home not considering the possible consequences of those actions. Oh, and there's the issue of his blood being a bit special.

Erika, the "girl with all the answers" serves the dual purpose of explaining the plot of the story and providing lots of comic relief. She is feisty, snarky and really moves the action along.

Speaking of the action, there's lots of it and it's gritty. Ms. Hope held nothing back in her descriptions of vampire feedings or fights. It is graphic but well done.

All the characters' lives intertwine because a common goal. Some are on one side and some on the other. There is mystery weaved in as well. Erika, for instance, is a curious character with a questionable agenda. Loyalties are tested as Olivia is pitted against those she grew up with. It all combined for interesting reading, once I had my "Aha" moment.

Requiem for Blood seems to serve mostly as the world building for the next book in this series. I didn't really understand where the story was going until the midpoint of the book. The writing is solid and I liked the characters but I would have liked the plot better explained earlier. Once I understood the plot, the story really flowed and I was disappointed when it ended. I do understand that the world building is complex and hard to set up, so this may be why I felt so lost in the beginning. But it was worth it in the end. The book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I will read the next book to find out what happens next.




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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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AUTHOR BIO
Alexandra Hope was born in New York, raised in Atlanta and has lived in Germany for the past three years. She writes pretty much whatever she feels like and for her debut novel she chose ninja-like vampires. She's a (Linguistic) Anthropology major, language lover, vocalist in a Japanese band and part-time bad fanfic writer.

Author Links:


12 comments:

  1. Great review, Brandee! Sounds like a solid start to the series. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  2. It's always great when an author can put their own spin on vampires. Glad you enjoyed the story!

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    1. I really do enjoy new takes on the vampire myth. Thanks, Andrea!

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  3. I'm really interested in Kitsunes! They are so fun to read about and generally given a new take by each author. I enjoyed hearing from the author why the information has to be given the way that it was. The review was great as well! Thank you so much for sharing :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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    1. I'd heard of kitsunes - thank you, Richelle Mead :) - but yeah, this is a different take. And I really enjoyed Ms. Hope's guest post as well. It was interesting to read her explanation behind the one thing I had an issue with while reading the book. Thanks, as always, for commenting! :)

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  4. I'd rather be a vampire. thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. I actually really like world building, and I've never read about Kitsunes, so I'll definitely add this one to my TBR list. :)

    As for the question in the Rafflecopter: I'd love to be a vampire for immortality, but I feel like I'd end up using it as a crutch and get lost (in a bad way) in life. I'm going with a Kitsune. Yeah, they just have such a cool name. :P

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    1. Oh, I like world building too, Marissa. :) Let me know what you think once you read it. And thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Hmmm, could I be a vampire with a werewolf lover? lol

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Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??