A Change of Heart by Mark Benjamin

30039779Vampires! The start of this book was quite intriguing and full of promise. Vampires of all walks of life (Royals, Nobles, Fledglings). Each and every one of them with their own ambitions and more than normal amount of cruelty. OK, I lie! I lie! Not all of them were downright evil, but there were a few.

Bullied his entire life, orphaned university graduate, Gabriel Harper, is bitten by a Royal vampire moments before sunrise, transforming him over the course of six terrible and exhilarating nights into a hybrid—human by day, vampire by night.

Just as he learns to come to grips with what he has become, the Silver Legion—a covert, vampire-hunting organisation—kidnap him and his three friends, forcing them to join their clandestine crusade; however, they remain unaware of Gabriel’s nature until it is too late.

Each choice made sets in motion a turn of devastating events—from love-triangles and fratricide, lust and betrayal, broken dreams and the thirst for power, vengeance and the spilling of blood defines victory.

A Change Of Heart is set primarily in the fictional City of Penance; interweaving the lives of Legionnaires, humans and vampires in the course of a year.

I do not need to go into retelling what this book is about, the blurb does it quite well and to the point. It does what it says on the tin for 476 pages.

Writing this review, I feel like I’m a squirming worm hooked to a fishing tackle because I kind of liked it but I kind of had issues with the book as well. Those issues, let it be claimed and named- all due to my personal expectations, preferences, taste. So what was wrong with the book? Nothing really. Except, it was just a tad too longwinded for me. Writing was good, there were no excessive tiny details no one ever really cares about so that was good. I also really liked reading the descriptions when Gabriel was developing his supernatural senses. It was really cool because I like to sleep under an open window at night and listen to different sounds at night. With Gabriel’s abilities I would become a complete night owl!

While I enjoyed having all those characters present in the story, it all got a bit jumbled for me. Every chapter was alternated in between characters POVs- their thoughts, their worries, their amibitions and with each and every one of them wondering what was going to happen next with them, their questions paved way for what was to come. I was trying to catch up on the relationship aspects for a while because all the names just did a disco mix in my head so Vince’s (step)father was Alexander? And Arthur was Mordecai’s son? Yeah, I think I got it now, but during reading I was struggling to keep up. Blonde, so I am. And I’m going to be a bit mean further and say that in my personal opinion I would have cut some of the bits out of the book- like the doctor’s chapters, Peter’s father, Gabriel’s aunt&uncle. Just chop! And deliver their characters through Peter or Gabriel or you know, one of the main characters, There was no need to throw a spotlight on them with their very own chapters. But! Considering the amount of characters involved, Mark Benjamin sure did a good job at pulling the whole thing together without any plot holes.

Ooh, I just thought of another good thing about the characters- they were realistic. As in, they were who they were supposed to be- Gabriel with his late teenage hormones getting boners for Rachel and the Vamps- they weren’t overly “oh look at me, I’m immortal therefore jack-shit can be done to me”, they were afraid and had human qualities to them as well. So that was good!

I think the point of this book was to  focus on the action and my, did it go 100mph! It was brilliant. Also, I think, the point of this book was to set the foundation at the start of what may just be quite an epic series. With plenty of twists and turns and deceptions it sure does keep the interest level stabilised.

Anyway, vampires! If vampire books are something you live for, then, have a good at this one. The vamps in this book are different, they have different rules. OK, they do sleep in coffins during the day and get hurt by sunlight and silver but they were not ones to mess around when rules in the coven were broken. Off with their head and let ’em burn!

A Change of Heart is book #1 in The Royal Blood Chronicles and the ending of book #1 was really rather interesting. I have a feeling the second book will be quite mighty now that we have the introductions out of the way and the foundation set!

My overall rating: 3 stars (I Liked it, the cover is cool as well) Just a freaking pity I didn’t enjoy it more. I don’t know why, but it just didn’t make me go- hell yeah! All my fault, ‘pipra vitt’ (don’t translate that! It’s an awful Estonian word for being fussy!) as I am!

Will I try out the next book in the series? Yes! There’s a lot of potential and I think some interesting things are going to happen.

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  1. Good points you made there! Somehow, I keep being intrigued by vampire stories, just like your review makes me want to try out this book at some point :).

    P.s.- Nice translation there ;’)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I’m always interested in vampire stories as well and sometimes they’re great, other times they’re like Twilight vol2 so it’s touch and go… But this one, even though I just didn’t really go all excited over it was decently good when considering the ideas and plot behind… I’m looking forward to the second in the series. I really hope it’s going to knock the first out out of the ballpark! :
      Hehehe… yeah, awful saying in Estonian, but my mom always calls my dad that so it has stuck over the years! 😀 That was also the first word Michael learned when over in Estonia 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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