Antanasia knows better than anyone that being royal comes with lots of expectations. Born into war as a Vampyre Witch, she has to battle the ultimate enemy: her own blood. When she has a terrifying Vision, Antanasia fights harder than ever to prevent it from coming to pass. Will she succeed? Or does she die trying?
Book One of the Bloodline series
Awakening: Bloodline by Tiera Rice
As an aficionado of vampire fiction, I was really excited to pick up Awakening: Bloodline by Tiera Rice. Beautiful cover, intriguing synopsis, destiny and romance, all the markings of a great YA paranormal book! But, they all fell a little flat for me. I was disappointed and left expecting and wanting more.
Now, as I’m not Rroma, my review will not be touching upon whether this was culturally acceptable, or whether the speech was fluid and made sense (I wish someone that was Rroma could take a look at it though). I will say, the parts that were full of Romani just distracted from the work. I understand Rice’s intent in wanting it to sound genuine, but honestly, I just glossed over all of it and thought okay, I guess this is a thing, which is funny because that was the extent of it. There was no huge emphasis on Nadia’s culture, not that there should be, it’s just if you’re going to make it a point to have her mother be extra Rroma and speak a mix of Romani and English, then I’d feel like there should be more to it. I mean, my own family will speak Spanglish, even though my mother has been in America for over thirty years, and she still has some very Latinx way of thinking and concerns. Nadia’s mother didn’t seem to exhibit any of those cultural nuances, which was disappointing and just left the influx of Romani words feeling awkward.
BUT, let’s move away from that since I’m not Rroma and therefore not really qualified to continue critiquing that. Let’s get to the things I can talk about. Nadia’s mother took a potion, knew what was going to happen, and then was surprised and angry when it did. I understand Rice is trying to go with the typical YA trope of having parents do something and not realize the consequences until it comes to fruition. However, it just annoyed me. She knew what was going to happen to her daughter and selfishly refused to prepare her for it, refused to even tell her what was going on. Knowing that keeping her daughter ignorant would put everyone in danger. Then, there’s Nadia who vacillates between understanding what’s going on and accepting it, to freaking out. She’s 19 but behaves like a 14 year old. She simply never feels real.
So, if I had all of these issues, why 2.5? Because Rice saves it with Antanasia and Nicolae. Antanasia’s story was exciting, riveting, and well constructed. Those were the parts I wanted to read more about. Antanasia is well-fleshed, and her romance with Nic is solid and real. The half of the novel that takes place in the past is well-paced and well written. All of the characters feel real and worthy of interest, which makes me wonder where the disconnect happened for Rice. Through Antanasia and Nic, we can see that she knows how to write great characters, but for some reason, it gets lost when we move to Nadia and friends.
Honestly, I’m not sure if I would pick up the sequel to Awakening: Bloodline by Tiera Rice. I want to know more about Antanasia, I want her to come back, I want to see more of Nic, but I don’t know if I’ll have the patience for Nadia. This one is a toss-up that you guys are gonna have to decide on your own if half a good book makes the whole worth it.