My Love Lies Bleeding

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My Love Lies Bleeding (Drake Chronicles) By Alyxandra Harvey, book reviewMy Love Lies Bleeding is the first novel in the Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. Published in 2010, it’s one of the newer offerings in the recent slew of teenage vampire novels.

The main characters are Solange and Lucy. Solange is the only female vampire ever born, not created, so she’s quite a hot commodity – everyone wants to either kill her or kidnap her, to have her genes in their family. Lucy is her best friend, a human. The vampires in Solange’s family are born, but go through the “bloodchange” to become a vampire around their sixteenth birthday; a date which is fast approaching for Solange. But will she survive it in the midst of all the danger which surrounds them?

The story is fairly enjoyable, and also fairly original. Yes, danger and vampires go hand in hand, but My Love Lies Bleeding offers a slightly different slant it, with a heroine who is essentially human trying to evade danger until she becomes a vampire. The main issue I had with the story is that there was no nice set up to it, no real easing in to the characters and their lives before getting thrown straight into the action – the action starts within a few pages, and explanations come later. I felt I was always playing catch up, that because of this badly informed start I was never quite up to speed with what was going on.

The two main characters are nice enough, readable and easy to sympathise with. The novel is narrated chapter about by the two girls, both in first person, and the problem there is that a lot of the time they are fairly interchangeable. The chapters are short, which doesn’t help matters: several times I thought I was reading Lucy’s section until the narrator mentioned her brothers, which made me realise it was Lucy.

On the subject of Solange’s brothers, there are a lot of them – I’ve actually forgotton how many, six I think. There are also her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins present – not to mention the non-related characters. For a book of less than 250 pages, this is a lot of characters. The women were easier to remember, as there were less of them – as were a couple of the brothers who played a larger part in the action. But there were several male characters whose family relationship I struggled to remember without Solange naming them as “my uncle Bruno” etc.

One interesting aspect of the novel (and therefore the series) is that vampires are not just vampires. There are different types, born and created, as well as different “tribes” sometimes created by the manner of their bloodchange, one being the scary Hel-Blar who have double rows of fangs and are blue. This adds a little something more to the novel than many other similar vampire novels, but it is yet more to remember in a short book.

Harvey writes well enough for this type of novel, but not brilliantly. I would say that the Twilight and House of Night sagas are better in this and most other ways – the only advantage that My Love Lies Bleeding has over House of Night is that its teenage narrators are obviously teenage, but not so saturated with American teen slang as Zoey is in House of Night.

Overall, My Love Lies Bleeding was an enjoyable read, but far from perfect – there are definitely better vampire novels out there if you’re interested in that. I will read the next one because I liked the story, but this isn’t one to go out of your way to read.

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My Love Lies Bleeding
by Alyxandra Harvey

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Written by eilidhcatriona
eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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