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Birthright (The Dark Gifts) (Volume 1)

Birthright (The Dark Gifts) (Volume 1) - Willow Cross This book was ok..it really wasn't what I expected....

I expected lots of vampire action since the synopsis says there is a vampire war but I didn't get it. It was a lot of talking, preparing and strategizing with very little action. There also was wayy to much going on. First it was the traitors in the vampire council that Liz and Michael (the main characters) had to run from, then it was preparing for the war that really never came by training vampires and witches, then they find a child, Jenna who is later found out to be possessed from a demon, then they find her vampire mother Cass who is the oldest vampire known until her maker summons her to try to turn Jenna into a vamp, then they make a new home and a new vampire council, then a druid wizard comes, then they deal with Jenna's possession as well as Angie's whose Jenna's caretaker, then they deal with the renegade vampire clans that were turned by their enemies to fight in the war and then its all about Liz' leadership and becoming the vampire queen. Oh yeah I forgot Cass teaches the witches and vamps to make magical portals and then Jenna figures out how to make time travel portals which causes Cass to go back in time to save her husband who she then has to turn into a vampire who becomes nothing like he used to be and is all power hungry. So Cass takes her husband away from the castle they are all living in to train him to be a vampire and just disappears.....yes she disappears leaving her "beloved" daughter Jenna with a demon possessing her and her position as council leader (which gives way for Liz to become the leader). Cass leaves and is not seen for the rest of the book. oh and some shit happens where Liz has to go back in time to prevent Jenna from learning how to make time travel portals so that in the present time no one know about them because they are too dangerous. When now that I think about it may the have something to do with Cass' disappearance....If Jenna never learned how to time travel then Cass couldn't have saved her husband because she wouldn't know about it, he wouldn't become a vampire and she would not of left to be with him...but that doesn't get explained or even mentioned in the book...Liz still sends vamps to try to find Cass and her husband...Apparently the vampires in the book are not so smart that they didn't figure out what I just did about Cass and her husband...that or the author totally forgot that she erased everyone's knowledge about time travel portals. If your going to mess with time travel at least get it right and remember what things should and shouldn't happen. Are you confused yet?? I am and I just finished reading the book.

Some of these things should have been delved into more while some should have been put into another book. After the first initial battle of the war, it is put on the back burner while the time travel portals , the druid wizard and Jenna's demon take precedence. After all those situations, it was like "Oh yeah they are supposed to be in the middle of a war so lets get back on that but not really". Not to mention that the ending sucked and was not an ending at all. The traitor Monroe who betrayed everyone and started the war is not seen in the book beside a few times in the beginning... apparently he sucks as a leader and the war ended before it even began and some of the vamps on his side now want to kill him. Oh and they never find him in this book. It just ends with Michael and Liz trying to find the renegade vampires who don't want to fight in the war and bringing them to the castle to live. I mean really. The war was a half assed attempt to have some action in the book and it didn't even deliver. The only reason the war was there was so that in the end Liz could rise up as the vampire queen. That was its only purpose.

The book was a bit confusing to read, in the writing aspect as well. The povs kept switching from one character to another in a one or two paragraphs. You would be reading from Liz's pov then 2 paragraph's later it would switch to Michael's pov, then to any of the numerous characters in this book. Also the way people spoke in the book was not really believable. I mean yes the older vampires who are hundreds of years old will speak in their formal crusty language but new vampires like Liz don't. Liz is 24 and she talks like a granny. Heck my granny didn't even talk like that. And then you had vampires like Michael who spoke all hip in one sentence and then in the next he spoke like a grandpa.

The characters were ok.. nothing special. Liz was kinda whiny and annoying. There'a a war going on and all she cares about is seeing Michael. Please. I gotta say though that Michael was sexy~ he knew how to fight and was the old council's vampire assassin. He trained all the vampires for the war that never came. Gregorio, Michael's vamp father was old but kinda grandpa like.

I really liked the characters if Athena, Angie, Cass and Jenna. Cass is Athena's and Gregorio's "mom". She is fierce. Athena is beautiful, kind and very caring especially to Liz. Angie is spunky, funny and sarcastic. She is also very protective especially of Jenna who she becomes in charge of when the group moves to the new castle. Jenna is a cute little girl who is funny, smart and talented. Not much information is given about her which sucked. No one knows why she can communicate telepathically with vampires and why she knows certain things that she shouldn't (this continues even after the exorcism). There are just a lot of unanswered questions about her that the reader wants to know since she becomes a main character.

I also like the mythology of each vampire and they're history. Cass was turned in Ancient Egypt when she was known as Hathor. She became the lover of Osiris, the vampire. Before she was turned she had a son who carried on her bloodline. She kept a close watch over her bloodline until the last of it was born and that was Athena. Cass was going to change Athena but a vampire named Zeus changed Athena first. Years later she met Gregorio, who was an injured general in the Roman army. She gave him her blood and he turned. Later on probably centuries later in Roman history, Gregorio turned Michael who was also in the Roman army. It was interesting to read, especially about Cass' history because it gave a new spin on the gods and goddesses of different mythologies. Those that were considered gods/goddesses were actually vampires. Its cool to think about and very clever.

One problem I had with the book was that there was very little action. The battle scenes were weak and instead of being in the moment, they were more of a recap of what was going on. It was like reading about a battle in a history text book. Boring. The only scene that I liked was when Liz and Michael went to kill the renegade vampires. There was action, blood and sword fighting in that scene that I quite enjoyed. Oh and Michael was sexy wielding his swords...there I go sounding like a granny...

One thing that I despise in paranormal books was present in this book....insta-love... gag me now. The author tired to cover up the insta-love by saying that it was the connection between the maker and fledgling that made Michael and Liz fall in love. In essence she was now his mate and basically their connection, I guess you could say, made them fall in love. I just didn't buy it. The book opened with them loving each other after a night of knowing him..get real. And I don't know, it just seemed like their love was forced, sure they said the right words to each other and kissed and stuff but it did't feel real like it does with other books. Maybe it was just me but I wasn't buying it. And they kept calling each other mate like they are animals or something.

Unfortunately, I though this book was going to be my cup of tea since I love vampires but I was sadly mistaken. :(

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews