Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Balthazar, by Claudia Gray
Release date: March 6th 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.
In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.
There isn't a single book that's written by Claudia Gray that I haven't loved. The Evernight series, and Fateful, are among my favorite books of all times, so my expectations for Balthazar were understandably high. Again, I was surprised by Mrs. Gray's gift of creating endearing characters, but not as much as I thought I would. I'm sure this happened due to my indifference towards Balthazar in the Evernight series. I just didn't care for him - or Skye, for that matter - when I was reading about Lucas and Bianca.
Now, I know Balthazar has a lot of fans, and I mean no disrespect at all... but he just felt so flat to me in Evernight that I wasn't even remotely interested in him as a love interest for Bianca. All that changed, however, when I heard Claudia Gray was going to dedicate a whole book to him. I decided to give him a chance and expect good things from this book, then, just like I always do.Now, after finally seeing Balthazar's story through his eyes, I admit it, it was an entertaining read... but not a very special one.
The writing captivated me right in the first chapter, as always. I immediately sympathized with Skye's situation. Being hunted because her blood was different was not a piece of cake, but I loved how she handled the situation. She wasn't stoic and cool with it. She was human, scared, and vulnerable in a way that made her look stronger, if that makes any sense. Skye was a very likable main character.
Now on to Balthazar. His POV was what ended up drawing me to him in this book. His amused, yet honest thoughts gave me a perspective of the story that I wasn't experiencing with Skye, since she was human. It surprised me how much depth Balthazar had. How much there was to him. At first, he was just another Edward to me - selfless, in love but without reason to be, and flat as door. But then Claudia Gray and Skye made me fall for him. By the end of the book, I was looking at him in a completely different way. I was understanding him, and supporting him, which was amazing.
Overall, Claudia Gray has yet to write a disappointing book. Evernight was perfect, and Balthazar, surprisingly, was not only a bonus, but a closure to Balthazar and Skye as well, two lovely characters who deserved their happy ending. I'm not bewitched with the story itself, but with the changes that it provoked in me. Only a good book can do that to you. Balthazar, without a doubt, deserves to fall into this category.