Book Review: Balthazar by Claudia Gray

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.

Release Date: March 6, 2012
Age Group: YA
Source: Purchased

I've had Balthazar on my Nook since it was released.  I started it months ago, but was not totally taken in by the beginning.  Skye's vision freaked me out and I put the book down.  You know I'm not good with dead people!  I'm so glad I picked it back up and finished it because it was my favorite Evernight book to date!

I have always liked Balthazar and thought he got a raw deal over losing Bianca and having such a whacked-out sister, Charity.  It's hard enough staying on good terms with some family members.  Imagine if you had to deal with a homicidal, irrational vampire sister for the rest of eternity.  And all she wants to do is get revenge on you and everyone you care about because she's so out-of-control angry regarding your role in her death! 

I really wanted Balthazar to get his own happily ever after, and that's why I was so happy with this book.  I wasn't sure if Gray could wrap up the entire storyline in one novel, but she did, and did so with aplomb. I loved the flashbacks into Balthazar's long life, and especially the parts about his human life.  They were so emotional and well-written.

Skye's special abilities added a fresh twist to the plot and kept things from feeling recycled.  I also liked that Bianca made just one cameo and was not a main character.  I felt like if she and Lucas were featured too heavily in Balthazar, it would keep the story from feeling fresh.

I loved getting to know Balthazar's history.  Knowing the circumstances surrounding his and Charity's deaths answered a lot of questions I had about why Charity was so, well, crazy.  She is totally unhinged, and now I know why.

There was more action in Balthazar than I had expected.  Also, the love story really stood out to me, more so than even Bianca and Lucas's, I think.  I think that was because I have always liked Balthazar and I just loved getting to know him even better.

I would highly recommend Balthazar.  Just be warned, it does contain spoilers for the Evernight series, so if you plan to read both, start with Evernight first.  

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