Vance Ehecatl was raided with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse in the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampire are the only guardians Vance has known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal, and he is grateful to them for generously providing for his needs.
When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he meets Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with startling ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah. Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, and that Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control him. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others.
But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his world may not be as perfect as it seems. Now he must decide who to trust—the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.
I dived headfirst into Amelia Atwater-Rhodes newest series, The Maeve'ra Trilogy, with Bloodwitch. And ironically, it seems to be a combination of both her previous series. We see familiar terms like Midnight, the Obsidians...so naturally, this did bring a little bit of confusion for me, but I was still able to enjoy it a little, but there was still some confusion going on as well!
This time, we follow a fourteen year old boy named Vance who's a quetzal, which is basically a small bird. He was abandoned by his family when he was just a baby and the vampires of Midnight took him in. We once again see the familiar names, Jaguar and Jeshickah who were his sort of primary caretakers. Though more emphasis on Jaguar who becomes his most recent caretaker. Jeshickah is the leader. And naturally, there's unsettling events that are about to occur.
When a murder of a servant girl happens in the house Vance lives in, he runs away out of fear when one of his masters starts beating him. He then runs into Malachi Obsidian who is a shifter. Having just read the last two books of the Kiesha'ra series, I was familiar with this sort of rebel/outcast group of Serpiente. What I could not figure out though is a timeline of sorts. I tryied looking for clues, but I have no idea where the events here fit into both worlds of the Kiesha'ra and the Den of Shadows, which in one of the later books briefly mentioned Jesihckah. Though Midnight Predator, did delve a little further with Midnight and Jaguar...I just can't remember if Jaguar was an antagonist or sort of anithero in that one! It's been over ten years since I read that particular read!
I did find this one a little hard to get into at first. I guess because our hero is so young. I struggled seeing how this was YA and not an advance MG. The world setting and issues of the world definitely fit a YA book, but the character felt overly juvenile to me.I can see why he wanted to take the side of his "family" versus these new people who are telling him things that sound outrageous. But the fact that he doesn't have much inner dilemma going on about these events and just being so firm in his belief that his "family" is good, nagged at me. Hopefully he matures a bit in the next book, though that looks to have more focus on another character that we meet towards the end of this one.
It really saddens me how lately, Amelia's books just aren't wowing me anymore! I adored the first four books of the Den of Shadows! I thought they were incredible! While they are all four entirely different books just occurring in the same world, we do get the occasional cameo of a character from a previous book. That made me feel like the books were connected! Those later books, lacked that. With the exception of All Just Glass, of course!
I will admit the worldbuilding to this one wasn't as confusing as previous books. Though I didn't really get a firm grasp on it, I didn't feel like I was just floating in space while reading words on a page. It will be interesting to see where this trilogy goes since the main character here was so young vs your tradition YA book where they might be anywhere from 15 up. So no romance in this one, that's for sure. Which didn't bother me too much. With a character that young, you know romance is so far from his mind that even if there was something, it would've felt forced!
Overall a decent read. Hopefully the next book will make things more interesting for me as I do see we'll be focusing on a different character this go around. I wouldn't say you have to have read Amelia's previous books to read this one. Her worlds are very unique and vast filled with many details it seems. It's intricate for sure, which does speak of good writing, but I feel like the execution of it sometimes makes it harder to understand somethings. Take this as you will, I guess!
Overall Rating 3/5 stars