Blog Tour: Blood Ties by Mari Mancusi Review

Blood Coven's website here // $9.99 from {amazon} 
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (August 2, 2011)
Paperback: 256 pages
Source: Blog Tour
Series: Blood Coven #6; see my review for BAD BLOOD (#4) here
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary: 

The final battle is brewing between Vampires and Slayers. But for Sunny McDonald, the true war is being fought over her heart.

Though now officially back in the arms of her vampire boyfriend Magnus, Sunny finds she still can't forget the gentle mortal Jayden who once saved her life. And when the darkness threatens to steal his humanity, Sunny finds herself with a choice. Stay true to Magnus and the Blood Coven or defy them in a desperate attempt to save Jayden’s soul.

Meanwhile, the Blood Coven is gearing up for its toughest fight yet--going head to head with a splinter group of Slayer Inc who's regrouping in Tokyo, Japan, still determined to take over the world. In dark blood bars and hidden temples, it'll be Vampires vs. Slayers in a showdown that could cost Sunny not only her heart...but also her very life.
My Thoughts:  

If you're a BLOOD COVEN series fan, you won't be disappointed. Mari Mancusi sticks to her writer guns and cranks out yet another solid – if slightly formulaic – paranormal read. But formulaic works for a reason, right? Right.

Coincidentally, the only other Blood Coven novel I’ve read is BAD BLOOD (#4), where Jayden whisks Sunny away from danger and off her feet with love. Thus, going into BLOOD TIES, I had some vague memory of Jayden, who plays quite a major role, but vague because I read BAD BLOOD over a year ago (vague as in, “What did Jayden do again?”). Yet regardless of whether you’ve read BAD BLOOD over a year ago or haven’t read any BLOOD COVEN novels, it’s easy to slip into the story – even surprisingly so. It’s always tricky introducing the past in a fluid and inconspicuous manner, and I find it extremely annoying when a main character asks twenty questions with paragraph-long responses. So I applaud Mari Mancusi for building up the past piece-by-piece with short, necessary tidbits at opportune moments. 

That’s not the only area Mari Mancusi shines in. I usually dislike having legit love triangles, as in one girl, two guys that really love her, and no second girl that could console the loser. YET again, somehow Mari Mancus makes it work; I just can’t fault Sunny for having feelings for both Magnus and Jayden. I pretty much always lean towards the underdog, but I couldn’t decide on this one. HOW? IDUNNO. It blows my mind. Throughout BLOOD TIES, Mari Mancusi takes a chunk of clichés/popular topics (i.e. vampires-slayers) and makes them enjoyable and workable through humor and fast-paced action. Or, at least, I hope the Cosplay Coven in Japan was named out of humor...

That isn’t to say BLOOD TIES is without its flaws. It’s fast-paced, but with such a short novel, that leaves very little room for character development (which may or may not be covered in previous novels that I haven’t read, sorry). Sunny is always nice, Rayne is 24/7 sassy, Jayden is too devoted, Corbin seems completely evil, etc. There were also some plot holes that seemed like they should have been resolved in this book – but weren’t. There wasn’t anything major that I’d lose sleep over, though they cement BLOOD TIES as a light, fun read and definitely not something to pick up if you’re looking for something very tear-wrenching or heart-touching. 

And in true Mari Mancusi style, BLOOD TIES ends with another epilogue cliffhanger and a teaser from the next book. The ending's enough to satisfy you, so if you don't want to get hooked, you know where to stop. ;)

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bottom Line:  Fun, fast-paced paranormal novel that doesn't have outstanding strengths or weaknesses. Perfect for a breezy, enjoyable read.

Cover: It doesn't seem tailored to BLOOD TIES in particular, but it's pretty enough.

>>To view more reviews, read interviews, and see other cool features, check out the tour stops on The {Teen} Book Scene BLOOD TIES blog tour page (My post is a bit off in date, but that's my fault, sorry. ):).<<