Balthazar Hardcover – Mar 6 2012
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About the Author
Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of New Orleans-based writer Amy Vincent, the author of the New York Times bestselling Evernight series. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. Her grandparents' copy of Mysteries of the Unexplained is probably the genesis of her fascination with most things mysterious and/or inexplicable.
Top Customer Reviews
side of Balthazar was nice. I also enjoyed the fact that it answered all of the question that I had after reading after life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now her life's in danger and her guardian angel is the swoon worthy Balthazar. A very old vampire wants to enslave Skye and Balthazar knows first hand how ruthless this particular bloodsucker can be, as his past not only comes back to haunt him but hunt Skye as well.
Balthazar marks a return to all the things I loved about the Evernight Series before it all went wrong for me. The romance wasn't as wonderful as Bianca and Lucas, it was a more subtle falling for each other. But it was nice to see a character like Balthazar who deserved better than he got in the previous series to win the girl and have someone appreciate him in that way. I loved the backstories. Getting to see how Balthazar and Charity's story began along with flashbacks to different periods in Balthazar's life was very entertaining. The only thing that seemed a stretch was what and how vamps reacted to Skye's blood. I would have liked some reason as to why her blood is special and how did the other vampires find out about her. Is it because she's a medium, or a more powerful one, do other former human students from Evernight have a similar effect. It just seemed so random that they picked her to come after. Gray did a great job filling us in on the who, you really get to know Balthazar and Skye, I just wish she would have filled us in more on the backstory of the plot's catalyst.
The book kicks things off fast but leaves an explanation as to why quite vague. Still, Balthazar was an entertaining read. It had strong characterizations, and interesting new villains. That definitely redeems some of the disappointment from Afterlife.
My Review: I'm not going to give a big lengthy review for this one. If you loved the Evernight series as much as I did, you are going to love reading Balthazar's story. In the Evernight books, you learn a lot about Bianca and Lucas and their love story. What about Balthazar? I always kind of felt bad for him and wanted to know his story, his background, and hopefully, his love interest. I was a little worried I wouldn't like this new series only because I usually find the spin-off stories are almost never as good as the original. Once I began to read it became apparent to me that Balthazar would be as good, if not better, then the original series.
Claudia Gray continues her easy to follow writing style in Balthazar. Each of the characters in this book has their own unique voice. However, unlike the Evernight series which is told by Bianca's point of view, this book is told by alternating POV's between Balthazar and Skye in the third person. This was a nice change-up for me because I'm not the biggest fan of first-person style of writing.
As I have already noted, Balthazar is one of my favorite characters. He is kind, sweet, very loyal and totally swoon worthy. This character was always a mystery to me in the Evernight books. In this book, we learn a lot about his past: how he was turned into a vampire, what his life was like before he was a vampire, and how his killed one particular character, Charity. He is a total kick-butt vampire, but he has this human-like quality about him and it is apparent that he sometimes struggles to create a balance between his vampire nature and what he was like before as a human.
Skye was also an enjoyable character to get to know more about. I honestly didn't remember much about her from the Evernight books but she makes much more of an appearance in Balthazar, since you know, she is Balthazar's lover. There is a lot happening when it comes to Skye and this character is what makes the book move forward. Skye is human and goes through a lot of trying times. She has to deal with a new school she doesn't really like, parents who do not really understand her, and encounters with the dead. Lovely right? Not so much. Redgrave who is Balthazar's sire, learns of Skye's unique abilities and intends on using Skye for his on advantages. That is, if he can get past Balthazar first.
I won't say much about Balthazar and Skye's star-crossed relationship. I'm excited to see how it will play out. I'm happy to report that their relationship grew over the course of the story and it didn't feel rushed. I think there will be so much more to tell in the next book and I'm really looking forward to learning more about Skye and her very unique abilities.
Final Thoughts: I can totally see this series flying off and being wonderful. I still have so many questions left unanswered and by reading this first book it has me hungry for more! Characters from the Evernight series make cameo appearance in Balthazar, but I honestly don't think you have to of read those books in order to understand this book. It works very well by itself. I would definitely recommend picking up Balthazar when it comes out. It's really wonderful!
I read the Evernight series and I enjoyed it. Not one of my favorite series but enjoyable nonetheless. What definitely kept my attention through the four book series was this amazingly delicious vampire, Balthazar More. So, when I found out Claudia Gray was giving him his own book, you can imagine my excitement. I believe I squealed...a little bit. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this and learn more about this mysteriously addicting vampire.
This book did not disappoint for this Balthazar fan. It was everything I wanted and probably more. I was nervous about the other character, his love interest. Skye Tierney. I didn't care for her in the Evernight series and it was probably unfair of me to judge her, since she wasn't in much of them until Afterlife. So I was dreading this book but I must say this first and foremost. After I finished this book, I came out loving Skye. Maybe even more than Bianca. I always thought she was going after Lucas so I don't know, it turned me off. But boy was I wrong.
Another character whose changed my opinion of them? Charity. I went from absolutely hating her and wishing she'd die, even though she was Balthazar sister to being confused on how I feel. She did have the absolute best quote in the entire book. One that I did not expect and one that had me laughing for a good while. I won't tell you what it is so you'll hopefully have the reaction I did. Wouldn't want to ruin your fun!!! But you see a lot of Charity throughout this book, whether it's in present time or in memories from either when they were human or some of their earlier vampire memories.
Balthazar is just as dreamy, charming and sexy as he was in the Evernight series, except this time he's in New York to protect Skye after she found her new abilities. Ever since Bianca possessed her body in Afterlife she's been able to see visions of people's death's. If she goes somewhere where a person has died, she see's it like she is there. Like she is that person, she feels their pain. This new ability of hers also makes her blood something like a drug for vampires. When they taste her blood, they're taken back to a time when they were human. Every vampire wants to feel like they're alive and her blood is the best way for them to do. The vampire who killed Balthazar is after her but not to kill her, just to use her blood for power. This stirs lots of emotions for Balthazar who wants nothing more than to kill Redgrave.
To top things off, because if that's not enough for Balthazar he's also trying to fight off feelings he has for Skye. He has a strict `no humans' rule because the one person he's truly loved was killed because of him and he refuses to let that happen to someone else. But how much will power does Balthazar have? Is it enough to stay away from Skye when it's his job to protect her?
If you've read the Evernight series, even if you are not a fan of Balthazar, like I am, I still recommend checking this out. You'll get glimpses of Bianca and Lucas throughout. If you haven't read the Evernight series, well...I can't say I'd recommend reading this. Read Evernight first and if you enjoyed those books, definitely pick up Balthazar.
Balthazar finds himself having to protect Skye from Redgrave and his tribe of vampires. When Evernight Academy was in flames and all its ghosts had been set free, Bianca had been trapped. Her way to freedom came when Skye briefly allowed her to possess her body. Being possessed opened her mind to become psychic and gain the ability to see into the world of those who had died long ago. As a result, Bianca continually relives the dead’s final moments in all its gruesome glory.
Unfortunately for Bianca, her changed blood now has a vampiric effect, which allows any vampire who drinks her blood to “live once more” through memories long buried from their pasts. Redgrave wants her to become his “blood slave,” so he can feel “alive” every time he drinks from her. While posing as Skye’s teacher so as to do everything he can to protect her from Redgrave, Balthazar falls in love with her – despite his personal ban against loving humans.
Once more, Claudia Gray had me on the edge of my seat turning pages to see what would happen next in this love story between vampire and mortal. The book had a wide open ending, making it very clear that this may soon be the beginning of yet another series. Fans of the “Evernight” series will love “Balthazar” while others in the 9-12th grade bracket will also embrace it.
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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