Book Review: Blood Relations (Family by Choice #1) by Caroline Frechette

20455786Title: Blood Relations (Family by Choice #1)

Author: Caroline Frechette

Genre: Supernatural

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Who cares if they’re not normal? Neither am I.

Life has not been easy for Alex Winters since he used his Pyrokinetic powers to take control of the Russian district. Violence and betrayal have become a way of life, but he’s somehow managed to keep the gangsters in line. At barely sixteen, he thinks he’s seen it all. He hasn’t. Things spiral out of control when the latest double cross takes a turn for the supernatural. The new group muscling in on his territory turn out to be a brutal gang of vampires. Can Alex defeat an enemy even more powerful than himself? Can he keep his people safe and his boss happy? Can Alex survive in a world that just keeps getting more dangerous?

Despite having the feeling I was thrown in the middle of a sequel instead of the first book in a series, I found myself enjoying Blood Relations more than I thought I would. Main character Alex Winters can control fire. At least, he can control it half of the time. He took over the Russian district, and tries to survive in the middle of gangsters, prostitutes, and heck, even vampires. When we meet Alex at the start of this book, he’s already the leader of the district, but he has trouble keeping control of the different pawns in the game. When he runs into a vampire gang, things start to get serious.

Alex is a complex character. He’s an anti-hero. He was abused during his childhood, as are most of the main characters in this book. But despite all this, he put out his neck to save a bunch of children who went through the same things he did. Even though he’s barely sixteen, he acts at least ten years older, probably due to what he went through as a kid. I loved how Alex looks out for the others, even though obviously being very damaged himself.

But when the vampires turn against Mr. Lupino, one of Alex’s associates, and a man who he respects and likes, and they threaten the kids he swore to protect, Alex is willing to do whatever it takes to win this fight, without anyone else getting hurt.

The writing was great, and the characterization, especially of Alex, was spot on. It’s been a long time since I encountered a character who I liked so much. The plot could be a bit more complex, but apart from that, I loved this.


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