Title: Blood Ties (Darke Academy #2)
Author: Gabrielle Poole
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: February 4th, 2010
Genres: Young Adult / Paranormal / Romance
That's the description of my reading experience with this book, but strangely, the experience is relevant to both parts of the description!
Blood Ties opens with Cassie really fighting off her hunger. As we already know she was initiated into the Few the previous term, and now has the spirit of Estelle residing inside of her. She hasn't fed all through the break for fear of draining someone, losing control. Understandable. Soon enough, though, she heads back to the Academy for another term.
I started reading this book with so much excitement, and fortunately the first few chapters kept my excitement up! I loved the whole Cassie needing to feed, fainting on the airplane, and Isabella having to bring her to Sr Alric. It really set the whole ominous theme of the book in place, and was thrilling to read! Usually I'm not very fond of the 'dark' and 'scary', but in this book, I really enjoyed it! I don't think I can pinpoint my favourite thrilling moment because I had so many.
Unfortunately, there was a major aspect I didn't like so much. If you've read this series, you'll know that the author, Gabriella Poole, does this thing sometimes, where she writes a chapter, outside of the Academy, in which someone is either killed or attacked mysteriously. However, being somewhat difficult to interest, I completely zoned out during said chapters. Even when there was violence and fighting and stuff, I still found it incredibly difficult to get into these story subplots. This might have been due the fact that random, underdeveloped characters were placed in front of us, and attacked. Or that the main character, Cassie didn't feature in the chapters. But nonetheless, I felt I had to trudge through, sometimes even looking ahead to see where the chapter ended..
I loved, and still love, the characters in this book. I love Cassie's character, how she's strong and stubborn, and the focused Ranjit too! I enjoyed how their relationship didn't render them both desperate and pitiful and seemed to grow stronger everyday. I loved Cassie's eccentric roommate Isabella, who is possibly the most adorable character I've ever read of, and Richard, the classic lady's man. The majority of them were developed from the previous book and the development was smooth and realistic. Well, as realistic as you can get in a paranormal romance, haha.
One thing I could have done without, in terms of characters, was the introduction of so many minor characters. The minor Few members really don't play that big a role in the books, and I thought bringing in so many of them was unnecessary. I could barely keep up with the names!
All in all, I did actually really enjoy this book, but there were some things that just really put me off. I'd say it's worth reading if you've already read the first book in the series, because the next two books are more enjoyable.
Thanks for reading guys, see ya!