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My Initial Reaction...
I like the characters a lot more in Blood of a Red Rose than I did in Scent of a White Rose, though I seem to enjoy reading the villain's part best. Is that wrong?
Stephanie Bentley did a pretty good job narrating Blood of a Red Rose. I mentioned last time that I wasn't blown away by her narration and I think I know why now - she speaks so slow and evenly, maintaining the same pace regardless of emotion. She still does a good job giving characters varied voices, but I think her pacing strips away a bit of the characters' personalities and makes them seem a little flatter than they would be if you were reading.
I continue to really like the vampire mythology in this series. It's fresh and different, especially considering that we're dealing with vampires - I've seen it all and yet, this is something different. I particularly like the way the vampires drift and I'm interested to see how things will develop with Rose and Christian, especially with how Blood of a Red Rose ended.
I'm really enjoying the parts of the story told from Meredith's point of view. Yes, she's the "bad guy", but she's complex and not so black-and-white. I'm not sure I'm supposed to feel this way, but I find her sympathetic and I wonder how the story will wrap up where's she's concerned. I believe that she really loves Rose's father and I think you can see a real contrast between her and the other bad demons - she's not quite as power hungry. I wonder if the last book will give us a twist.
Rose and Christian's relationship is working a lot better for me in Blood of a Red Rose. Now that they're basically living together their relationship has a lot more complexity besides the "let's make out" of Scent of a White Rose. They have real conversations and real problems. It made them a lot more interesting to read and a lot easier to root for.
Although I do like Rose, Christian, Jeremy, Evie, etc - they are starting to feel a bit flat. I mean is anyone really so good? I like the complexity of Meredith and wish that they had a similar complexity. I still like them, they just could be more interesting.
Rose is stubbornly keeping secrets and I'm a little annoyed by it - even if I know it's important to the story. I think that, in her situation, she would have seen the necessity of telling what's up! She also hasn't grown up quite enough for me - but she's doing way better. She still said some things that made my eyes roll and made me think, "Am I really supposed to believe she's 21?"
I really like the way this trilogy is developing and based on the major cliff hanger Blood of a Red Rose ended on, the last book is going to be even better!