I was hugely excited for the second installment in the Drake Chronicles and am glad to say that it pleased me a lot! I know a lot of you girls out there are excited for it too - you better be, because this is so much better than Love Lies Bleeding (US title: Hearts at Stake)!
Let me start by saying that it surpassed all my expectations. I thought it was going to be a book that was more romance than anything but boy was I wrong. It was a good mix of mystery and action (I love!) - it was really a fast-paced read which I could barely let go of.
It is not only an excellent sequel, it can also stand-alone. Alyxandra Harvey continues the plot in Love Lies Bleeding smoothly, without foregoing the development of the relationships (Nicholas-Lucy!) established in its predecessor. If anything, it actually entices any reader who has not yet read Love Lies Bleeding to read it.
Blood Feud is told in both Logan's and Isabeau's perspectives. The difference in their way of thinking delivered a very insightful glimpse into a tale that was part past and part present. Logan's point of view is always fraught with humour and indignation whilst Isabeau is the more reserved, thoughtful type. Logan is hilariously funny and Isabeau, though trying not to be, is still a girl underneath all the hatred she harbours. They are a wonderful pair together, but I'm afraid I'm still a hard-core Lucy-Nicholas shipper!
The narrative is not exactly told in alternate POVs, but rather in blocks. You have several chapters of Isabeau's perspective and several of Logan's succeeding that. In between an omniscient narrator relays the past that explains Isabeau's experiences during the French for revolution and elaborates her thirst for revenge. I must say that these chapters are very well-placed, so that they support the continuity of the plot rather than distract the reader from it. They serve also as a form of characterisation of Isabeau. Well described and strongly portrayed, it allows the readers to not only understand, but also sympathise with Isabeau.
What I did not favour in the general plot would be the lack of characterisation on Logan's part. Isabeau was definitely a developed character; I was not sure Logan is. I certainly would have wanted more on his part. The second and final thing I can say about the plot is that I wanted more romance! Quite difficult to impose on a character such as Isabeau but the fan-girl in me screams more.
I have once more enjoyed immersing myself in Alyxandra Harvey's vampire world. The Drakes and Lucy are always a pleasure to be with, but with the addition of Isabeau and with the deeper, more action-packed plot, Blood Feud just made it a whole lot better!