Blood Sinister had an excellent beginning which drew me in from the first chapter. I enjoyed the alternation between the present and the past, as Ellen of today reads a diary written by her great, great, grandmother (also named Ellen). Unfortunately, the story moves from one of intrigue to cliche when by the end there are three young teenagers running around trying to stake a vampire. The story that promised so much at the start ended up being a disappointment.
When Andy, a childhood friend that Ellen hasn't seen in years, turns up again, their friendship just continues from where it left off. As with all the other friendships it happened too quickly, so everything they did together seemed unrealistic. This was especially true when Jenny, a nurse Ellen befriended while in hospital, was introduced near the end of the book, who was willing to die for Ellen although they had only been friends for a day or two.
There were other aspects of the story that didn't make sense. Why were both characters from past and present named Ellen? What is the significance of Andy finding a photograph of Ellen in the past who looks exactly like Ellen in the present? Why is Ellen of the past forced by her father to spend so much time with the count? Was he hypnotised into offering up his daughter this way? And when Ellen begins to dream as though she is Ellen from the past it's as if she almost becomes her, but for what reason? Why? What are the reasons behind them all? They are never explained and therefore just confusing, pointless additions to the story.
However, it was refreshing to read a young adult novel with vampires that are just evil and sinister and nothing more, unlike the sexy, romantic vampires we read so much about today. This book was originally published in 1996, pre-Twilight, so maybe this has something to do with it.
For the most part Blood Sinister kept my attention but it didn't have the same depth of character development or writing skill as most of the vampire novels I have read recently. However, if you are after a quick read with a vampire thrill, then this may be the book for you.