The first book I’ve read and finished in a very long time (I’m sorry, Mao Dao Zu Shi, I’ll get through you eventually my love) graces the start of this list. I’m hoping to read at least 12 books in 2022. We’ll see how that goes.
by Courtney Maguire
Started: January 1
Finished: January 20
Bloodlaced is one of those books that I bought on a whim. I didn’t buy a lot of books at that point in time, because I didn’t read much and struggled to even get started reading a book, let alone finish them thanks to my ADHD, but here I am: I’ve read it. I finished it. Who needs ADHD meds when you have Asagi?!
Speaking of Asagi: as a pain character they were painfully, beautifully flawed, carrying the marks and scars both internal and external of the life they’ve lived so far. Asagi is devastatingly human, even when they’re not human anymore, and makes decisions that have me wanting to scream and shake my Kindle around until they change their mind, but at the end of the day are real, true decisions I can’t fault them for. They’re just too human, too driven by their own traumas and the barriers they’ve built over the years, and I love that in a book.
The characters around Asagi that build up the world (Tsukito, Mahiro, Yutaka and Kira primarily) are all incredibly well fleshed-out. You can tell this book is written by someone not only passionate about the book itself but someone who understands the motivations and inner workings of every single character in the novel and that, to me, is something to behold.
The plot itself is also genius. The last couple of chapters (no spoilers in this review) gave me anxiety the likes of which I haven’t had in months, purely out of concern for one of the other characters. I devoured the end of the book in one go when I really should have been sleeping, and when the book ended and I ran out I was devastated, and also crying over what happened in the book itself. I need more!
If you enjoy genderfluid main characters with hearts as full of love as trauma, and a good vampire story in tow, this book is absolutely for you. There’s a few moments of gore in there but nothing too terrible as far as I’m concerned, and the story will sweep you away into another world before you even know what’s happening.
I look forward to reading the next book and getting to see Asagi again soon.