Review: Blood Orchid (Night Flower, #2) by Claire Warner

Blood Orchid (Night Flower #2)Blood Orchid by Claire Warner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Claire Warner in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Blood Orchid’ is the second instalment in the ‘Night Flower’ series and it was one that I was SUPER excited to see how it would develop the story of Justin Lestrade and Melissa De Vire. After their initial, swoon-worthy romance together in book one, ‘The Black Lotus’, I felt that this was going to either break or make their relationship. And I was strongly rooting for MAKE!
The novel takes place immediately after the conclusion of book one, ‘The Black Lotus’. Its setting is once again eighteenth-century England and covers a massive span of time. The novel starts off in the year 1752, the same year as book one, and then makes a MASSIVE TIME LEAP into 1772. I wasn’t sure what to think of this and little changed or happened in that time twenty-year time gap. I guess it was meant to emphasise Justin’s and Melissa’s power and immortality… The timeline makes yet another jump time leap into 1792, but changes location to France. Now this is where the action picked up for me.
I, as a fan of historical-romance, thought the historical aspect of the novel could have been executed a little bit better. There was very minor or limited reference to customs, traditions and etiquette of that time period and I feel like this was a major drawback. The author could have made the world so much better if she spiced it up with eighteenth century facts. The atmosphere would have been more enhanced, the setting would have been emphasised: there were just so many missed opportunities!
The setting of place could have also been used more effectively. When the characters are in France, barely any words were spoken in French. If the author had included more French culture in her novels, it really would have enhanced the novelty of the story and made for a better read.
All of the old characters return and there are almost no new characters introduced. Slightly boring, in my opinion, as new characters would have added their personalities and made the plot more lively. It would have also allowed for more opportunities as to how the plot progressed. I felt that the lack of new characters also limited both the author and story.
‘Blood Orchid’ was written in third person narration but was told by several different perspectives. The choice of third person narration was a poor one, in my opinion. It seemed to further disconnect me as a reader from the characters and just didn’t offer that insight and depth into a situation that first person narration would have otherwise.
A lot of ‘Blood Orchid’ seemed to have suffered from second book syndrome. It just lost that hold on me that it had before.
The mood was really dark and sombre most of the way through. It did create a very strong, foreboding atmosphere but it just seemed too much at times.
Formatting and typing issues ran galore in my ARC copy! There were missing commas, full stops next to commas, commas instead of full stops, incorrect tenses of words, wrong font, etc. It was a bit troubling to see, but as this was an early review copy, so I wasn’t too worried in the end.
The writing style would have been more memorable if the author had chosen to reinforce her ideas with a more solid historical background, phrasing and prose. I felt like some of the dialogue could have been better said.
The conclusion was very weak. There was no cliff-hanger like in the first novel which would have made me continue reading.
Congratulations to Claire Warner on publishing a solid sequel to ‘The Black Lotus’.

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: The Black Lotus (Night Flower, #1) by Claire Warner

The Black Lotus (Night Flower, #1)The Black Lotus by Claire Warner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘The Black Lotus’ is pretty awesome. I don’t come across historical romance for young-adults very often but this was such a good read for that genre! This is my second time reading the novel – mostly to refresh my poor memory of the plot, characters and events that happened in this book so that I may continue onto book two, ‘Blood Orchid’. I really enjoyed the prolonged sense of mystery that filled the novel and how the prologue really hooked and reeled you in. The setting and historical aspects were good but I believe they could have been a little bit more detailed to give the story that “wow” factor. The new cover is gorgeous, I am so happy that the author has decided to change it!
Congratulations to Claire Warner on publishing her debut novel!

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Review: The Black Lotus (Night Flower, #1) by Claire Warner

The Black Lotus: (Night Flower Book 1)The Black Lotus: by Claire Warner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Claire Warner in exchange for an honest review.

Review

I have always loved historicals: especially those taking place in regency time periods. I was extremely intrigued as to how and how well the author would weave the world of balls and gowns to that of magic and spells. This is probably the FIRST novel I have read with this unique combination of genres so expectations weren’t very high for me, but nevertheless there.
The author’s writing style was absolutely superb. I was enchanted right from the beginning. It was smooth and flowing – not at all stilted, which I very much enjoyed. It completely suited the time period and was overwhelmingly realistic. It was so beautiful and enchanting! I really can’t tell you what it was exactly that actually captured me and my instant admiration for this author.
The characters were extremely well developed. I loved the variety of personalities that each and every one of them had. It was enchanting to read about so many complex and vital personalities as they really added a captivating spice to the story. Each had their own perks and downfalls; their own unique appearance which did not seem to blend with another’s; their own character which was strong and present allowing for an enrichment of the plot. I really liked Melissa De Vire as a female protagonist. She WAS a typical character but I liked her nevertheless because of her strength and cleverness amongst others in society. She didn’t want to bow down to her place as a woman in the seventeen-hundreds but had a mind of her own. Justin Lestrade was a very enigmatic and sensual male character. He was full of secrets and unknown characteristics.
I felt every pull and spark that Melissa and Justin felt for each other. I also absolutely LOVED how the author prolonged tension between the two, never giving much more than a heated glance or a seductive touch between the two in the first half of the novel. The author would draw out moments between the two until I was on the edge I my seat eager for something – ANYTHING – to happen between the two. A totally swoon worthy read!
The setting was done just right. For every key event that happened, the author would pick a place for her characters that highlighted emotions and actions, bringing to life a gorgeous interaction in an enchanting world.
What really upset me was the poor quality formatting this novel received in paperback format. The writing was full of small incorrect punctuation marks, would leave out a word every now and then, and use incorrect tense. For example, after a characters spoken sentence would be written, a full stop would be used instead of a comma or vice versa. If a sentence should have begun with the word “sitting” it began with the word “sat” instead. It wasn’t altogether irritating or in any way confusing, it just made the standard of the work fall. Yet another big downer was the way the novel was presented with a very small text font, which made it almost impossible to read and the very large unneeded spacing left between lines.
I spotted LOADS of typos, but I believe this can all be fixed with another editing of the novel. I loved the prose that was used sometimes. I LITERALLY felt transported to 1752! The grammar was OUTSTANDING and I loved that there were no pesky spelling mistakes. A solid FOUR star!
I loved the ending. It was just absolutely perfect for this novel. And for all you cliff-hanger haters: Well this novel doesn’t have one! I’m still not sure whether to cry or laugh. This novel did a pretty good job enticing me to read the novel without a cliff-hanger, but I bet that if there was one, I would have wailed in injustice and totally given this novel a five star!
Congratulations to Clair Warner on publishing a gorgeous debut!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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