Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.
In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.
For as long as I've been blogging, I've heard that I must read the EVERNIGHT series by Claudia Gray. I do own the first book in the series, EVERNIGHT, but haven't read it yet. BALTHAZAR is a stand-alone, spin-off of the EVERNIGHT series. And yes, reading this means I've read the series out of order, but honestly, I don't care.
BALTHAZAR was a great read. Maybe I've missed out on some of the backstory that would lend this one some extra magic, but I don't think so. Author Claudia Gray did such a fabulous job of doling out bits of information that helped keep me abreast of what put these characters, Balthazar and Skye in the place they are now. I never felt lost, or that I was lacking in essential knowledge of the characters or their world.
The "hook" grabbed my attention within the first few pages. I appreciate when that happens, I'm thrilled actually, because there is nothing worse than when the "hook" or the "reveal" comes entirely too far into the story, and it's a big dud. Basically, the story is this: Skye has "magic blood" because of an event that occured before the story begins. Bad vampires are after her because her blood virtually takes them back to a time when they were alive. So Balthazar (who I will discuss in depth) is there to protect her from the bad guys. Of course, they are attracted to one another, giving him a crisis of conscience. Between eluding the vampires after Skye, and eluding his own feelings, Balthazar has his work cut out for him.
Sounds fun and exciting, right? It is. Balthazar is what I'll call, "swoon-tastic". He's basically everything you want in a hero: handsome, thoughtful, brave, self-sacrificing. My favorite quality, though, is that Balthazar isn't freaking bi-polar. I am so over guys in books who run hot/cold, changing their personalities so fast my head spins. Balthazar quickly realizes he has feelings for Skye. Whether he acts on them is one story, but he never denies them. I enjoyed Skye, as well. She inadvertently, because she had helped a friend, gets put in a terrifying situation. But she faces it head-on; she actually listens to Balthazar when he tells her to run (finally!); and she doesn't play games. She lets Balthazar know that she wants him, without being sleazy, and is determined to make him work at forgetting her!
I will say, the story got the teensiest bit slow, for me, in the middle. It happens. I never got bored, but maybe it only felt slow because I wanted to find out what would happen with Balthazar and Skye. True love can't be denied, right?!
If you like paranormal young adult, I think you will most definitely enjoy BALTHAZAR. This book is extremely well-written and includes the best (fun, action, adventure, romance) of what the genre offers.
"Balthazar was the kind of guy who used totally correct spelling and punctuation even when he was texting, which was sort of bizarrely hot. She was in serious trouble if commas could get her going."
(pg. 27, ARC)
"Don't go after her unless you're going to follow through, he told himself. Don't put her through it. If you stop her from being alone with Keith, you're stopping her from moving on. You can't do that unless you're willing to go the whole way." (pg.279, ARC)
Browse inside Balthazar.
Hardcover, 374 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2012
You can pre-order Balthazar at: