Sunday, 31 July 2011

Book Review: Bleeder by L.K. Rigel

Title: Bleeder
Author: L.K. Rigel
Series: Book #3 in the Apocalypto series
Number of pages: 326 pages
Release Date: 14 March 2011
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords

Grade: 3.5 stars

Novellus bonus!
Goodreads appetizer:
The King of Garrick wants to kill her.
The King of Allel wants to love her.
And shapeshifters stole her baby's soul!

It's been a hundred years since sea-level rise and global nuclear war wiped out most of humanity. Mallory is a chalice, one of the world's rare fertile females who contract with the kings of the Concord Cities to provide natural-born heirs.

It was supposed to be a pampered and uneventful life, but Mal becomes caught between King Garrick's scheme for world domination and the goddess Asherah's desperate plays for another god's attention.

In her struggle to survive, Mal must confront the most terrifying threat of all -- the truth of her past and the inevitability of her destiny.

My Thoughts: Bleeder is the 3rd Book in L.K. Rigel's Apocalypto series and the only full length novel, and I have to say this is the one I liked the least. In the previous books I was amazed by the unique and imaginative universe and hierarchy, societal customs L.K. Rigel had created and I was a bit disappointed because I felt that Bleeder took a step back. Don't misunderstand me, it was very engrossing and entertaining, it's just that Space Junque and Spiderwork really raised my expectations.

I am a sci-fi newbie, I think I only read about 5 sci-fi novels, I am a romance lover at heart, but I felt that Bleeder lost part of the series' charm and uniqueness due to toning down on the sci-fi part and becoming in 95% a romance story.

The other major detail which accounts for my feelings is the heroine herself. Somehow - and though I tried - I couldn't grow to like Mallory. I found her selfish, immature, shallow and lot of time acting stupid (there were really important things, sometimes even life or death situations where it was crucial that she warned someone and even though she met them, she just never broached the subject and didn't even try to find the occasion to mention it! and this happened several times, she even went to slack on doing a legal obligation of hers for 3 years! even though it could have severe repercussions). I wasn't satisfied as I didn't see much evolution of her character, she didn't mature or acquire more substance. So sadly as Bleeder was centred around Mallory I couldn't connect well to her story.  

On the other hand a new array of supporting characters were introduced who were absolutely charming and made the novel a very memorable read! Some were evil, some were just mean, others were delightful  but they were all entertaining and so very different the ones from the others.

At some moments the exciting sci-fi elements I got used to in the previous instalments shone through, for example when L.K. Rigel wrote in detail about the life of the chalices (it sounded like a futuristic sorority! Loved how the girls had their carefree moments, bonding between themselves), their rite of passage (which very interestingly sounded more like an exam with a written thesis, oral presentation and questions) and the objective, very dehumanizing way of speaking of the "transaction". It is scary at what length the bleeders/breeders have evolved reproduction and how unemotional they are towards one of the most moving and amazing experiences in life: giving birth and becoming a mother, for them it is merely a completion of a task:
You’re trained to disconnect from all emotion. You can raise and lower your body temperature to control conception. You can manipulate your hormones after fertilization to select for gender.

This was why they said to never learn names, so you wouldn’t care so much. Why they kept pressing you to get another dog, so you wouldn’t make pets of people

Verdict: Bleeder is Book #3 in the Apocalypto series and though the plot is the most intricate one of all three and it had so much potential, I feel that due to a spoiled and shallow heroine it lost the depth it could have had. L.K. Rigel's writing is still wonderful and I wish we could have seen more of the amazing and original futuristic sci-fi world she has built instead of agonizing over Mallory's love life and bad choices. The concluding part to a fantastic and imaginative series, you should definitely start Space Junque!

(I was surprised to see some reviews on Goodreads which were the exact opposite of my thoughts as in they felt that Bleeder was much better than the previous books. So I guess you'll have to see for yourself with who you'll agree at the end. :-)

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Cover: 7/10 - I much preferred the previous covers

L.K. Rigel's Apocalypto series:


You can find my reviews of the previous books here:


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