Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mozart's Blood by Louise Marley

Rating: ★ ★  ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library 
Read: Aug. 14, 2011

As a young soprano in the eighteenth century, Octavia Voss was bitten by a vampire patroness during a sexual tryst with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and was imbued with the essence of his astonishing musical gifts. Since then, Octavia has enjoyed several careers as a celebrated soprano, taking on new identities to disguise her ageless beauty, and acquiring an assistant and companion in Ugo, a mysterious man who possesses a secret of his own. Together they travel the world for her performances at all the great opera houses. But during a run at La Scala, Octavia draws the attention of a secret vampire hunter who will do anything to make her talents his own.

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Beautiful isn’t a term I usually use to describe paranormal fiction, but I find it a fitting descriptor for Mozart’s Blood. The book suffers slight pacing issues and I had trouble with some of the Italian (apologies, but my brain only works in one dialect), but I found the content itself wonderfully imaginative and more than a little refreshing for the genre. 

The cover caught my eye, mainly because the model resembles Scarlett Johansson, but I actually really liked the premise Marley created for this piece. The paranormal aspects could have used some fine-tuning, but I loved getting into the musical aspects of Octavia’s multiple careers and felt Marley’s background brought something very special to the novel. 

I did have difficulties with certain aspects of the piece. I found the flashbacks distracting and I often had to pause to ensure my understanding of events. From a historical perspective, I wondered why Marley omitted Mozart’s children from the story and noted minor inaccuracies in common eighteenth century customs, but I’m not sure either would pose much of a problem for other readers. 

Bottom line, Mozart’s Blood is a solid piece. Different enough to standout in a market overflowing with vampiric lit, enjoyable and entertaining. 

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Octavia never tired of it. There had been failures, disappointments and betrayals and difficulties, but through it all, she sang. In those magical moments, when everything came together, the breath, the voice, the , and the theater, nothing else mattered.
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