Pages: 374 pages
Goodreads Summary: 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.
If you love paranormal YA books like I do, you have heard of the Evernight series by Claudia Gray. I even own the first book in the series but just have not had a chance to read it. When I got a copy of Balthazar (a spin-off title from the Evernight series) for review, I was a little worried that I would be lost having not read the original series first. I’m thrilled to tell you that my concerns were completely unfounded!
Skye Tierney, a former student at Evernight Academy, is having disturbing visions where she sees violent deaths and feels what the people in the vision felt. Skye writes to her friend from Evernight, Lucas, for help and he sends Balthazar to see if he can help Skye with her problem.
As Balthazar arrives in Skye’s small town in upstate New York, she is being attacked by vampire, one from his past. What should have been a quick visit to help an acquaintance with an issue turns into a full time mission to keep Skye from being killed or worse by an extremely evil tribe of vamps led by Balthazar’s maker himself.
Portions of the book are told in flashbacks and so you get to see how a 19-year-old Puritan boy became a 400 year-old vampire. I love Balthazar and even though I have not read Evernight, I’m so happy he got his own book. Balty is ridiculously swoon worthy and while he is a teeny bit brooding over his past and what he is, he is not overly emo. I love how he treats Skye and while his reasons for avoiding a romantic relationship with her are valid, it’s easy to see how much he cares for her.
The relationship between Skye and Balthazar is my favorite aspect of the book. Having known each other before, it’s easy and natural for these two to click. It also helps that Skye had a huge crush on Balthazar when they were at Evernight but she never acted on it.
Unlike a lot of girls in YA these days, Skye is very smart and capable. Balthazar does end up saving her a few times but that’s only because Skye is not always a match for a tribe of evil vampires. I’m happy to say that does hold her own a few times.
Balthazar is fast paced, exciting and so romantic. Claudia Gray's writing is solid and I raced through this book. If you have been holding back on reading Balthazar because you have not read the Evernight series, don’t. The book works perfectly by itself and has actually made me want to read the original series even more. There is no cliffhanger ending and my heart broke a little bit when I found this is a standalone book. I would love to know what happens next with Skye and Balty.
Content: Kissing, implied sex and violence.
My Rating: Really Good!