Book Review: Life Blood (Cora’s Choice #1) by V.M. Black

 photo Life Blood Coras Choice 1 by V.M. Black.jpg Title: Life Blood (Cora’s Choice #1)
By: V.M. Black
Categories / Themes: vampire, terminal illness, short (serial), fantasy.
Read: 30th August, 2014 – 05th September, 2014
Rating: 1 / 5
Obtained: free eCopy from the author in return for an honest review / I have also purchased the free Kindle version.
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords

Firstly, I’ll just warn you that it’s a serial read, meaning that it is an incomplete read and the first book ends without closure.

Life Blood is the first book in the Cora’s Choice series by V.M. Black. It features Cora Shaw and she has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. She is soon contacted by a mystery stranger giving her the option of life, promising to cure her.

My first thought on the book is that Cora is an unbelievable character. She doesn’t seem to care much about her oncoming demise and I just don’t feel any sort of real emotion from her, despite being told how she feels. Furthermore, she doesn’t seem to make practical choices; soon after the first appointment of the book, she’s an incredibly shifty referral appointment. They bundle her into a car almost immediately after making the appointment. She texts her friend the details, knowing that it’s suspicious, but I just can’t help but think that a poor choice- both the weird appointment and texting a friend. She really ought to have been calling the police; what is her friend really going to be able to do if something were to happen? The police would easily be able to review any security footage and phone data. Also, why would she get into the car if she felt her life were in danger by doing so…? I just can’t help think that she was deliberately putting herself in danger and further assures me that she didn’t really care about her life; she made some really silly decisions and didn’t learn from her mistakes. Even after the first weird meeting, she still kept coming back to meet some strange guy with a vague offer. Surely she ought to be using her common sense…?

Mr. Thorne is billionaire. I feel that, because of the way the author has written it, that we’re meant to think highly of him for being so rich and that he’s somehow being generous, but he is just so unprofessional. Yet I can’t understand the character’s immediate infatuation for him; it’s unrealistic for her circumstances. She’s just been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and now she’s fawning over some stranger. Through scenes of more medical testing, we find her ogling his good looks, thinking about his cologne and his age. It just doesn’t make sense and further signifies her lack of interest in her own illness. The aforementioned friend Cora had texted, Lisette, is not very believable as a person, either. When Cora returns home, we find that she’d tried calling and texting Cora. However, her demeanour during this conversation seems very casual. The pair converse about the day, but Lisette doesn’t shed very much emotion. She even suggests that they watch movies or play games; which is meant to seem as if she’s distracting Cora from the illness, but to me it just seems that she’s bored and wants to do something interesting.

Whilst waiting for test results, though it’s obviously she’ll get into the trial, Cora considers her future. She then decides, weirdly, to dress up for the appointment- which doesn’t make sense to me as it’s a medical appointment and she ought to be keeping it professional. She’d been dressed regularly for her first appointment with the man, so why bother dressing up now? She goes on to explain that her Gramma had “used to break out her heels and her full palette of makeup whenever she had an important meeting at work or with the school.” Though, surely if Cora were to follow the same philosophy, she’d be wearing really nice cloths to every single one of her appointments as any of these meetings might be life changing to her. It just seems, to me, as if she’s being pretentious. Mind you, it’s just as well that she dressed up as they ended up going to what the author thinks sounds like a really nice restaurant. Yet it just sounds like just about any other restaurant. Dorm food is somewhat cheap if you spend your money wisely, by the way. On that note, making a reservation one month in advance is pretty common. A wait list for a really, really, super nice restaurant would be months in advance, sometimes even a year.

Mr Thorne is a pretty unprofessional person. It’s meant to be a medical consultation and any information they would need to discuss would be private and not the type of thing to be discussed in a restaurant. I’m sure the other diners would not appreciate hearing about some random woman’s illness, either; considering the disgusting nature of medical things (they’re trying to eat; no-one wants to overhear that kind of thing!). I feel like the restaurant scene was primarily to show off Thorne’s riches and have him spend a significant amount of money on her, that he might seem generous in doing so. However, to me it seems kind of wasteful; spending so much money on so little. All of Cora’s friends have had a discussion whilst she’s been at this meeting and are now worried for her, even though she’s only been gone four hours. One friend had seen her get into a strange car and it’s worrying to them. Yet confusing for me; Lisette didn’t have many concerns when Cora had mentioned it earlier, in fact she’d been so uninterested that she’d even changed the topic to have them playing games or watching a movie. Why is she so worried now? Also four hours is not really a significant amount of time when you consider that she was at a medical appointment. They’re in school, as well, so really she could have gone to the library for studying, or a bar to relieve some stress.

Looking over the book again, I still think of it as a very childish novel (despite the adult content). A lot of behaviour and character development are gratuitous rather than meaningful. For example, the instant love between the vampire and Cora; there’s nothing in the text that really makes me believe in any feelings between them at all- despite being told that they’re now lovers. Not to mention, she cares little for her own well being; she makes silly decisions and puts herself in dangerous situations. Cora is still unlikeable to me. The things she says and does just don’t feel like she’s as good a person as we’re meant to think. The same with the other characters; none really feel genuine and their personalities change on a whim.

Overall, I think the characters need to be improved a lot; their motives and actions need to make sense. Their emotions and very development also need work; their actions just seem kind of silly in many portions, even when it was meant to seem as if they were being smart. I was quite surprised when reading this story to find most of the people or scenes to be completely illogical considering the prior information or actions introduced to us. Originally, I thought that it sounded pretty interesting. Yet, I found the overall story to be poorly rendered. The author had a good concept, but it was poorly rendered. I think that, with a little bit more work and practical thinking, the story could be improved.

Of course I’ve looked through the various reviews for the book and obviously there are differing opinions. However, feel free to try it for yourself and see whether you like it; you might enjoy it.

I was lucky enough to receive a free eCopy of this book in return for an honest review. I later purchased a Kindle copy for free.

I have provided links to the free copy on Amazon (US & AU) as well as Google Play. Please make sure to check prices before purchasing.

Title: Life Blood (Cora’s Choice #1)
By: V.M. Black
Words: 27,100


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