Blood Blossom by Daryl Hajek

Blood Blossom by Daryl Hajek(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

After having been separated for twenty-two years, Vivian wants to reestablish ties with her younger sister, Christine. Instead, she is met with hostility and resistance. Christine wants one thing and one thing only—revenge. Fueled by rage and having a sadistic sense of humor, Christine will stop at nothing to go after their mysterious mother, Rose. No one better stand in Christine’s way—or else!

Julia Windom, a wealthy woman with selfish motives, concocts plot after plot to ensure her personal goal is achieved.

They all become embroiled in a battle of wits to stay one step ahead of the other. Lives are further complicated in a whirlpool of diverse events as they occur at breakneck speed. Overwhelming crises develop, strengths and weaknesses are tested, truths overcome lies, and shocking secrets are revealed that could push some to the brink of insanity.

[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through Masquerade Tours’ Reader Round-Up in exchange for an honest review.]

Only one word can really adequately describe Blood Blossom: predictable.

The plot was so ridiculously predictable, especially in the beginning.  Spoiler alert, Julia Windom is Vivian and Christine’s long-lost mother who abandoned them twenty two years ago!  I had already guessed that by the blurb but even after you get past the beginning the plot is so predictable that it’s actually boring.  It shouldn’t be boring because the premise of the book is actually quite interesting.  However, that does not help the fact that Daryl Hajek always seems to go for plot ‘twists’ that you’ll find in pretty much every thriller novel.  So if you’ve ever read a thriller novel or even watched a movie in the genre you’re pretty much guaranteed to guess the ending.

While the characters were not absolutely terrible, they were severely under-developed.  Vivian could have been interesting because she’s a widow living alone coping with the loss of her husband and the fact that her mother was an absolutely terrible human being.  The problem is that she doesn’t seem to own a personality; all she does is react to events in ways that are the most convenient to the plot.  Christine absolutely should have been an interesting character if not a likeable one but she was just as boring as her drab sister.  She goes from the Queen’s English to cutesy four-year-old in just a couple of sentences of dialogue and acts like a total jerk only to make up with Vivian, who stupidly continues to forgive this high-strung, clearly unstable stranger just because she’s her sister.  And Rose herself?  Well, she’s just a cartoonish villain with no real motivations other than a vague ‘get everything I want’.  Even though we get to see many scenes from her point of view, we never actually feel like we get to know her at all.

The most painful aspect of Blood Blossom was the dialogue.  As I mentioned, some characters like Christine go from proper upper-class English to cutesy four-year-old in just a few sentences or pages.  But all of the characters have hugely unrealistic dialogue that exists solely to forward the plot.  That in itself would not be a bad thing if it wasn’t done in such an obvious way, stiff way in great big long speeches: “I admit that I am selfish and I will say that I had been robbed of the finer things in life, thanks to you-know-who.  I refer to you-know-who the way I do because I absolutely refuse to utter that ol’ dame’s name.”  I could understand if one character spoke that way as part of their characterization but every character does the same thing.  They will say something and state their reasons for saying it which is completely unrealistic.

Essentially, while the concept for Blood Blossom showed a lot of promise it certainly failed on its delivery.  It was incredibly predictable even though I don’t read many novels from that genre and the characters were under-developed.  Not only that, the dialogue was stiff to the point of being unreadable and the points of view were all so similar that I had to check the names several times to make sure I was thinking about the right characters.   Like I said, although it certainly showed potential I can’t in all honesty recommend it to anyone.

I give this book 1/5 stars.

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