Review of Vampire Hearts (Bathory Academy #1) by Katie M John

HE’S A NEWLY EMERGED VAMPIRE. SHE’S THE DESCENDANT OF THE MOST PREDATORY VAMPIRESS IN HISTORY. WILL THEY BE EACH OTHER’S SAVIOUR OR DOWNFALL? 
Alexander Augustine’s secret has been revealed. He nearly killed a human girl. Now there’s no choice but to run, and there’s only one place to go… 
Bathory Academy, home to the next generation some of the world’s most notorious vampire families, is a college like no other. It offers Alexander both sanctuary and a very different kind of education; a place where he can truly be. 
As Alexander begins to slowly accept his supernatural life, and all the needs that go with it, he is drawn towards the beautiful, but potentially deadly, Scarlett Bathory, soon discovering their history is as tightly knotted as their present. 
With revolution, bloodlust, and desire for vampire world domination taking hold, Alexander starts to fear he’s nothing but a pawn in a very dangerous game. 
Enter the world of Bathory Academy and find yourself enchanted under the spell of the vampire.

Vampire Hearts was an out of comfort zone read for me, whilst I love a great fantasy, paranormal just doesn’t hold the sway.  However, I was completely drawn in by the blurb of this book and I am so happy I took the plunge.  Vampire Hearts is an outstanding read!

From the moment you walk through the doors into the sumptuous surroundings of the Bathory Academy, you are immersed into the decadent world. I have to say that as it’s a genre that I don’t often read, I found myself very much identifying with Alexander as he traversed not only his new surroundings but also a whole new etiquette and lore. Finely balanced social networks and heirarchies leave his head spinning, so far removed from the “normal” life he left behind.  I loved how his story unfolded throughout the book, the author very cleverly balancing story arc and necessary information so it never felt overwhelming for a first book establishing a series.

Alexander finds himself thrown in with the Monarchy, those descended from the royal bloodlines, including the Bathory sisters themselves, Scarlett and Charlotte. With an instant connection to Scarlett he must battle the ever watchful eye of her boyfriend Byron, who just happens to by a descendant of Jack the Ripper!  All the characters are wonderfully written and realised, I’m so excited to find out more about their stories in future books.

Vampire hearts is pitched at an upper YA/NA range and the start of more adult themes is growing, I like that is a real feel of a slow burn though with the characters, which is always my favourite! Plot wise there is a ton going on, having established the main players we are quickly introduced to the big bad of the series, the mysterious “Saints” and as the plot unfolds and we learn more about students and teachers at the Academy many of whom have more going on than first meets the eye and some more dangerous than others.

It’s rare that I will have the chance to finish a book in a day any more, but Vampire Hearts was one that I just could not put down, there are no moments that drag or feel over complicated and if, like me, you’re pretty new to the vampire genre, there is nothing to fear! It’s a wonderful and rich world that has been created and November can’t come soon enough to find out more in book 2!

5*

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