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Mozart's Blood by Louise Marley
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Mozart's Blood

by Louise Marley

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125996,356 (3.33)4

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. It combines two of my favorite things. Mozart and Vampires. It was a different read for me and I enjoyed the different representation of vampires. It was not all seduction or all blood. I think the one thing that made this book fascinating to me is that I was very fortunate to see Don Giovanni performed and that helped me understand the book more and relate the book to the play. This was a good read that combines opera, vampires, and surviving life.

I would definitely recommend this book to individuals who enjoy opera (especially Don Giovanni) and vampires. ( )
  KristyJewel | Mar 21, 2018 |
(re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com.au/)

I never knew a book could be really interesting and not at all exciting at the same time until I read Mozart’s Blood. A year ago I would have made a joke along the lines of the book being too much like the classical music it revolves around; technically good but safe and a little boring. Except that in the past year I’ve actually put some effort into listening to classical music and now I know there’s nothing safe or boring about it, so the metaphor kind of falls flat.

In any case, I’m fairly sure this new found appreciation for classical music is the reason that I found Mozart’s Blood to be such an interesting read, despite its faults. Octavia is a two hundred year old vampire who has devoted her life to opera (she performs as one singer for a natural lifespan, and then painstakingly builds up another identity when that ones “dies.”) The book shifts between her first (mostly human) performance, the first ever staging of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ and a current performance of the same.

I found all the backstage opera stuff to be really fascinating. The hierarchies and the vocal warm ups and the blocking, all of it. The author clearly knows what she’s talking about, her knowledge and confidence with the topic really shines through. I also liked that the other viewpoint character, the werewolf Ugo, explored another interesting world I knew nothing about; that of the castrati.

I think Marley did a really good job the characterization of both Octavia and Ugo. (Ugo especially was a delight, with a dry wit that appealed to me very much). There’s a real dearth of platonic relationships in fiction, so I’m always happy to see one done well. Their deep friendship is believable and established really quickly, considering the two only have a few brief scenes together before they are separated. And that’s the main plot of the book, Ugo and Octavia get separated, will they meet up before bad things happen?

The bad thing in question is Octavia feeding on a human. Ugo supplies blood for her intravenously, and all the suspense of the book is supposed to come from Octavia’s mounting hunger and wondering if Ugo will get back to her in time to feed her.

Except the suspense never really kicks in. For a start, why can’t Octavia just go out with a syringe and get her own blood? She acts as though it’s very difficult to do and she wouldn’t a clue where to start, as though only a very special type of blood can fill a syringe… And the issue is, even without this, there are too many vampire books out there for the reader to care if she feeds on a human. Vampires feed on humans, it’s the natural way of things, and Octavia’s angst about it rings hollow. I don’t want to tip into spoiler territory, so I’ll just say that a lot of her reasons behind feeding on humans (or not) are illogical.

Marley’s lack of skill in crafting exciting scenes becomes painfully clear as the book builds to it’s “exciting” climax. The reveal of a twist is handled poorly, and the pacing is completely off. The “big bad” that Octavia and Ugo must ultimately face down is laughable, and even they act like really it’s little more than a minor annoyance that needs taking care of. They don’t even disrupt their schedule to do it.

But despite all of these faults I really did enjoy this book. It was, as I said, very interesting although it’s a safe bet that your opinion on that will vary by how boring you think opera/Mozart is. If you go into this book for the vampire/werewolf angle you’ll be disappointed, but if you go into it expecting a slightly supernatural historical novel I think you’ll have a much better time. ( )
  MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
This story is about a singer named Teresa who played the first Donna Anna from Mozarts play. It follows of how they were turned to vampires. You meet Ugo who is a werewolf and some ancient vampires who're older than anyone can imagine.

This story was dicey and abrupt. You start into Teresas story and then it cuts to Ugo's. This transition is fine, but when it gets more complicated and you don't know whether you're reading about the present or past. By the middle of the book, I was feeling like I had enough of the history and I didn't feel it really added to the story line. Plus, there wasn't really much action. So, I finally get with the groove of bouncing around from character to character and then from present to past. And then, it cuts to Massimo and Nick and ends. I didn't like the ending at all. However, the story was decently written. I liked that it included characters that were real and the ending actually gave more facts about those people. An ok read, but could have been better. ( )
  jessica_reads | Mar 24, 2015 |
This story is about a singer named Teresa who played the first Donna Anna from Mozarts play. It follows of how they were turned to vampires. You meet Ugo who is a werewolf and some ancient vampires who're older than anyone can imagine.

This story was dicey and abrupt. You start into Teresas story and then it cuts to Ugo's. This transition is fine, but when it gets more complicated and you don't know whether you're reading about the present or past. By the middle of the book, I was feeling like I had enough of the history and I didn't feel it really added to the story line. Plus, there wasn't really much action. So, I finally get with the groove of bouncing around from character to character and then from present to past. And then, it cuts to Massimo and Nick and ends. I didn't like the ending at all. However, the story was decently written. I liked that it included characters that were real and the ending actually gave more facts about those people. An ok read, but could have been better. ( )
  jesssika | Sep 9, 2014 |
Mozart’s Blood seemed the perfect book for me as I love history, Mozart, vampires and all things Italian. I found the plot was intriguing and the author’s vampire mythos very inventive. This is an adult vampire tale, more in the style of Dracula, than Twilight (and I enjoyed both of those).

The writing in this unusual historical paranormal novel is descriptive, detailed, lush and gothic. The insights into operatic life, both historical and present day, the costumes, Italian life, food and cities are well-done and authentic.

The story unfolds very slowly, so if you are looking for a fast-paced, action-packed read this isn’t a good choice for you. Secrets are hinted at, nothing is overt. So much so, that I found there were times that I didn’t get the idea being conveyed until it was spelled out to me fully. I wasn’t feeling very clever.

The reason I didn’t rate this book more highly (because the storyline and writing are excellent) was the choice the author made in how she told the story of Octavia and Ugo’s mysterious and compelling relationship.

There is an abnormal amount of flipping back and forth in time and place. The chapter changes are extremely choppy with a confusing mixing of various pasts. Many times, I had to stop and remind myself which personality and which time and place were being referred to. Then 75% of the way into the book, the changes became more frequent, happening even within chapters. This distracted from my overall reading enjoyment.

If this novel was a movie, it would be unwatchable in this format.

I found the ending, while satisfying, was extremely abrupt. No completion to be found with the two main characters. The author just wrapped it up and it was over. I felt like I’d missed something.

I wished I could have rated it higher, but it just fell a little short for me. ( )
  Zumbanista | Oct 3, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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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.… (more)

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