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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Blessed by Lisa Tawn Bergren

After losing the Gifted from his evil grip, Abramo Amidei has decided to change his strategy. He has now joined the Catholic church and is confessing his sins in an attempt to lure the Gifted back to him. Vincenzo readily goes along with this plan, since he has long rejected Christ. Daria, on the other hand, leads the Gifted to an old friend of hers who she believes can and will protect them from any further harm. But she is continually thinking about the budding love between her and Gianni. Gianni is reluctant to display any more affection because of the position they are in, but soon he will have no choice but to protect the woman he loves from the greatest harm yet.

I knew Lisa wouldn't be able to end this dismal series correctly. More healings from Daria, more sorcery from Abramo, the inevitable marriage of Daria and Gianni, Daria's miraculous pregnancy, and the like make for a very boring and predictable read. This is obviously as good as Lisa Tawn Bergren is going to get.

These characters never budded like I hoped they would. At least Gianni makes one incidental mistake. Daria has fused into a perfect character like Father Piero already was, and the other Gifted always seem like cardboard cutouts to me. There is one interesting character introduced, and Vincenzo has a more interesting end than I expected him to. These are the best aspects of the character department.

There are two character deaths; one of them was unexpected, the other was predictable. But they are original properties nonetheless. Unfortunately, beyond these deaths and the two good aspects from the character department, there is nothing good about this book. I already listed several of the unoriginal aspects above. Lisa attempted to invent a reason why Piero was healed at the end of the previous book when he was prophesied to die, but it did not turn out to be anything special. Anybody could have filled the position he filled. There are also too many healings by Daria that work. Every other chapter contains a new healing. Lisa never wrote any more healings that failed as she did in the first book. In this way, she ruined Daria's gift.

All in all, this book was better than I expected it to be, but it did not live up to its full potential. All Lisa is proven with this series is that she can use the same old plot patterns and add flashy elements that make the public happy. She did use the gift of healing the correct way in some instances. She also did her fair share of research. But this is her last chance. Lisa does not need to write any more books unless she is going to learn how to develop characters and give up the same old plot patterns.

3 stars

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