I absolutely love where book 3 of the Maura DeLuca Trilogy - Riptide: Betrayal of Blood took me. The best out of the three, Claudette Melanson’s writing stepped it up another notch. While I was sad to have to stay dangling from Undertow’s (book 2) cliffhanger, I am glad I held on because Maura’s clumsy yet endearing attempts to do the right thing, atone for her wrongs, and find a way to make everyone happy had me hooked. I am glad to read that Melanson will have additional stories to hopefully tie up some loose ends and possibly let us see the progression of characters we were sorry to see so little of after their turn to the vampire side.
Riptide gave Maura a chance to reflect on her mistakes and make new ones like all teens are destined to do, but with her life as a born vampire not going as anyone had planned she is adamant about finding Ron, being with her mom and dad, and making amends for the mistakes that cost her friend her life and cost Maura her sister. Of course, as with most things in Maura’s life, none of those things will come easily or without a cost. Maura finds family, the good, the bad ass, and the ugly and it’s the ugly, Aldiva (her cousin), that will make her pay the most. Aldiva expects Maura to pay for the sins of her father and will pit herself against her own family who is insistent on protecting their new princess. Going from being with just her mom, to having both her parents, Ron, and Susie, to being all alone, joining a vampire coven that calls you princess is a nice, yet uncomfortable, change. Loving them so easily, well that seemed natural especially when Aldiva attacks and Maura is frantic to save a member of her new family, even at the cost of her own life.
As if Aldiva wanting her dead wasn’t bad enough Maura is faced with a new possible future, one that would separate her from her mother, father, and the family she is just getting to know. Enlisting their help will put them in danger, but it is the only way to find Ron and maybe save herself in the process. She fears what Ron will think of her being a vampire or worse what he will think of the mistakes she has made since he last saw her.
Riptide was action packed and the fight scenes were well written but more than that it was the story of family and love, of taking responsibility, and dealing with hate when all sane avenues fail. Maura can be whiny at times, typical of a teenager, but in book three instead of just demanding to be treated like an adult, she makes decisions that shows she is truly becoming one. This trilogy shows the evolution from child to young adult and Maura, who doesn’t always make the right choices, resolves to fix her fractured family by taking the responsibility and punishment Aldiva and her father, Maxwell, both failed to take. Riptide made me laugh, cry, and cheer. My only issue is that it ended too soon and that we will have to wait for other little stories from Maura’s life.