ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest’ Is a Monstrously Good Time

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest

Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest is written by Cath Lauria and published by Acontye Books, an imprint of Asmodee Entertainment. Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest is part of the Marvel Heroines line alongside titles like Rogue: Untouched and Domino: Strays. Elsa is living the best life a superpowered monster hunter can live. But when the half-sister she never knew she had shows up at Bloodstone Manor, everything comes to a screeching halt. 

Elsa’s introduction to her half-sister, Mihaela Zamfir, is a rough one. Mihaela begs Elsa to help her retrieve her Bloodstone shard, the one memento she has left from their deceased father. Unfortunately, Elsa doesn’t have the same fond opinion of Ulysses Bloodstone that her dear sister does. While Mihaela views Ulysses as a distant but heroic figure, Elsa saw him as a selfish, careless man. 

Despite her distrust of Mihaela, Elsa agrees to help her hunt down her Bloodstone shard because she fears that Ulysses may have left other shards behind. Elsa’s Bloodstone shard gives her superhuman abilities such as accelerated healing, enhanced senses, super strength, and inhuman durability. If one of those shards fell into the wrong hands, it could prove to be disastrous.

Elsa and Mihaela’s very different personalities and opinions on their father cause tension at the start of their journey. Mihaela is constantly exasperated at how Elsa behaves, believing that she’s too nonchalant and not taking things seriously. In contrast, Elsa is frustrated with Mihaela’s lack of monster hunting skill and insistence that Ulysses wasn’t just as bad as the monsters he hunted. Lauria does such a good job of characterizing them both and writing Elsa’s voice that it’s easy for the reader to dislike Mihaela at first. Just the same way Elsa does. 

However, as Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest goes on, Elsa’s view of Mihaela begins to change, and therefore, so does the way the reader views her. Mihaela isn’t strong in the same way that Elsa is; she doesn’t have superhuman powers, nor does she have years of monster-hunting experience, but she’s not weak. And she’s not useless. It takes Elsa a while to recognize this and to, initially grudgingly, respect Mihaela. But once they mutually recognize each other’s strengths, Elsa and Mihaela make a badass fighting team. 

The voice that Lauria gives Elsa is the best part of Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest. It’s a lot of fun to read from her point of view. Elsa is hilarious. Snarky and sarcastic, she always has a witty comeback or quip ready, even when she’s in battle. Lauria gives Elsa a very distinct and memorable voice.

It would’ve been easy for Lauria to write Elsa as a one-dimensional character, snarky comic relief with no depth. Thankfully, Lauria does not go this route. Throughout Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest, it becomes clear that Elsa’s acerbic attitude and bravado act as a self-defense mechanism. People who end up in Elsa’s life, be it teammates, love interests, or friends, never stick around for long. They die, they kick her off the team, they have a falling out, etc. And Elsa always ends up alone. Though she would never admit it out loud because Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest is written from Elsa’s point of view, Lauria gives the reader a front-row seat to her admissions of loneliness and need for genuine, meaningful connection. 

Once Lauria starts to reveal these aspects of Elsa’s character, it explains why she’s so resistant to letting Mihaela in her life in any way. It’s much easier for her to keep putting up walls and pretend that Mihaela is a nuisance, and she wants nothing more than to finish the mission and then go their separate ways. To pretend she doesn’t have a half-sister. And this adds a very human element to Elsa’s character and the story as a whole. 

Overall, Lauria does a wonderful job balancing the various elements within the story and making Elsa and Mihaela fully realized characters. Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest is a monstrously good time to read, with laugh-out-loud moments, meaningful family bonding, memorable characters, and plenty of comic book-level action. Even if you’ve never read an Elsa Bloodstone comic, this novel will entertain and amuse you and provide plenty of character background so you won’t be lost. 

Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest will be available wherever books are sold on May 4th, 2021.

Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest
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TL;DR

Lauria does a wonderful job balancing the various elements within the story and making Elsa and Mihaela fully realized characters. Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest is a monstrously good time to read, with laugh-out-loud moments, meaningful family bonding, memorable characters, and plenty of comic book-level action. Even if you’ve never read an Elsa Bloodstone comic, this novel will entertain and amuse you and provide plenty of character background so you won’t be lost.