Book Review: Blood Law
While waiting for several books to make their way to the hold shelves at my local library, I was in desperate need for a fun quick read fix. Not that I read much else. But all that was waiting for my in my tbr pile was a couple of books I’ve started and can’t seem to finish. So, I headed over to the library and was determined to just take out two trashy novels and then get back to my real tbr pile… instead I walked away with five more urban fantasy books. Yes, I know. I’m addicted.
But I was super excited because I found two new series, and I love finding new series. About 50% of them turn out to be books I love and then I get to follow some new characters in new adventures, and this makes for a very happy Jami. (It also apparently has her speaking about herself in the third person.) One of the new series that I picked up was Jeannie Holmes Alexandra Sabian series, the first book titled Blood Law. Alexandra Sabian in the main character, a vampire law enforcer with the FBPI (Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigations) , she is in charge of maintaining order in a very small part of Mississippi. Recently, Alex’s apartment was set on fire, she suspects arson even though investigators aren’t sure yet, and is living in a sparsely furnished apartment above her brother’s blood bar. Alex works with local law enforcement and vampire/human liaison officer to keep order among the vampires under her area of control.
It isn’t easy keeping peace with a Sheriff who believes all vampires are evil, a religious cult out to stop the vampires by any mean (legal or otherwise), and now vampires start turning up dead, in the same manner in which Alex’s father was murder, decades before. Someone is beheading, crucifying, and defanging vampires with a personal vendetta against Alex. Her boss decides Alex wont be able to handle the emotional trauma and bring in the bad guys without help, so he sends Alex’s old flame, Varik to aide Alex, and if need be, take over. This make Alex none too happy, with her mother on the next flight in to rescue her babies, and a killer to catch Alex has her hands full.
Alex was an interesting character, full of charisma and vulnerability at the same time. I liked that family was a large aspect of the story and I enjoyed being able to relate to how Alex handled her brother’s and mother’s issues. That felt very real, grounded the story in a way that a vampires as police story would have floundered otherwise. The story line of the book was tight, and I had mostly figured out who the bad guy was right before the author did her reveal, so I was happy to be right, and that made me happy with the book. I wasn’t so happy with the love story (though, no triangle was a plus), it condoned behavior I don’t think should be condoned, all because the characters refuse to take care of themselves or be OK with who they are. Can we get past the used plot cliche please?
However, there were so many similarities between this series and the several other urban fantasy series I read, that the characters felt unoriginal. Red head paranormal enforcer- see Rachel from the Hallows series by Kim Harrison. Sexy red head and her brooding male counter part trying to save the world from evil- see Jeanine Frost’s Night Huntress series. Blood bar where patrons can go to be food for vampires and vampires can legal drink from then when they don’t want to use blood substitute (Vlad’s Tears, in this case), see the Sookie Stackhouse series and True Blood. I was hoping that the plot line would stand out, but cults equals the Stackhouse series once again, and since I did manage to figure out what was going on before the reveal there wasn’t enough of a puzzle to make the mystery exciting enough to forget all the similarities.
A good book, well written, but my little brain’s universe is overloaded with such similar stuff I was looking for an outstanding story, and I didn’t get that. I did enjoy the repartee between Alex and Varik, I enjoyed Varik’s view on life as he is several centuries old and I love when authors delve into the concept. The highlight of the book was the familial relationships, and I really thought those could have been touched upon even more. And the book did end on such a What? moment, that I will probably be picking up the second book, just to see what happens. Which makes for a very sneaky sneaky author. I enjoyed the book (enough) that if you have time, and your tbr pile isn’t to large, or you just want some escapism, Blood Law is a fun urban fantasy read, and I recommend it (with all of those caveats).