Based on the cover and the back blurb I wasn’t sure if ‘Blood Blade’ was going to be more Urban Fantasy or Horror. It isn’t really either, I guess “Dark Fantasy” would work but that is such a vague term it is almost meaningless! Plus it makes me think of nympho fae serial killers, despite never have come across a book featuring that combination.
Anyway… The back blurb focuses on the fact that in this world people don’t know about vampires, werewolves and other beasties. There is also a mention of hunters, I mean guardians, called Skinners.
My first instinct is that this is an odd name for the protectors of world; normally you’d expect something a little less openly hostile. Also if you’re going to name a group something that intriguing then the least you can do is explain it. Technically there is a scene where someone does skin a werewolf in the car of a moving car, but it isn’t made clear if this is a regular occurrence for these “guardians”.
There are a number of things that aren’t really explained by the book, Vampires are referred to as Nymars and can cope with sunlight and garlic. There are multiple different types of werewolves based on the purity of their bloodline – this seems to be full bloods, half blood and mongrels.
This information is grudgingly shared by the book and with the main character Cole, because he is as clueless as the reader. Cole was a computer game person – his role seems to dance between designer and programmer, before he went on an extreme hunting trip that went wrong in a way that really didn’t actually make that much sense.
(Still from ‘Ginger Snaps‘)
Due to a series of pretty unbelievable and inconsistent events he ends up working with a woman called Paige, who has information and won’t share it until the very last minute. This tends to put Cole in more danger than is necessary, although given Cole’s dire attempts at flirting constantly I can see why Paige might prefer him dead. Paige is one of the worst lead female characters I have read in a while, she has no personality and is a smug know-it-all who doesn’t share vital information; in a horror movie she would be the sort of victim that the audience cheer their demise and enjoy the desecration of their corpse being left embedded on some railings. I REALLY didn’t like her!
The plot has a big bad guy, various minions, one super minion and vampire hookers. I’ve seen ‘Death Valley’ and have a pretty high expectation of vamp hookers – ‘Blood Blade’ doesn’t meet these expectations.
(Still from ‘Death Valley’)
Overall the book didn’t meet expectations, the plot was iffy, the dialogue was clunky, the characters were hard to care about as they were very two dimensional, there was no background on anyone or anything so reading this book was a bit like wandering around in the dark waiting for something interesting to happen.
The action scenes were ok but felt like someone was writing instructions for how the fight scene in a computer game should look. I played a lot of arcade Tekken one summer and the action parts of the book felt like that- but clunkier.
There are a number of sequels but I won’t be picking them up as the world that Pelegrimas created could be set on fire and I’d still be more interested in painting my nails than finishing the chapter.
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