Saturday, August 14, 2010
Title: Blood Law
Author: Jeannie Holmes
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Copy for review compliments of the public library
50 words or less: Alex Sabian has enough on her plate as a vampire and an FBPI (Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation) agent trying to catch what appears to be a serial killer in a small Mississippi town without her ex showing up on the scene with directions to take over her investigation if it looks like she can't handle it. It's alllll happy joygerms from there.
Let me say at the onset that Blood Law is an awesome book. The pace is awesome, the characters are interesting, the story is exciting and involved, and there are lots of questions posed throughout the book about a variety of subjects including race, prejudice, forgiveness, and what role, if any, the past should play in the present and the future.
Alex is a heroine that I couldn't help but like. She's good at her job and cares about the people in her life, which means that she takes things very, very personally and tends to bottle stuff up inside. Still waters definitely run deep.
In a way it's not a mystery that she ended up with Varik Beaudelaire and ended up getting her heart trampled on by him. He was her mentor, her lover, he asked her to marry him, and then, he accidentally almost killed her. Because they're vampires, and he was hungry. He wants another chance to make things right with Alex and maybe have another chance; Alex isn't interested (at first anyway...)
Alex runs away from the relationship and that would have been the end of that, except someone is seriously taking aim at the vampires who live and work in Jefferson, Mississippi, and who should appear on the scene to "help" but Mr. Blast from the Past himself. What happens from there is a deep, well-paced story with lots of nuance and mystery (and blood and guts) and the underlying theme is that although vampires are out and about in society, not everything is coming up roses and there are plenty of people who aren't sorry at all when bad things happen to vampires. Class and social divisions play a big role in this book for sure.
As a debut novel, this story does a great job of laying down a bunch of tracks for the narration train to roll down in future books. The tension between Alex and Varik was very well done- he admitted he made mistakes (which he did) but proceeded to make new ones that are going to be issues down the road (memo to Varik: keeping secrets from your lady is a BAD IDEA.) Likewise, Alex has a lot of issues of her own that need to be dealt with and were not; her feelings for Varik are confusing, her place in her world order is threatened, and plenty of people who should be supporting her are basically patting her on the head and telling her to sit to the side and let the men talk. Gender stereotypes, racial stereotypes, and class divisions are all heavily in play in how Alex interacts with the townsfolk of Jefferson. Her position is precarious to say the least and Varik kind of blowing her out of the water (even though he didn't want to and didn't do it with malice) did not help in the slightest.
There are a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of the book, which definitely lay out a good foundation for the next one (a preview was included at the end of the book and all I can say is that Varik, eventually, is going to have some serious splainin' to do. Oh man, is he.) I'll have to wait until the next installment drops to get some questions answered, but, all sources indicate, it'll be worth the wait.
Overall Grade: A
Posted by Emily at 11:30 PM