Bloodstone (Deadtown, Book #3)
by Nancy Holzner
Release Date: September 27, 2011
2011 Ace Books
Trade Paper Edition; 323 Pages
Genre: Urban Paranormal
Source: Review Copy from Bewitching Book Tours
4 / 5 Stars
Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.
As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…
Bloodstone is the third installment in the Deadtown series and I was thrilled to receive a review copy in the mail. I had already read the first two books in this series, Deadtown and Hellforged, and was eagerly looking forward to the next book in order to find out how the characters were faring. With her usual flare, Ms. Holzner opens up the novel with Vicky fighting an unusual demon, the Peccatum, a demon that infects others with the seven deadly sins, and it was wildly interesting to see how Vicky would get herself out of that mess, but she does, and with her usual cunning and daring. And the plot didn't stop there, as the usual twists and turns, suspense and interesting action, secrets and mythology all blended together to form one very interesting novel.
Even though these novels tend to be slower-paced than some of the other urban paranormals that I've read, there is no lack of action and suspense. Just when you relax and think things are going well for Vicky and company, suddenly everything happens and you are frantically reading the next few chapters trying to find out what is going on. What I liked about the slower sections is that I got to learn more about some of the other characters in Vicky's life and some of the secrets that were being withheld. Finally, we learn about the secret that tore Vicky's sister Gwen and their Aunt Mab apart all those years ago, and we also learn a lot more about Mab, who is one of my favourite characters. Gwen's daughter Maria also played more of a prominent role, and it was nice to see the developing relationship between Vicky and Maria and the family dynamics that played out amongst Gwen, Vicky, and Maria.
I did enjoy the plot, and had a lot of questions answered that plagued me in the second novel, but I don't think it was as convoluted as in the second novel. I'm not sure if this is a strength or weakness however, and I've been mulling it over ever since I finished the novel. I really enjoyed the mythological aspects of the novel, and it definitely helps if you are familiar with some of the legends, although it's not necessary. It definitely put a new twist on how I perceived Myrddin, Vivienne, and Nimue however, and I will probably never be able to read anything about these legends without thinking about Deadtown ever again.
One of the things I did enjoy was the fact that the novel was pretty much centered back in Deadtown and we learned so much more about its citizens and the troubles they faced as paranormals. I enjoyed the political aspect of the novel, and although there wasn't as much of it in this novel as I would have liked, I am hoping to see more of that in the future. Kane's predicament probably played some role in that, but we did get to understand that Vicky and Kane's relationship seemed much more stable and deep than in previous novels and I liked that aspect as well. While there was not a lot of action happening on the romance front, it was nice to know that Kane was still in the picture as I enjoy his character very much.
Bloodstone is a fun and enjoyable installment to the Deadstone series. With a satisfactory ending, but one that hints at future trouble for Vicky (delicious thought!!), I am looking forward to reading more about the intriguing characters found in this novel and the developing associations I see happening. Ms. Holzner also has a way of exploring details, and her world is very vivid and real; she does a great job of describing life in Deadtown, explaining the checkpoints, and the reality of life for frustrated paranormal citizens. I look forward to future novels where more exploration of the political implications of a zombie plague, and paranormal and normal relations continue to be explosive and exposed to ignorance on both sides. There is so much more to be explored!!