Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blood Price by Tanya Huff

I chose two more books to read on vacation that are the basis of another new television series, Blood Ties on the Lifetime channel. Unlike The Dresden Files, where I liked the TV show better than the book, I liked these books much better than the show (although I did start to like the show more as the season went on).

Blood Price by Tanja Huff

Former Toronto homicide detective, now private investigator, Vicki Nelson witnessed the first attack by the force of dark magic that would soon wreak its reign of terror on Toronto. As death followed unspeakalbe death, Vicki became enmeshed in an investigation that would see her renew her stormy relationship with her former police partner, Mike Celluci, even as she teamed up with writer Henry Fitzroy in a desperate attempt to track down the source of the attacks. For Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, had a knowledge of realms beyond the moral acquired over the centuries he'd spent mastering his own insatiable need—the life-from-death cravings of a vampire...

Okay, this is one of those books that I liked but cannot recommend whole-heartedly. So let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. There is a lot of swearing and some of it is really offensive. There is some sensuality and implied sex, but we aren't forced to read about the details. There's some pretty gross and descriptive violence. And there are vampires and demons. I didn't like the way it kept changing POV too abruptly. The flashbacks to Henry's past were sometimes confusing. And there were so many typos that I was tempted to mark it up with my red pen, mail it to DAW and ask for my money back.

So with all that, why do I say I like it? Well, first, I just like speculative fiction—like vampire stories. As long as the vampires are sort of good and not too scary. (I could not make it through The Historian. Gave me the heebie-jeebies.) In addition, I like strong female characters who aren't afraid to go out into the world and make a difference. I like that Vicki Nelson is tough enough to fight the bad guys, even with the handicap of an eye disease (which I share--not the same disease, but the same results) that caused her to leave the police force. I like how she isn't dependent on anyone. Yes, she gets rescued by the men, but she does her share of rescuing them too. I like Vicki's sense of humor. I like how she and Mike Celluci argue. And I really liked the story line. It kept me guessing.

If you like vampire stories and you can skip past the swearing and gore, then you'll probably like this book. If a hard PG-13 rating is too disturbing to you (and this was a close call for me), then you probably won't like the book. Will I read more? Uh, yes. Already did. But I probably won't buy any more of them. I'll borrow from the library instead.

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