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Review: Bloodstone

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Bloodstone
Author: Nancy Holzner 
Release Date: Sept. 27, 2011
Publisher: ACE Fantasy
Deadtown #3
ISBN: #978-0441021000
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      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….

What Im talking about:

      Once again, demon-hunter Victory (Vicky) Vaughn, finds herself involved with the darker side of Boston’s paranormal scene. She has a day job – demon-slayer for hire, but it’s the extra-curricular hunting that’s putting her life – and those she loves – in danger.
      Bloodstone takes place shortly after the conclusion of Hellforged (review HERE). Once again, Ms. Holzner does an amazing job of creating a stand-alone story within the context of a larger story arc. You don’t have to have read the earlier books to enjoy Bloodstone, but I highly recommend it because the stories are so good.
      The story opens with Vicky just “doing her job” of killing off unwanted nuisance demons – this time a “7 deadly sins” demon has created too much sloth and gluttony in a gym. Ms. Holzner’s sense of humor shines here and for the duration the story.  Vicky has a snarky side – a dry wit that made me smile several times.
      After completing her job, Vicky and her werewolf boyfriend, Kane, visit Vicky’s “normal” sister and family in the suburbs. I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this scene, as well as throughout the book. Every interaction Vicky has with her sister Gwen, niece Maria and the mysterious Aunt Mab allows the reader to see more depth in our kick-ass heroine. We learn more about why Vicky’s sister gave up her paranormal powers and witness Gwen’s struggle watching her own daughter begin to develop shape-shifting abilities. In addition, Vicky’s relationship with Kane seems to have deepened and is more heart-warming. These parts of the book do not overwhelm the plot, but add just the perfect amount of “emotion” and perspective to create a rich storyline and sincere characters.
      Of course, life doesn’t remain all sunshine and roses for Vicky. Soon she discovers that her nemesis, “cousin” Pryce, is still in the picture, with his demon father killing off innocents to revive Pryce (who remains in a coma after the events in the last book). Also, Vicky’s missing vampire roommate, Juliet, remains on the run from the mysterious and ultra-evil “Old Ones.” These two storylines merge and create an intricate plot which brings Aunt Mab from Wales to Boston to help Vicky defeat the bad guys.  (The phrase “This time it’s personal” is very appropriate.)
      Ms. Holzner’s world is a fun one – zombies that love junk food, yet full of action – demons with nefarious plans. The storyline alone is exciting and at times a bit gruesome. The plot is engrossing and clever – I was surprised by a twist near the end as Vicky discovered more about the killings taking place in Boston, but it was the revelation fit the story and added the ideal emotional punch. In addition, Ms. Holzner commentary on the human condition via the human (norms) vs paranormal (monsters) strife, gives a serious yet non-preachy aspect to the book.
      All-in-all a fantastic book – one that I couldn’t put down. A bit reminiscent of Buffy and Angel, with a voice all its own, the Deadtown series is one to add to your must read list!

My Rating:

Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)




Purchase Info:
Deadtown (Deadtown 1) 
Hellforged (Deadtown 2) 
Bloodstone (Deadtown 3)
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