Release Date: Aug. 1, 2012
Colbana Files #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book Source: NetGalley
Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.
So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.
Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.
If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…
In a world where shifters, witches, and vampires exist in the open with humans, Kit Colbana fits somewhere in between. She is half-human and half-aneira (think magical Amazon warrior). She was disowned and abused by her family, and after running, has settled down and works as an investigator, helping the paranormals and humans in the Orlando area. Her weakness: children. Knowing this, cat-shifter Damon seeks out Kit’s services to help locate the Alpha Cat’s missing nephew. Kit knows its not an ideal situation, but takes the job anyhow. Soon she discovers she’s gotten way more than she bargained for, including a 24/7 bodyguard in Damon.
Kit is not your typical kick-butt heroine. Kit can hang with the best of them, but she knows she can’t win all the fights. Yet, she continues to pick fights time and time again. She is reckless. She has a chip on her shoulder. She has ghosts in her head (not actual ghosts) and skeletons in her closet. And she gets hurt, a lot. I have to admit, I didn’t click with Kit in the beginning. Maybe because I had just finished reading Gunmetal Magic immediately prior to Blade Song, which featured a uber-messed up, ultra kick-butt heroine, and by comparison, Kit seems too reckless and immature. Kit makes some bad choices… including allowing a powerful vampire (Jude) have a taste of her, knowing it may strengthen his hold over her. I was literally yelling at my kindle saying “Stupid choice there, Kit.” However, somewhere along the way, Kit grew on me, and I felt like I was right along side of her, celebrating her victories and wallowing in the sorrows.
After agreeing to take the job to find Doyle, Kit meets the Alpha Cat, fondly dubbed “Kitty-cat Barbie.” But this Barbie has claws and immediately sees Kit as a disposable means to an end. She goes after Kit, and if not for Damon’s interference, the search for Doyle would have ended before it began. The Alpha has it out for Kit, which becomes an unneeded added pressure.
The Alpha assigns Damon, one of her inner circle, to make sure the job is completed. Kit and Damon have an intense relationship. They do not get along at all. At one point Damon slams Kit into the hood of a car, face down, arm over her neck. She is damaged to the point that she can’t eat. He only gets more angry with Kit, until he finally realizes the extent he hurt her, and she’s not as tough as he thinks. The two cannot get along, yet they seem to need each other.
On top of all of the drama from “Kitty-cat Barbie” and the trouble Kit continues to find herself in, there is Jude. Jude is a vampire, and in the beginning I couldn’t determine if he is friend or foe. Jude apparently saved Kit from a big mess a few years prior to this story, and has been semi-stalking her since. He can break into her dreams, and does so without invitation. When he finds out that Kit is working for the Alpha cat, he worries for Kit’s life, and presses Kit to allow him to taste her blood so he will be able to help her in a time of need (see stupid decision comment, above).
The book seemed to be shaping up as a potential love triangle, and for a while, I didn’t know where the story was headed (with respect to a love interest), or if there would be any at all. I am not a fan of love triangles (and this isn’t one), but the potential was an interesting draw for me. Ms. Daniels writes an engrossing story with regards to these two men in Kit’s life.
Witches are another group of paranormals that help drive the plot throughout the book. The women are strong and not always one hundred percent sane, but they have a lot of heart. Two of my favorite characters in this story are witches: Colleen, one of Kit’s few close friends, and Es, house mother of the Green Road Witches. Colleen has a tragic past, which helps demonstrate Kit’s compassion and her affinity for helping kids. Es is strong, yet compassionate, showing Kit what it’s like to have a family.
As the book progressed, I was absolutely hooked. The unfolding mystery of what happened to Doyle and several other paranormal youth was completely gripping. I enjoyed watching Kit piece together the puzzle until she figured out the big picture. In addition, as Kit’s relationship with Damon and the Green Road Witches develops, we witness a stronger, more powerful Kit. There were some things that happened involving Damon that I’m not sold on (leaving spoiler-free), and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the next book, Night Blade.
In the end, Blade Song grabbed me and didn’t let go. Although I had slow start, after about the 33% mark I was hooked. Suddenly Kit didn’t seem so reckless, and I needed to know that she could solve the case and survive. In addition, the suspense over what happened to the kids and the building tension with Damon and Jude were completely engaging. In the end I found myself desperate for the next book.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)