Review: Bloodlands

Posted August 10, 2011 by Jen in 3.5 stars, Rating B, Urban Fantasy Tags: , ,

Author: Christine Cody 
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Bloodlands Book 1
ISBN: #978-0441020621
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
The New Badlands—a desolate area in the West forged by the terrible events that altered the entire country, where a few frightened citizens retreated underground to shelter from the brutal weather . . . and from a society gone deadly dangerous.
Then the vampire arrived—and they started calling it the Bloodlands.
Not because Gabriel, the so-called monster running from his true self, was searching for his lover’s murderer. Nor because Mariah, the woman who reluctantly took him in, was willing to do anything to survive in the changed world.
No, the Badlands officially became the Bloodlands the moment a gun-for-hire who’d decided to slay every monster left in the country came after Gabriel . . .
What B is talking about:
Living in the New Badlands isn’t for the weak. It’s the only place left in what was the United States that isn’t under the control of a thoroughly corrupt government. It is the last place to go where there is still a chance at freedom away from dishonest men. For Mariah Lyander, it is her home and sanctuary. Having recently lost her father, she is quietly surviving among a small group of outcasts. But, when a stranger shows up begging for a place to rest while his injuries heal, Mariah takes him in. And her world crashes down around her as she never expected it to again. 
Gabriel is a vampire in need of a safe haven. Following the trail of his lost love from the Southeastern part of the country to the New Badlands, he runs into some trouble of his own before trying to make a home for himself among the strangers who have taken him in. When a powerful enemy threatens his new neighbors, he must choose between running and fighting, and realizes he has more to lose than he bargained for. 
I’m always excited when I get to read the first story in a new series, and this one didn’t disappoint. Like most novels in this genre, the focus is on the conflict within the plot, rather than the main characters’ chances of a happily ever after. Instead of detracting from the narrative, however, Cody’s restraint as a storyteller makes Bloodlands a compelling mystery as well.
There are, however, many fictionalized warnings about where our society could be headed that are planted throughout the novel. From the consequences of allowing blogs to pass themselves off unchecked as real news, to the majority of the villains who speak “text,” Cody’s visualization of such a future is highly detailed and pervasive. 
For all the starkness of the novel, Mariah and Gabriel are wonderful together. So much so, that watching them fall apart was closer to a shock than surprise. Their attraction for one another didn’t in any way feel forced, and I’m very thankful there’s another novel to look forward to in the hope that they get another chance at happiness. Bloodlands isn’t a romance novel, but is a rich page-turner of a story all the same, and I’m eager to find out what Cody has up her sleeves next. 
Bs Rating:
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)

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