Review: Blood Rules

Posted September 12, 2011 by Jen in 3 stars, Rating B, Urban Fantasy Tags: , ,

Blood Rules
Author: Christine Cody 
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Bloodlands Series Book 2
ISBN: 978-0441020768
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
In the Bloodlands, Sometimes the Monsters Don’t Even Know Themselves….
After the vampire named Gabriel came into her world, Mariah Lyander was forced to face her own true nature and admit to the terrible things she had done–things he could not forgive. 
To redeem herself, to recover her own humanity—and Gabriel’s love—she sets out on a perilous journey across the haunted land, in search of a rumored cure. And Gabriel, blood-bonded to her, is compelled to follow. 
Together—yet not together—they will face danger and death. And what they find is not a place where monsters can be cured—but one where they are born…
What B is talking about:
When her inability to control the beast within herself threatens the safety of her adopted Were-family, Mariah Lyander decides the best thing she can do for them, and herself, is to leave in search of a rumored cure. Her reluctant blood-mate, the vampire Gabriel, is compelled to come along, and what they discover will plant the seeds for an uprising for all their kind.
This is the second book in the Bloodlands series, and it’s more intense, gory, and outright disturbing at times, than the first. What has happened to society in Cody’s book is truly unnerving. The “hubs” (settlements) are overrun with paranoid shut-ins, “distractoids,” and groups of “runners,” all mindless puppets of the government. In this version of the future, water is the only form of currency, and for some, selling themselves into slavery is the only way to get it. 
In addition to the chaos of the hubs, the Shredder, Johnson Stamp, is still after Mariah and her “family,” and, though injured for much of the novel, he manages to stay alive to continue his pursuit. His survival, nevertheless, can be at least partially attributed to the conflicts between Mariah and Gabriel, as they battle their own natures and each other. 
Once again highlighting the fact that Blood Rules is certainly not a romance is the ongoing relationship struggles of the two main characters. While Mariah and Gabriel can’t stay away from each other, they can also barely tolerate one another. The latter is truer of Gabriel than Mariah, but the distance between them is significant. By the end of the novel, though, they seem to be reaching for the bond they share more than cursing it. 
Blood Rules is a story of survival and complex relationships set against a cautionary tale of just how wrong the evolution of the world could conceivably go. Action-packed and smart, rather than sweet and funny, it took a reread of various parts of the book for me to really appreciate the narrative, but I’m glad I did, as this really is a worthwhile addition to the series. And, despite their struggles and denials, I very much hope for the best for Mariah, Gabriel, and the rest of the “monsters” of the Bloodlands, and am committed to seeing what the next novel in the series might bring.
Bs Rating:
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)

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