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Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: Bloodstone by Nancy Holzner

Title: Bloodstone
Author: Nancy Holzner
Series: Victory Vaughn #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 09/27/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders -- but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human...

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...

Plot: 4.5 Stars
I love that each book in this series starts out with a regular demon extermination job for Vicky. It gives us a look into her normal life, between the life-threatening moments, without boring us with their smaller and less mysterious complications. It's also a great way for the author to introduce readers to the different kinds of demons in a fun way. The Reaper put Boston on edge, allowing those in charge that do not sympathize with the paranormals to put Deadtown on lockdown. This posed a pretty big problem for Vicky as she tried to stop Reaper from finishing the ritual, but she found a very interesting way to sneak out. This was another fantastic addition to one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series. I can't wait for book four.

Pace: 5 Stars
I could not put this novel down. After totally and completely loving Deadtown, I found Hellforged to be a bit slower in pacing, so I was so excited that this novel's pace was more consistent with the first book. For a good portion of the novel, Vicky was one step behind the South End Reaper and she tried her best to catch up so that she could stop him. It didn't leave much time for her to slow down, which led to less down time between the craziness. There were even a few plotlines from book two that hadn't been tied up. They could've easily distracted Vicky or just slowed the plot's progression down, but instead they wove together with this book's plot perfectly.

Characters: 4.5 Stars
Vicky is one of my favorite kick-ass Urban Fantasy heroines. This novel forced her to be a bit more vulnerable than previous novels, and it was very interesting to see how she dealt with these circumstances. I wish we could've seen more of her shapshifting in this novel, but I understand that she can't shift all willy-nilly like some paranormal creatures. It was also interesting to see her neice growing up and possibly coming into her powers. Learning the truth about why her sister hates Mab was unexpected. Although Juliet came out of hiding, she was still out of commission for most of the novel. I really hope she has a larger part in the next novel because I miss her sense of humor and odd mannerisms. Kane's part was definitely not what I expected considering he was stuck in the wrong form, and definitely posed a number of problems for Vicky. I was also very glad to see Tina quit acting like quite as much of a diva as she did in book two. Her zombie buddies actually helped Vicky out when she really needed it.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
It's great to finally see Vicky's face, and the progression of the cover model turning to the read over the three novels is a nice touch. On the Deadtown cover, Vicky is facing completely away from the reader as she looks out over the city. On the Hellforged cover, Vicky has turned towards the reader a bit, but not enough to get a good look. On this cover, Vicky is facing the reader and she's still holding her flaming sword. I also really enjoyed the deep blues of the cover and how well the flaming sword stoof out against it. And don't get me started on the grim reaper-like image floating in the sky. I totally didn't notice it at first. Then one day while I was in the middle of the novel, I noticed him and it creeped me out a bit. I kinda wanted to warn the cover model to watch her back, because he's totally sneaking up on her. This series has definitely been blessed with fantastic cover from the cover gods.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review from Ace/Roc.

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