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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones



Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (466 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When the human and the vampire worlds collide, there will be hell to pay.

Luca Ambrus is a rare breed: vampire from birth, begotten by vampire parents, blood born. He is also an agent of the Council—the centuries-old cabal that governs vampirekind, preserving their secrecy and destroying those who betray them.

When a cryptic summons leads him to the scene of the brutal killing of a powerful Council member, Luca begins the hunt for an assassin among his own people. But instead of a lone killer he discovers a sinister conspiracy of rogue vampires bent on subjugating the mortal world.

All that stands in their way are the conduits, humans able to channel spirit warriors into the physical world to protect mankind. Chloe Fallon is a conduit—and a target of the vampire assassin who’s killing them. When Luca saves her life, an irresistible bond of trust—along with more passionate feelings—is forged between them. As more victims fall, Chloe and Luca have only each other to depend on to save the world from the reign of monsters—and salvage their own future together.

Vampires are set to rule the world and the only thing in their way are two measly human women; what threat could they possible pose?

Blood Born starts off with drama – dark, intense and intricate. It seemed to me that there was a lot of world building going on to help a reader understand the stakes and the nefarious nature of the plot. The concept of warriors on call is interesting. The fact that no one remembers how to call them is reminiscent of the gods of Olympus-–are gods still powerful when people no longer worship them? Not usually and, in this case, we humans being so resistive to magic is our downfall. Science has us believing that if it can’t be touched, seen or dissected by a super computer, it’s not real. The more we get away from the balance of nature the easier it is for bad things to happen to humans--because anything not explainable is crazy, right? Our non-belief is our Achilles heel. And it’s a great set-up for this story. It made me wonder what, if anything, do we discount because of science? And what are we missing out on because of it? In this book, we are going to miss having human autonomy.

And the plot thickens.

There is a varied cast of characters that weave an intricate dance throughout the tale. I liked Luca – a really old hunk of a vampire who thinks he’s seen it all, done it all and humans no longer cause him surprise. I liked that he ended up annoyed, bemused and perplexed by the very beings he thought simple. The older they are, the harder they fall. Chloe is a character I got to meet before she gets mixed up in the politics. Her reaction is understandable and commendable. Chloe is a wonderful balance to Luca if she but knew it. Soren is one of the villains but even villains have hidden depths and the authors dug deep for this guy. What they found was an interesting surprise. Every time I saw the name Indie, I imagined someone with that classic Fedora instead I got someone who was a very cool character who was very proficient with a sword. There was a vampire who was a victim just like the humans and I felt bad for him. Nevada, although not the love interest, is a main character with plenty of guts and determination. Once I got the full scope of what she’d been through, my estimation for her as a person rose to considerable heights. How many people, male or female, could do what she ends up doing? Not many I bet. Certainly not me-–well, if that stuff were real.

The true villain is A person of great power and great insanity. The old saying, ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ could have been coined by someone dealing with this person. What a whack-job. But then again, what great villain isn’t to some degree?

When Luca and Chloe do get together for a bit, it’s steamy and life altering-–but I won’t tell you for whom.

The build-up is slow in the beginning but once all the players are in place and the authors are sure of where they want the reader to be, it’s pandemonium, action, suspense and high drama. The happily ever after is pretty clear for a certain couple but there are hints that there are more to come and even that relationship is going to be dicey. And I can’t wait.

Blood Born is a tightly written, rich and vibrant tale of good versus evil, love sneaking up and blindsiding the hero, other heroes being born in the heat of battle and a destiny unfolding of historic importance. This was an amazing read for me especially when at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I ended up loving it and would recommend it to all fans of suspenseful paranormal romances.

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