Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: Bloodshot

(This review contains no significant spoilers.)

The Setup

Bloodshot is Cherie Priest's latest novel to be published. It's not a member of any of her previous series, such as the Clockwork Century. I reviewed those stories stories here, here, here, and here. Instead, this urban fantasy story follows paranoid-but-reckless vampire thief Raylene Pendle's investigation of a secret government program, encounter with a Cuban drag queen, and interactions with not-so-adorable street urchins.

What I Liked

  • The writing style is much more in keeping with what Priest posts to her blog than with what she has used in the Clockwork Century stories. The casual and funny style in this book is much more appropriate for the contemporary setting and subject matter than the somewhat Victorian style of her steampunk stories.
  • The main character is likable and funny, and her various personality quirks and---some would say--flaws make her interesting.
  • The plot includes a number of twists and turns that keep the reader from becoming bored.
  • The pacing is very good. From just a few pages in, the story moves along sharply.
  • The book is an easy, fast read. I don't mean that it's written at a grade-school level. Rather, the fast-moving story and casual writing style make the pages just fly by.

What I Disliked

  • The setup is a little trite. It seems like vampires appear in 50% of the books, TV shows, and movies produced in the past four years. In particular, I feel like I've seen a vampire thief somewhere before. I may be thinking of the Angel, who is actually a vampire detective, which isn't too different. Still, as I said, Priest certainly makes the character interesting and the plot engaging.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I give Bloodshot 8.0 out of 10. It's not a challenging, thought-provoking novel, but it is a very fun read. Like all of Priest's books, as soon as I put this one down, I wanted to know when her next book was due. Fortunately for me, she's a prolific author. Ganymede, the next Clockwork Century novel, is due out later this year, as is Hellbent, the sequel to Bloodshot. Priest is currently working on Inexplicables, another story from the Clockwork Century, as well as some secret project. Ms Priest can count on me to read them all.

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