by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Tainted Blood, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & support an indie bookstore.
Mommy’s dying—actually, she’s been dead for centuries—and when she’s gone, it will be every supernatural for himself. It couldn’t happen at a worse time: Sister Prudence is undergoing the undead equivalent of a time-out for bad behavior, brother Chivalry is alternating between mourning his recently-deceased wife and shopping for a new blood-donor bride, and young Fortitude is an immature vampire who still can’t handle any blood but Mommy’s, but he is the one who has to enforce his mother’s rule and rules over New England and parts of Canada.
The head of the werebears (of Finnish descent) has been murdered, and Fort and his guard-fox/foxy guard Suzume have to punish someone. Fort wants it to be the guilty party, but the other vampires don’t care, as long as the message of power is understood.
The whodunit is handled cleanly, but Fort isn’t a wisecracking PI, although there is a lot of wisecracking. Fortitude Scott is doing everything he can to avoid becoming what he sees as a typical vampire: uncaring, vengeful, and Republican. Fort went through college as a film major, drives a decaying Fiesta, dog walks for a living, and has a cadaver-eating ghoul for a roommate (which makes the mystery meat in the refrigerator something to avoid, but Fort is a vegetarian).
Many of the non-human creatures see Fort as a pushover compared to his older siblings, trying to dispense justice instead of dispatching victims, so they approach him to try to relax the restrictions the Scotts have imposed since the Colonial era. Although weakening, Momma is still a firm and powerful disciplinarian. Pru and Chiv vacillate between trying to give little brother the knowledge he needs to participate in and handle family affairs…and wanting to slap his head off for being a bleeding-heart liberal who is too weak to wield the iron fist of the vampire.
Tainted Blood is beyond chucklesome, reaching into laugh-out-loud and guffaw territory, with momentary touches of serious icky-ness (We are dealing with vampires, you know). The vampire existence Brennan has created as background is being filled out, adding history and context. Fortitude is developing strength as he moves into full vampirehood; even the book-cover illustrations are morphing from ineffectual slacker to sawed-off-shotgun-toting, flinty-eyed, bearded dude. He and Suze are grappling with their desire to grapple. There are witches, elves, a water monster, and other paranormals. For an urban fantasy based in Rhode Island, to readers…this is an act of Providence.
To enter to win a copy of Tainted Blood, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Tainted,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 27, 2014. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore: