Sunday, August 26, 2012
REVIEW: Michelle Rowen's Blood Bath & Beyond
Author: Michelle Rowen
Series: Immortality Bites Mystery
Publishing stats: August 7th 2012 by Signet (USA)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Cover Blurb: Sarah Dearly is adjusting to life as a fledgling vampire, satisfying her cravings at vampire-friendly blood banks. But when her fiancé Thierry takes a job with the Ring—the secret council in charge of keeping vampires in line—Sarah’s about to get more than a taste of danger…
Being engaged to a centuries-old master vampire can be challenging—especially when he takes a job with the Ring. Thierry’s in for fifty years of nonstop travel and deadly risk. It’s enough to make any woman reconsider the wedding…any woman except Sarah, that is.
Traveling to Las Vegas for his first assignment, they encounter a child beauty pageant contestant from hell, as well as a vampire serial killer leaving victims drained of blood, potentially exposing the existence of vampires to the whole world. But when Thierry’s truly ancient history comes back to haunt him, and he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Sarah to clear his name before their immortal lives come to an end.
First line: The fangs don’t get nearly as much attention as you’d think.
What I liked: What I've always loved about this series; the humour, the romance, the characters. Sarah Dearly is hands down one of the funniest, goofiest heroines (and narrators) I've had the chance to read. Between what she says and the antics she lands herself in, she'd give the entire cast of Friends a run for their money. I especially love her unfailing ability, for good or bad, to always see the good the people be they blood addicted ancient vampire, demon bound vampire hunter or insanity prone wizard. The romance and relationship shared between Sarah and Thierry is one of the more unique ones; these two could not be any more different but, somehow, it works and not only that but seeing these two crazy kids together as they work through their differences and come out stronger than ever is one the book's true delights for the reader.
What I didn’t like: There were some points in the narrative that got a bit dry and felt just a tad repetitive, almost like the story had gotten itself stuck in a loop. I spent a great deal of time wishing I could slap Thierry - does that man learn nothing from his own past?! The resolution to one of the mysteries in this book came a bit out of left field - perhaps it was just me but until that last scene where the murderer spilled the beans I would not have thought that character guilty. I mean, okay, looking back there were hints for a potential motive, but there was nothing that connected that motive to the crimes until the murderer slipped up and did so right before the reveal. I'd like to think even Jessica Fletcher would have been hard pressed to see that reveal coming.
Overall: Back in September 2009, Tall, Dark and Fangsome ended the Immortality Bites series with a defeated big bad, a vanquished curse, a friend's wedding and a surprise engagement. It hinted at happily ever after and left the door open for potential sequels in the future. Blood Bath & Beyond blew that aforementioned door off its hinges, put a twist on the old story lines, tossed in a mystery (two, actually) and picked things up where they left off - more or less. All of the secondary characters from the first series were given happily ever afters, allowing for Thierry and Sarah to head out into the world to encounter new friends and new enemies while still connected with characters who previously had their lives revolving around the main plots. There were some rough spots to be sure but overall this was a great revamp (see what I did there?) on a great series.
Would I read this author again: Yes - the humour is one-of-a-kind!
My rating: ♥♥♥/5
To purchase the book for yourself, you can find it at Chapters.Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or The Book Depository. Enjoy!