Raylene Pendle, (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn't usually hang out with her own kind. She's too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist - even though Ian doesn't want previous artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files: documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn't bargain for is a case that takes her from the frozen outskirts of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen at her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.
This is my first book review from the loot I brought home from NYCC 2010. Yes, I am that lazy. But guess what? I'm giving this one away to whoever wins my first giveaway! I'm so nice.
So, Bloodshot. It felt a bit uneven to me and took me a long time to get into it. There was a period between pages fifty and 100 where I considered calling it quits but I am glad I didn't because things really pick up after that. And I have to say that pairing up a vampire and a former Navy SEAL drag queen was definitely something new for me. When I read that line on the back about the "kick-ass drag queen" I immediately got a picture of Sally Sweets in my head from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. (Sadly, I haven't run across that many drag queens in my books.) Adrian is no Sally, let me assure you. Not even close.
Raylene is a contradiction. She's an eighty-odd-year-old vampire who is a discriminating thief and surrogate mother for two runaway kids who live in an old building she owns where she stashes all her stolen goods. She's thoughtful and paranoid. She also kills without compunction, for either food or in battle. At the beginning and with the exception of the two kids, she's all alone in the world. She doesn't know the real names of her fellow thieves/mercenaries/etc. and only generally has conversations with one of her best clients, a man who lives across the country. By the end, she has friends. A family, almost.
I mostly liked Raylene and I know I liked her sense of humor. I think Cherie Priest was trying to make Raylene a total badass but she fell a little short and sounded a bit dated to me; repeatedly referring to the government as "Uncle Sam" sounds old. She has the vamp skills and all but the paranoia and anal-retentiveness of being super prepared made her somehow seem diminished, not sure of herself and ready to roll instead of confident. She's tenacious though, I will give her that.
Despite my issues with Raylene, I did like Bloodshot enough to want to find out what will happen in the next book. I want to know what happens with Ian and Sister Rose, as well as find out more about Raylene's history with the vampire Houses. Sounds a bit like Chloe Neill's Chicagoland vampires series setup. Cherie Priest has created an more than interesting world with Bloodshot and I hope to see more of it in the future.
Bloodshot will be released on January 25, 2011.
About the giveaway: Anyone who would like my copy of Cherie Priest's Bloodshot should leave a comment with your name and email address between now and November 30, 2010 to enter. The winner will be chosen at random. I will mail Bloodshot to the winner personally.