This is posted as part of Keishon’s TBR Day challenge, which is aimed at encouraging us readers with the towering TBR piles (you know who you are) to start tackling the books that have been languishing in there for eons.
This month’s challenge theme: Urban fantasy, paranormal, SFR or fantasy
ETA: This was meant to go up on Thursday 16 April, the official TBR Day; however, I am apparently useless when it comes to scheduling posts. Ah well.
Book: Bloodlist (urban fantasy)
Author: PN Elrod
Copyright Date: 1990 (re-released in 2003 as part of “The Vampire Files 1” omnibus, featuring the first three books in this series)
Me and… Urban Fantasy: It’s probably fairly obvious that I read a lot of UF nowadays. Heck, I used to read it even when it wasn’t known as UF. However, I’ve realised that I rarely start new UF series nowadays. It used to be “oh look, a new book featuring [insert supernatural-creature-of-choice here], gimme that now!”. Now it’s more like “hmm… okay, interesting cover, what’s the blurb” *reads first few pages* “mmm…. not sure, let me think about it” *puts down, wanders away*. I tend to stick to series I already know and love, or new books by authors I already read.
Why did I buy this book? PN Elrod’s name was familiar to me as an editor of various anthologies, including the “Big Fat Supernatural…” ones with Charlaine Harris. I’ve also read a couple of her short stories featuring Jack Fleming, the vampire PI in this series, and liked them, so was curious about this series.
Why did it sit in my TBR pile for so long? Well, you know, yet another vampire series. I just wasn’t inspired to start reading a new-to-me UF series. However, the twelfth book in this series, “Dark Road Rising”, has just been released, so I remembered I had this in my TBR pile, and it fit in quite nicely with April’s TBR Day theme.
What is it about? From Ms Elrod’s website:
Vampire detective Jack Fleming’s first case: solving his OWN murder! Waking up on the shores of Lake Michigan with no memory of how he got there is the least of Jack’s worries as he comes to realize reports of his death were not exaggerated. But there’s a positive side to suddenly being thrust into the ranks of the undead: you’re always young, you live forever, and best of all–you can hunt down your own killer….
So what did I think of it? In short, I liked but didn’t love.
I enjoyed the setting – “Bloodlist” is set in Depression-era 1930s Chicago and I found the period details fascinating. I also got a sort of film noir feeling from the book, what with the gangsters and their molls.
My favourite sections were the ones where Jack comes to grips with the fact he’s a vampire and tries to figure out his vampiric powers. For some reason, these passages struck me as being realistic – err… well, as realistic as you can get with vampires! Jack is easy to like, there’s no “why me”-type whining, and he just gets on with things. However, equally, I must say that I never really felt that invested in him nor the mystery of who killed him and why.
I somewhat lost my interest in the plot towards the end, and I suspect that if it wasn’t for the TBR Day deadline, I’m not sure I would have finished this in two days. This was, however, one of the first books written by Ms Elrod, and I’m pretty sure she gets better over the years, especially if her short stories I’ve read recently are representative of current work.
My conclusion? Not the most addictive book I’ve read, but good enough to get me to continue with the series (obviously, it helps that my omnibus version also has books two and three). B- for me.