Bad Blood (Crimson Moon, Book 1)
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2008
As Bad Blood by L.A. Banks begins, we meet Sasha Trudeau and her fellow team members. She is a part of a unique group of 'beings' who are all soldiers for the U.S. government in this fictional world. Sasha and her team members are all connected to one another because they were supposedly attached by werewolves at some point in their lives; thus, becoming contaminated with werewolf virus. Being a Special Ops soldier for the government, Sasha is used to taking orders from her superiors and fully obeying them to contain the level of paranormal activity around the world. When her superiors send her on a mission without her team, Sasha does not understand why she has been separated from them but she still fulfills her duties. What happens on mission in Korea and once she returns home, will forever change her perception of the people she once trusted and obeyed.

Bad Blood is book one in the Crimson Moon Novels by L.A. Banks. Bad Blood is science-fiction meets paranormal and what a great combination the two make! This story continuously builds and lets the readers learn as main character, Sasha Trudeau learns of whom she truly is and of the dirty backhanded deals of the government. If readers are looking for a series that is exactly like Banks' Vampire Huntress Legends, then they will not find it here. The Crimson Moon Novels focus on werewolves, shadow wolves and the government. Though, there is one thing the two series have in common, besides the author, both are equally well-written and stunningly intriguing. Banks pulls the readers into the story throughout the book but towards the end, when certain secrets are revealed, readers will be left on the edge of their seats panting for more. With characters like Sasha Trudeau, Max Hunter, and secondary character currently known as Shogun, they definitely throw in some spice, kick, and punch.

For those interested in reading Bad Blood, which I recommend to all readers, I strongly suggest visiting the website for this book and the others that will follow in this series at [...] The website will explain the terminology used in the series.

Reviewed by Chantay,
APOOO BookClub
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
My very favorite book of LA Banks work is "The Bitten." In that book, I felt like she achieved the perfect pinnacle of good vs. evil, and embraced the ambiguity of characters that are neither good nor evil but instead were a mixture (ie, more real). The books which came after "The Bitten" in the VH series struck me as being too aggressively good vs. evil; and I mourn the loss of chemistry between the "good" Carlos and Damali. That said, and I apologize for starting off this review of "Bad Blood" with a synopsis of the VH series but it ties in to what I have to say about "Bad Blood." If you really LOVED every single one of the VH books, then this book is for you! You will like the ways it reminds you of VH and the new powers and mythos it introduces. However, for me, this book fell short. In fact, very quickly it got off into the same old take on the vampires/werewolves that LA used in the VH series: Evil is Evil and the only answer to it is destruction with blessed weapons or hallowed earth bullets, etc. NOTE -- SPOILERS ahead!!! In fact, at the end, there is a future glimpse that indicates Sasha's new man will eventually become one of the evil, uncontrollable "shadow" wolves. I also felt that the action scenes of the book moved too quickly, without the important buildup of the scenes to show why things were happening. Particularly, the scenes where her lover's pack chooses to "shoot-up" with the drugs that turn them to pure evil "shadow" beasts, half-wolf & half-human, uncontrollable animals. This really did not make sense to me & the explanation given in a few words by one of the packmembers before Sasha and her man blow them to pieces was not enough of an answer. The pack wanted to be "bigger and more powerful," but this does not sound like a good enough reason for the werewolves that grew up with the Indians and spirit guides to just suddenly decide out of jealousy to stick a needle in their veins and mainline pure evil into their bodies. The other part of this is that once the pack members have "shot-up" even once, they are evil permanently, so the only rescue is to shoot them dead. So, I found this book to be a disappointing return to a world where the good blow the evil to bits.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 13, 2008
I'm a big fan of Banks' VHL series and was eager to read her take of werewolf lore and mythology. On the bright side, Banks does make the werewolf her own and as always, she has excellent, unique ideas that are easily understood. Unfortunately, the very things that plagued the first book in the VHL series, Minion (original version, not the revised mass market edition), plague Bad Blood--namely, little character arc, shaky world-building, and awkward action. For all the great ideas packed into this book, Banks hasn't managed the skill of proper world-building. The first half of the book feels like an info dump, and when the action is finally introduced, it's buried once more in chapters of internal ramblings from Sasha, Dr. Holland and other secondary characters. Because of the shaky world-building, the characters suffered and I could never feel truly connected with them, and the disconnect made my reading experience even more lackluster, I'm afraid. I won't write the series off entirely as the first two books in the VHL series left me wanting, but I couldn't recommend this book to any readers new to Banks' style of writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 8, 2008
This book is categorized as Dark Fantasy, the description on the back
cover makes it sound like an Urban Fantasy. After reading it, I'm
classifying it has a Romance novel with paranormal elements, emphasis
on the romance. I was looking for an urban fantasy with some romantic
elements thrown it, not the other way around.

While this book takes a new spin on werewolf mythology that is
interesting if a little confusing, it is mostly a romance novel (70%
of the book is devoted to romance/sex). The writing was sub par as
well, especially in the first few chapters. I got pretty tired of
reading about someone's 'sexy eyebrow', or 'sexy smile', or 'sexy
grin', or 'sexy glance' etc. Beyond that, the plot could have been
more interesting had it been told in a different manner. As it was
the story took a number of rather pointless "sex breaks" that
detracted from the overall narrative. I'm going to take a pass on the
rest of this series and probably on any other L. A. Banks novels as
well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Continuing to prove that she is a force to be reckoned with in the paranormal genre, L.A. Banks is the MOST talented writer of the 21st century! In her latest series, Crimson Moon, she has found (yet again) the perfect combination of intrigue, suspense, a great plot, a little sex, a lot of romance and great writing. Her latest series centers around werewolves, and trust me, what she does with vampires, she does even better with these newly evolved shapeshifters!

Sasha Tradeau, a Special Ops soldier is mourning the disappearance of her pact, who was sent to another country to stop "evil" from spreading. With the turn of her pact leader, Rod, Sasha sets out to find out who wants her unit dead and what she "really is". Here enters the very sexy, Alpha Male of the Shadow Wolves, Max Hunter who believes that he is the future lover, protector and life mate to Sasha (although she is resistant to the whole lifemate concept). It also it seems that Hunter and Sasha are connected in ways neither of them could imagine. While the two of them dance around (he accepts it, she resists it) their attraction to each other, they attempt to unravel the secrets of the "highly evolved werewolves" (superhuman/werewolf hybrid soldiers) and who is behind their creation. And although there are several novels about werewolves out there, none compare to this rollercoaster ride of suspense. L.A. Banks has created the perfect story and weaves a tale of double dealing vampires, government experiments gone wrong, cover-ups, mystics, murders, shaman and some general bad guys. And the fight scenes aren't bad either!

This was perhaps one of my favorite novels this year. It was a FABULOUS (I can't say that enough) read and I simply can't wait to read the next one!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2008
I wouldn't advise anyone to buy this book. If you really want to read it then get it from the library. I find I'm in complete agreement with NoirFemme's review who listed her reasons much better than I'll be able to do. In short, I don't connect with (or even particularly care about) the characters, the book seems like an info dump and NEVER draws me into it and, the story feels stilted and even a bit pretentious. In fact, it's taken me a couple of weeks to read because, bored, I keep putting it down and reading something else. This is my first L.A. Banks book and I was expecting much better. Based on this book alone, I'd never buy another by this author but, given that she's published so many books, I'll probably give her one more try on the theory (hope) that this may be a deviation from her normal style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2008
Special Ops soldier, Sasha Trudeau is a part of a unique group of 'beings'; all soldiers for the U.S. government. At some point, they were bitten or scratched by werewolves, and contaminated with a werewolf virus. With that common bond, the team led by their Captain has always done assignments together. Sasha is a bit bemused when she is sent on a mission without them, but this is the military and orders are given and taken without question. So Sasha sets out to perform her duty; trying to contain the level of paranormal activity around the world. But, this assignment is becoming increasingly harder to control; werewolf DNA is the only DNA scientists think is capable of being fused with humans, which causes almost insurmountable risks.

The solo mission in Korea sets Sasha up for some personal drama, introduces her to a new breed of werewolf, and makes her question the authenticity of her pack family. When she returns home, she finds her Captain has turned, which forces her to change her loyalties and her mission. Her perception, of the people to whom she has given much credence, and whom she obeyed without a backwards glance, is being challenged. Sensing something akin to betrayal, bad blood is not only running through the team's veins, it's starting to claim Sasha's mind.

BAD BLOOD, the first of the Crimson Moon Novels, focuses on werewolves, shadow wolves and the U.S. government Operatives. In Banks' indelible style, she manages to pull the readers into the story and let them share the 'run'. She gives the antagonist new powers and shares some almost believable myths, surrounding other-dimension phenomenon. As a confirmed reader of Banks, I've come to expect the thoroughness with which she writes. And while I felt a similarity between her werewolves and her vampires, from the Huntress series, it made me wonder if other-world creatures are as similar in nature as are humans; that was my take anyway... The characters bring the intrigue, mystery, and unabridged 'were-world' existence, to life and the ending will have readers hoping more is housed in another book.

Reviewed by aNN
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
Note: This review is based entirely on the first half of the book. I just didn't feel like continuing.

I started reading "Bad Blood" expecting a paranormal thriller with some romance thrown in. That turned out to be the reverse of what I found: "Bad Blood" is a paranormal romance, with some thriller plot thrown in. Without spoiling the book for anyone who's more interested in that ratio of romance:action than I, "Bad Blood" is about werewolves, of three different sorts. Sasha, the protagonist, is the only female werewolf (in the first half of the book). Along the way to the first sex scene at around the halfway point, Sasha contemplates her attraction to the various other werewolves she encounters. She's concerned about sex ruining a working relationship with her team leader, yet flirts with crossing that line anyway. She treats a couple of her werewolf colleagues like brothers, but spends considerable time admiring their physiques and just how yummy they smell. The author uses the word "sexy" quite a lot: sexy grins, sexy hair, sexy mouths, sexy eyebrows, the perfect sexy skin color, ... Sasha even is physically drawn to a mysterious werewolf contact she briefly meets on a mission. And when she finally meets a male werewolf of her type, Sasha nearly jumps his bones across a diner table because of their overpowering animal attraction, despite knowing almost nothing about the man. (They do manage to make it to the nearest motel, and have lots of sex -- on the floor, because the bed just couldn't stand up to their superhuman coupling. That's where I gave up hope on the book being much of a thriller.)

I genuinely think L.A. Banks is writing characters that push her buttons, and if I wanted a romance story with lots of sexy male werewolves this might be a good one. But that's not my cup of tea.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is my first L.A. Banks novel, so I don't have anything to compare it to on that front. I was really hoping to love this book, but I just thought it was ok. The set up for the world with all its politics was just a little overwhelming. The first half of the book is just drowning in explanations of how the world is scrambling to create werewolves in order to have super warriors. There is also a lot of information on shadow wolves and their customs. I fully expect to have a lot of world building in the first book of a series, but I don't think that Banks did a great job of making it flow effortlessly. I felt like I was being given a lesson on werewolves and vampire politics with some dialogue thrown in for some romance.

I liked the concept of shadow wolves. It was certainly a unique take on werewolves and shifters. I just really wish that it had an overall better flow. For me, it wasn't one of those reads you just can't put down because you are so lost in the world. I had to really concentrate on it. I wanted to stop reading a few times, but I knew all the world building was surely going to end and the action would pick up.

I have faith that the next books will be better, because I can't see how much more world building could possibly be needed. I am wondering what will happen between Sasha, Shogun, and Hunter. I will get the next book, just probably from the library.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bad Blood is a new and exciting werewolf tale by L.A. Banks; author of The Vampire Huntress Legend Series. This saga begins with the tale of Sasha Trudeau, a woman who knows all too well about working beneath the shadows. While the world is unaware of the things that go bump in the night, Sasha is all too familiar with them. Why is she familiar with them? Because she is a member of a highly trained Special Ops Unit who works for the government. Her unit's mission is to keep the world in the dark about the paranormal. Sasha and her team all have one thing in common: they're an elite group of individuals who are survivors of werewolf attacks and are trained to be loyal to each other and the government. Things go terribly wrong for Sasha when she returns from a solo mission and finds out that her team has mysteriously gone missing. In the search for her missing team, nothing will prepare Sasha for all of the conspiracies she'll uncover and the double-dealing vampires that she'll have to deal with. Also, when she discovers who and what she really is, it's only the beginning....

L.A. Banks' take on werewolves is new and refreshing. One of the reasons that I like this tale is because it gives a different spin on werewolves. If you're looking for the same old stale tale of someone getting bit and turning into a wolf or a silver bullet being the only thing that can kill wolves, then this is not the story for you. Ms. Banks introduces a new breed of wolves that are capable of more than shape shifting. Oh, and don't get me started on the two potential male love interests for Sasha! Even though Silver Shadow is very mysterious, Max Hunter is definitely my favorite. Be warned that this is the first book in a L.A. Banks series, so expect this book to be a ground laying book. So make sure you pay attention to the details in this book, because I'm sure they will come into play in the second book in the Crimson Moon Series, Bite the Bullet. If you're into werewolves and want a fresh, new, action packed story to read, then Bad Blood is definitely the book for you because it is a really good read!.

Reviewed by LaShonda Bates
for Urban Reviews
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