Customer Reviews: Blood Drive (The Anna Strong Chronicles, Book 2)
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VINE VOICEon February 21, 2006
Jeanne Stein has written yet another great vampire novel. This book is the sequel to THE BECOMING but can be read as a stand alone novel. Anna Strong's brother died 14 years ago so when his last girlfriend, Carolyn, shows up and says he has a daughter, Anna and her parents are excited but shocked. Unfortunately, 13 year old Trish is missing and Carolyn wants Anna to find her. Anna's search leads her to a teacher at Trish's school, Daniel Frey. Frey is a shapeshifter (a panther) and he begins assisting Anna both with the investigation and with her experiences as a new vampire. Anna is forced to confront the evils of child porn films and the horrors that a child can face when she lacks family support. Anna also begins to face that she needs to separate herself from her mortal ties. I enjoyed this sequel and look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended!
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on July 9, 2009
Book two is worse. I didn't like The Becoming (The Anna Strong Chronicles, Book 1) very much, since Anna Strong refuses to face her own vampiric powers and identity. However, I decided to give the second a chance, because sometimes it takes more than one book to tell a story. What I wanted was a story of Anna Strong being strong, accepting herself, and carving her place inside supernatural and vampiric society while remaining a caring human being. Didn't get it.

Anna Strong comes off as weak. I don't like emotional shallow, stupid heroines who are so scatterbrained they need a telepath to make sense of their own thoughts for them! Rather than finally buckling down and being a vampire, Anna spends the novel figuring out that were-creatures exist in her world, and so do other supernatural beings. Then she 'gets it on' with one, but without any description. If you are doing supernatural romance scenes, go for it, don't spend chapters building up around it and finish it by closing the curtains and moving on. Romance fail.

Not only is Anna still not accepting she's a vampire, she's let all her vampiric responsibilities lapse and the author is letting her get away with it. Thought fail. Compound this with one of the most stupid and farcical murder frame-ups/investigations I've ever read in a book... and you have a novel I hate. Child pornography and unrealistic motives form a huge gaping plothole. Whatever momentum the novel had going was simply killed by this.

But hey, if you liked this, you should read Real Vampires Have Curves (Glory St. Clair, Book 1), because it's another series I dropped for the exact same reasons. At least with Anna Strong, I lasted two books.
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on February 13, 2008
I really want to like this series, but the published books seem so unfinished. Seems to me she needs a new editor. Once again, character development is lacking as are development of relationships between characters. She turns her characters into lovers without giving the reader much of a reason for them to be falling into bed with eachother.

There are also some MAJOR plotholes in this story. In fact, this story has one of the biggest plotholes I have EVER read in a published book. I don't want to give too much storyline away but the plothole I am speaking of involves one of the police suspects for murder. The author tries to make us believe that the police would suspect a 14 year old girl for the brutal rape and beating death of her mother??
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2008
Anna Strong's never forgotten her older brother, Steve, who died when she was in high school. And she never quite forgave his perky blonde cheerleader girlfriend who stole Steve's attention from his little sister--and then didn't have the decency to attend Steve's funeral when he died.

It comes as a big surprise to both Anna and her parents that the girlfriend, Carolyn, wants to talk to them. Carolyn tells Anna she needs help finding her missing 13 year old daughter, Trish, because Trish might be party to a classmate's murder. Then Carolyn really drops the bomb--Trish is Steve's daughter.

With her mother more than half believing, Anna must find Trish--before the murderers do. This takes Anna into the world of shapeshifters via one of Trish's teachers and the world of child pornography.

"Blood Drive" is the second book in the Anna Strong Vampire Series. It's very much a stand-alone novel. I know this because I inadvertently took Volume 3 on vacation instead of this book. Even reading out of order, "Blood Drive" held up very well.

The author writes strong, but reasonably real characters and gives them good lines. She's got a solid talent at depicting characters that makes them memorable and leaves either a favorable--or not--impression on the reader.

For 292 pages, Stein also manages to pack in a lot of action. She keeps things moving and manages to solve the main point of each novel, but leave some tantalizing threads hanging that make you want to read on to the next.

One caveat: if you don't like even the mention of child pornography, don't read this book. I believe Ms. Stein handled a difficult situation well, but to some, the subject matter could be disturbing.
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VINE VOICEon January 15, 2008
Carolyn Delaney was the girlfriend of Steve Strong just before his death fourteen years ago. Carolyn has contacted Anna and her parents, claiming her daughter is missing and she needs their help because Trish is also Steve's daughter. It turns out that Trish is a new student at the school where Anna's mother is principal. Not only is Trish missing but her best friend Barbara Fanco is also missing. Soon the FBI is involved and Anna learns that there's a lot she doesn't know about her new world and the other creatures that inhabit it unknown to humans. But one thing she does know is just how vile and corrupt humans can be and she wants Trish safe no matter whose daughter she is -- but finding her and keeping her safe may cost Anna her family and maybe her new life.

It's been two months since the events in The Becoming. Anna Strong is learning to cope with her new dietary requirements by seeking donors chosen by Culebra. Chief Williams has been trying to reach her, but she refuses to make contact, preferring to keep her life as normal as possible. But as she searches for Trish Delaney, Anna finds that ignorance is not bliss at all, it can kill you and it can kill those you love.

I was dissatisfied with Anna behavior in The Becoming. She believed everything she was told by Avery -- even after she learned he lied. Then she cut herself off from the vampire world to go her own way. Now at last, Anna realizes that she can't go on -- that she must connect with others who have powers and learn about her new powers, how to control her hunger, and how the shadow world of other mythical but real beings works. While the mystery and its twisty trail of clues, deaths, and greed is satisfying, I think knowing that Anna has now faced her new status squarely and will be learning to live with her changed nature is encouraging for the continuation of the series.

I do have to warn readers that this is a dark book, not for the vampirism but for the crimes against children. It's a difficult book to read but these crimes do happen -- the details are minimal describing the horror of the realization that this is happening rather than giving graphic details of the actions the characters are viewing. Not off screen enough to approach cozy status but definitely, enough to take the edge off the nausea.
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on July 5, 2007
I find the Anna Strong books are a welcome addition to the paranormal/ vampire genre that in recent years has become somewhat formulaic in its approach to things that go bump in the night. Blood Drive is the continuation of Anna's struggle to relinquish her mortality and ties to the mortal world. I felt her character underwent alot of growth in this book and look forward to seeing where she goes. There is some romance but it by no means overwhelms the story and this should not be off-putting to the male readers out there. The romance that is present is intergral to the plot and character development.

Jeanne C. Stein, so far, does a good job of presenting each book with a mystery that has a solid beginning, middle, and end. At the same time, she has a secondary plot of what is happening to Anna in her personal life and why others in the paranormal community refer to her as "The One". This secondary plot is addressed very little at this point because the book is written in first person POV and so far Anna has not been very accepting of her new life as a vampire and tends to block out anyone talking about her new status. I don't think Anna will be able to run from her destiny for long though so the next book should be full of surprises. There are obviously more secrets for the reader to discover and I enjoy not being handed all the pieces in one book, but rather being able to savor them, like Godiva chocolate.

I would recommend the reader start the series with The Becoming because even though Blood Drive could probably be read as a stand alone book there are several references to earlier events that will make more sense if you read the books in order. These books are well-written and held my attention, I read each in one sitting and am looking forward to the third in the series.
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VINE VOICEon August 8, 2007
In this second book in the Anna Strong Chronicles Anna Strong, is a bounty hunter and recently turned vampire. Her deceased brother Steve's old girlfriend, Carolyn, shows up at Anna's parent's house and wants Anna to find her daughter, Trish. She claims Trish is Steve's daughter. In Anna's investigation, she encounters the world of child pornography. Will she find Trish and if she finds her will she be able to save her?

I love it when an author's second book is better than the first, and the series continues to get better and better. This seems to be the case with this new series. Anna is adjusting to being a vampire and learning all about her new talents. She also is learning how to control her blood lust. This was a very good book with great action, more character development with Anna, and a nice human touch with her parents and her accepting that one day she will lose all she loves because she is now a vampire. I will definitely buy the next in the series, The Watcher.
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on February 8, 2014
Why does everyone know something that Anna needs to know but no one ever tells her......This theme is all the way through this series, and it gets kind of tiring. I do love the mix of characters, and wish that she could find someone who really loves her and don't want something from her. Will definitely read the rest of this series.
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on May 20, 2016
I have not been this excited about a series since I discovered the fever series years ago! I have been on the hunt for my next series high for so long!! WOO! I found it! The plot is exciting , the characters are so well developed they're easy to like and they draw you in. Thank you!
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on February 26, 2011
I read this book all the way thru and it was not bad. It could have been way worse. This is the first book of this author I have read. I realized it was not the intro for this series but thought I'd give it a go anyway, it looked like it could be entertaining. The book is entertaining. This is the premise. Here is a vampire that does not want to be a vampire, is living in denial, will not accept any help or even information about her condition, refuses to give up her family, home, job, partner, or any part of her previous life. Doesn't seem very smart for a supposedly smart woman. To be fair, the attack that turned her into a vampire just happened 2 months ago. Which now that I'm remembering it is a very short time to have had her house rebuilt already. It is explained that in the last book her maker burned her house to the ground and in this one it's almost ready to move back into. No way. Well you can see there may be some problems if you look too closely. So don't, - just go along for the ride. If you are one of those readers that needs things to line up real well leave this one alone. If you want a heroine that is real sharp and ahead of the game, nuh uh.

In this book Ana is asked to help in finding a missing girl. Other reviewers have explained the particulars already so I'm not going to do that. The plot kept me guessing and I wanted to find out what was going to happen. My biggest complaint is that Ana is not self aware, glaringly. She makes big mistakes in judgement, others around her are constantly telling her she's wrong, that she's stupid or clueless yet she continues to ignore the obvious. It starts to get annoying and then the book is over. I'm not going to go looking for the next in line, but if I run across it I may just give it a go to see.

Not a glowing report, but yet worth reading if you like detective mysteries. I like them a lot and enjoyed this book for that. I did not particularly enjoy the paranormal aspect, it was not the best part. In fact Ana's family was so unsympathetic that I truly wondered why she didn't want to dump them and start a new vampire family or something. Maybe the next one . . .
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