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The Blood Books, Vol. 1 (Blood Price / Blood Trail) Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2006
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A scary and sexy modern-day vampire thriller. -- Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, authors of Star Trek: Prime Directive
If you enjoy contemporary fantasy, Tanya Huff has a distinctive knack. -- Locus
About the Author
Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular.
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One of the best things about the books are that each one is a dedicated spoof of a typical horror genre. "Blood Price" is a spin on conjuring demons; other books do versions of Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and ghosts. Clearly, the author knows and loves her movies, classic and cheesy alike, and she is extremely funny as she skewers (or enhances) the stereotypes. The next best thing is the way snarky humor infiltrates everything. Even though there is horror in each plot, I feel that is secondary to the storyline, which is more about developing relationships. The main relationship is that of "Victory" Nelson, a former police detective who is struggling with impending blindness, to Henry Fitzroy, a romance writer who just happens to be a vampire and the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII. This odd couple has a lot of tension, especially since Vicki is already in a long-term, head-butting relationship with a human detective, Mike. With three alpha characters on hand, sparks are always flying.
"Blood Price" introduces all the main and minor characters (one of them, Tony, eventually has a spin-off trilogy featuring him, the Smoke series). Vicki doesn't start out believing in the supernatural. She's bitter about her dwindling eyesight and trying to scratch out a living as a private detective now that she can't serve with the police. Only her precarious finances force her to take the case of a mysterious death, when a fanatic client insists there's something otherworldly about it and is willing to pay to find out what's going on.
Henry Fitzroy, who stays under the radar to avoid detection, is a wonderful character. Complex, introspective, deeply ethical, with some medieval mind-sets dating back to his human life before becoming a vampire, he's also lonely and yearning to have some closer connection than casual trysts. When Vicki crosses his path, he gives way to his need for a true friend and gradually falls for her. At the same time, knowing her life span is just a blink compared to his, he has to respect her relationship with Mike.
I've read the Blood series so many times that I've lost count. At least a dozen, and probably more. I've bought new copies three times because I wear them out. If they were ever available in hardcover, I'd grab them. I recommend them to people who love monster movies, humorous writing, terrific plotting, and - yes - love stories, since several of the relationships develop into different kinds of love over time. However, in the introduction to the latest reprint (trade paper version), the author points out that she considers this book as fantasy, not horror or romance. Also, she reminds the new reader that it was first published 22 years ago, so there are no cell phones, for example. But this series has been continuously in print for 22 years, and that tells you something!
Ms. Huff has created characters that are fully fleshed and interesting. Each has their own foibles that draw you in and make you wish to read more of this series. Throw in a little of the supernatural to create the mysteries around which these books revolve and you have a complete package that is well worth the investment.
During one of her cases she becomes acquainted with a sexy 450-year-old vampire, Henry Fitzroy, who becomes her partner and lover. Except--oops--she already has a lover, Mike Celluci, who really doesn't want to share. But Vicky is a woman who doesn't belong to anyone and she insists these two hot intelligent men accept one another. Fitzroy has the advantage of 450 years of interacting with humans, resulting in a profound understanding and appreciation of Vicky. He allows her the space she needs while getting close in ways she can't resist. Her human lover, Celluci, was her partner when she was a cop so they share a history of intimacy and companionship. And so Vicki has a companion to her day self and her night self. Which means she doesn't get much sleep, but its worth it! Meanwhile she keeps Toronto safe from dark forces most people believe don't exist.
The Blood Book series was actually written in the early 1990s but it is hard to tell since the main characters and their concerns have a timeless yet contemporary quality. I found these books to be irresistible. Being a vampire book fan, I was surprised and delighted to come across this series that I had missed. The stories are sexy not porny, recovering former LH fans will be happy to learn. Huff is a talented author whose spare precise writing is spiced with dry wit, suspenseful, action-packed plots and wonderful characters who inhabit believable universes. I have read some of her Sci-Fi which is also excellent. I am adding these books to my permanent collection for re-reading!
If you like good supernatural stories with a bit of romance but without all the filler pages of porn, you will like this book.
Most recent customer reviews
After listening to Tanya Huff's Sci Fi series Confederation and Peacekeeper about Torin Kerr who is a very strong...Read more