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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable New Series, 7 July 2009
This review is from: The Sweet Scent of Blood (Paperback)
The Sweet Scent of Blood is about Genny, the only sidhe living in London, who works for Spellcrackers.com cleaning up or `cracking' spells which have been created by various brownies, pixies or other magical creatures and are causing havoc around the city. Like in many urban fantasy novels, this is a world in which the supernatural and magical are part of everyday life. The plot itself focuses on the death of a famous vampire's girlfriend, and Genny's subsequent involvement as she is dragged into the case by various interested parties who believe Melissa's death was caused by magic.

This book is jam-packed with non-stop action and has a large cast of characters from vampires to witches to trolls, and it is probably because of this that the real bad guys are a surprise up until the end. The author has also set up the ground work for characters, relationships and various subplots in this book which look to make for an thrilling new series. The writing style is a little reminiscent of early Anita Blake, especially in Genny's visits to the police station, in which the suspicions of police officers, the Dolph-like character of Hugh and even the characters of the vampires themselves have echoes of early Laurell k. Hamilton. The continuous action, heavy on the police procedural and metaphysical, also reminded me in a good way of Anita Blake at her best, but with the interesting twist of Genny's sidhe magic keeping it fresh and entertaining.

As much as I enjoyed the book overall, a few things did annoy me enough to give it 4 and not 5 stars. Firstly, a lot of the time the writing is a little confusing, making it difficult to understand what's going on at times and why. This is particularly true of Genny's infection with part of the vampire virus, or V3, which we are told about early on in the novel. It is never made exactly clear whether the symptoms she experiences are due to this infection (or in fact precisely how she was infected) or to her own heritage, and everything about her vampiric alter-ego had me utterly baffled. Secondly, the story did lag a bit around the middle with no obvious direction. I also found the heroine's visit to the vampire club a little inconsistent, considering she previously had done everything she could to avoid all vampires and that her sidhe blood was irresistible to them, not to mention her reasons for going were pretty flimsy.

Despite these problems The Sweet Scent of Blood is a quality addition to urban fantasy, and one I found enjoyable to read. It has a little bit of romance, with a promise of more in the next book, lots of magic and mystery and an exciting new heroine. I would recommend it to any fans of the genre as the beginning of what looks to be a great series, and I will definitely be looking out for the next instalment.
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Location: UK

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