Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand, is a great start to what seems to be an interesting new series featuring werewolves. I did have some reservations/ questions about some of the scenes that transpire but it’s peanuts compared to the overall enjoyment of the book.
The story opens with an intense opening chapter that dives right into the action. We find out Tara has just broken up with George (and by the way, there must be a better boy name for a teenaged boy besides George?), a boyfriend of habit, not lust. She also gets attacked and then manages to kill her attacker which happens to be another werewolf Liana. Enter Wes, the main attraction who helps Tara clean up her mess and – surprise – He. Just. Can’t. Stay. Away. We have a formulaic plot (familiar though not similar) that works. As I’ve said in past posts, I don’t mind this if it’s written well with new and interesting characters. Hildenbrand delivers on this.
Dirty Blood is told in first person – Tara’s voice. I enjoy this point of view because it is limits the reader, and we find things out as the story unfolds. We don’t know what the other characters are thinking. It takes some good writing to make all of the other characters come to life through this point of view and I believe Hildenbrand achieves this and the tone of the book is right on point for my preference of YA writing.
I always find it to be a rough transition for me, as a reader, when the main character is introduced to a secret world and within a few paragraphs, she gives into the belief of this new world. I understand it from a plot perspective, and that the author wants to get right into the story. This happens with Tara, when Wes tells her what’s going on and who he is. All of a sudden Tara accepts that she’s seen werewolves and she’s killed one. Hildenbrand saves this little hiccup with great teen dialogue and banter. I enjoyed Tara and Wes getting to know each other. The scenes with them, quickly allowed me to suspend my own belieifs as well and get into the story. There is some humour and believable interaction with all of the teens in this book. It’s not teeny-bopper but mature teenagers interacting. Loved that.
Tara is a wonderful character. She’s tough and inquisitive. She’s not “kickass” but believable, resilient and resourceful, especially in the last third of the book. She’s also not whiney, an iritating trait I’ve come across in YA books of late. Wes is likeable from his very first appearance in the first chapter. While Wes displays the overprotective characteristic that seems to be a mainstay in a lot of YA paranormal fiction, he also displays a caring and warm nature towards Tara which I found endearing.
Also the secondary characters, Fee, Jack, Miles and Tara’s mom are all intriguing characters that I would have liked to read more about.
The book flows very well, and I couldn’t put it down a few times which is always a good sign!
The Werewolf and Hunter dynamic really works… Buffyesque!The politics of it all fit nicely into what we already know about werewolves. How they are killed is a new twist. In fact, the entire story has twists here and there and overall this book is a great and quick read! I look forward to continuing with this series.
Coming Aug 31
|Recommendation:||Perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer who prefer werewolves over vamps.|
|Like this, like that:||The Prince of Wolves series by Quinn Loftis, the A Wolf’s Pride series by Cat Kalen and the Seasons of the Moon series by S.M. Reine.|
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada