Author: Nancy Holzner
Cover Art: Don Sipley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sex and attempted rape.
Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.
As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…
My start with Nancy Holzner’s Deadtown series was a bit rocky. I loved the world, I loved the main character, I loved her love life… but I couldn’t stand her ever present sidekick, Tina. After Abigail’s review of HELLFORGED (which mentioned that it was light on my favorite part of the series, Deadtown itself), I skipped straight to book three. BLOODSTONE was worth wait, with all of the elements I enjoyed in book one and much less Tina fatigue.
While someone could plausibly start the series BLOODSTONE, they would miss out on those first awesome introductions to life in Deadtown. I am fascinated with the world Holzner has created, where victims of the zombie virus and other “more than human” beings live under check points and restrictions that ordinary Americans couldn’t imagine. Out of sight, out of mind, and outside of Deadtown ordinary citizens span the spectrum from ignorance and bigotry to fascination with their otherworldly neighbors. Despite having little of zombie poster-girl Tina in the picture, I felt like BLOODSTONE did the best job yet portraying the realities of living in this world. Simple moments with zombie neighbors, the realities of life with checkpoints, and once again, parents contemplating forced relocation to Deadtown or losing their preternatural child all had me imagining my life within these strictures, or worse yet, to wonder if I would be living outside the walls, oblivious.
Exploring the realities of Deadtown definitely stole the show for me in this book. The serial killer and demi-demon plot wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t interesting enough to compete with the world in general. While I have no urge to go back to book two and fill in the blanks, and no particular urge to read future books just to resolve the rest of the plot, I will be keeping my eyes open for more books by Holzner. She has an eye for daily details that add wonderful depth to her world, and preternatural elements aside, I can’t resist the scarily plausible political realities of Deadtown.