Published by Orbit on August 4th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Romantic, Thrillers, Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Sexual Content: References to rape, sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Julia
A brand new thriller with a supernatural twist from New York Times bestselling author Lilith Saintcrow.Anna Caldwell has spent the last few days in a blur. She's seen her brother's dead body, witnessed the shooting of innocent civilians, and been shot at herself. Now she has nowhere to turn-and only one person she can possibly call. Since Anna dumped him, it seems waiting is all Josiah Wolfe has done. Now, she's calling, and she needs his help -- or rather, the "talents" she once ran away from. As a liquidation agent, Josiah knows everything about getting out of tough situations. He'll get whatever she's carrying to the proper authorities, then settle down to making sure she doesn't leave him again. But the story Anna's stumbled into is far bigger than even Josiah suspects. Anna wants to survive, Josiah wants Anna back, and the powerful people chasing her want the only thing worth killing for -- immortality. An ancient evil has been trapped, a woman is in danger, and the world is going to see just how far a liquidation agent will go...For more from Lilith Saintcrow, check out: Gallow and RaggedTrailer Park FaeBannon and ClareThe Iron Wyrm AffairThe Red Plague AffairThe Ripper AffairThe Damnation Affair (e-only)Dante Valentine NovelsWorking for the DevilDead Man RisingDevil's Right HandSaint City SinnersTo Hell and BackDante Valentine (omnibus)Jill Kismet NovelsNight ShiftHunter's PrayerRedemption AlleyFlesh CircusHeaven's SpiteAngel TownJill Kismet (omnibus)A Romance of Arquitaine NovelsThe Hedgewitch QueenThe Bandit King
If THE HISTORIAN adds hints of supernatural mythology to academic research, BLOOD CALL does the same for the romantic thriller. While the premise and subtle mix of genres are great, Anna and Josiah are problematic at best. Though the narrative tries to focus on this ultimately unsatisfying relationship, it was only the background of myth and reality colliding that really worked.
Anna is so shocked and hurt for the first several chapters of the book, she doesn't register as anything other than vulnerable. Josiah, unfortunately, choses this time to be very sexually aggressive. Depending upon your tastes, this will either set up a dominating, coerced sexual dynamic between two characters that are physically attracted to each other but emotionally shattered, or it will make Josiah an irredeemable rapist who took advantage of Anna when she was vulnerable.
While I found Josiah's choices problematic, I was still invested in his story. Once out of shock, however, Anna proves to be alternatively helpless and irrational, wanting to both use Josiah's skills and shame him for them. Josiah's earlier sexual dominance evaporates into regret and he seems to be attracted to Anna's worst traits, her helpless naivete and physical fragility. The only portions of BLOOD CALL that I truly enjoyed where where Josiah and Anna are too busy fighting for their lives to draw attention to their flaws.
The action portion of the story can't carry everything, however. Seeing the preternatural bleed into the "real world" was the only detail keeping me engaged, and Josiah and Anna were too involved with their terrible romance to have much of a reaction at all. Not cinematic enough to bring the fights and violence to life, not twisty and political enough to make a mystery worth following, BLOOD CALL felt like a great premise left unfulfilled.More Reviews: