Monday, January 23, 2012

Blood Tells True by Alan Ryker

Title: Blood Tells True
Series: Vampires of the Plains
Author: Alan Ryker
Length: 2149 Kindle units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

Jessica has been hunting vampires since one of them killed her family a year ago. It’s not enough for her just to kill them, though. She likes to lock them in her silo and force them to fight against each other. Then she can fight the strongest one and prove that she is better than the bloodsucking monsters.

Then one night, Jessica’s super vampire escapes. She tracks it to the town of Krendel, but she is totally unprepared for what she finds. Because Krendel has a unique vampire situation, and Jessica is about to find herself in the fight of her life.

The Good

The vampire mythology in Blood Tells True is unique. The vampires are more like zombies than traditional vampires in that they are mindless animals attacking anyone they come across, though of course they want blood instead of brains. However, vampires who are on meth do not experience the same mental degradation as other vampires. The effect of vampirism and meth on intelligence was such a classic example of an interaction that I had to graph it:

(If you are now thinking “Wow, Elizabeth, that must be the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done,” believe me when I tell you that it doesn’t come close to breaking the top 10.)

The story itself was rather interesting, as long as you didn’t get too attached to the characters. I found myself surprised by the plot twists. At least twice I found myself saying, “Well, I didn’t see that coming!”

The Bad

As a reviewer, I knew this would happen to me eventually, and here I am confessing that this book falls into the category of “not my thing.” This book definitely falls into the category of “gritty,” which I know is extremely popular in the adult urban fantasy spheres. To be honest, that’s a lot of why I stopped reading so much adult urban fantasy. I like to read stories where noble characters triumph over extreme odds in order to reach their happy endings. Stories about people who have been forced to become killers because of the cold, hard world just make me sad.

Objectively the most irritating thing about the novel was the change in perspectives. For example, we would often get a scene from Jessica’s point of view, and then in the next chapter we would see the events from someone else’s perspective. At first, this was kind of cool, but after the first half of the book or so, when we had 3+ perspectives to follow, I started getting confused over the sequence of events. I also had a hard time following things that only occurred from the sheriff’s point of view, since I couldn’t really keep track of whose side he was on.

I also feel obligated to note that this book is on the more expensive end of the self-published scale at $3.99, and it is also one of the shortest that I have reviewed. Not that length is necessarily an indicator of quality. But I feel the need to point this out for those who carefully consider unit price per word.

The Romance

Sadly, or perhaps fortunately depending on your viewpoint, there is no romance in Blood Tells True. Unless you count Kroger thinking about how hot Jessica is while he and his buddies are on their way to kill her. Which I don’t. So, sorry, paranormal-romance-only readers. This one is not for you.

Will I read more?

At this point you may be saying, “Well, Elizabeth, if you don’t like gritty horror but still gave Blood Tells True four stars, it must be REALLY good.” I have, however, attempted to correct for my own personal preferences in assigning a star rating. Of course, I consider 4 stars a good rating, so I would say that if this book description sounds appealing to you, you will probably like it. But if you would like me to get back to reviewing books about five hundred year old vampires who go to high school and fall in love with teenage girls, this one is probably not your cup of tea.

As for me, I will most likely be skipping the other books in the series. It’s not that it’s particularly bad in any way, but, as I said, it’s just not my kind of thing.

See Details for Book on    Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords


Post a Comment