Author: Cat Adams (pseudonym for C. T. Adams & Cathy Clamp)
Series: BLOOD SINGER
Plot Type: UF
Ratings: V-4; S-2; H-2
Publisher and Titles: Tor
Blood Song (6/2010)
Siren Song (9/2010)
Demon Song (3/2011)
The Isis Collar (3/2012)
The Eldritch Conspiracy (1/2013)
To Dance with the Devil (TBA)
BOOK 5: The Eldritch Conspiracy
Celia is still dealing with the bitter feelings that developed between her and her former boyfriend, John Creede, but she has found some happiness in the arms of Bruno DeLuca, the mage who has been in and out of her love life since her college years. When an old girlfriend of Bruno's annuls her marriage and makes a play for Bruno, the consequences have a direct and dangerous effect on Celia's life.
The primary plot follows Celia as she tries to protect Adriana, but finds herself on the terrorists' target list as well. Adding to the chaos is Celia's old nemesis, police officer Richard Clarke, who is still trying to kill her. As the story plays out, Celia must deal with an attack on her grandmother, the disappointment of having a few friends pull away from her in fear of the violence that surrounds her, and the realization that some of her siren-related actions during a demon-takedown in an earlier book have come back to haunt her.
In a related subplot, Okalani (the young siren woman we met in a previous book) runs away from the sirens' Isle of Serenity to the mainland to find her father. We learn the shocking truth about her father's identity and watch her play a heartbreaking part in the murder and mayhem of the primary plot line.
We also get a new piece of interesting siren mythology when Celia's Aunt Lopaka, the siren queen, is severely injured in one of the terrorist attacks: As Celia analyzes the attack she remembers that "the only things that can actually kill a pure-blooded siren are weapons wielded in jealousy—an emotion that is a poison to us—or certain specially made magical artifacts." (p. 117)
Eventually we learn the motivations for the attacks on Celia and Adriana and the identity of the terrorist leader, both of which are relatively unpredictable. The big showdown scene is brief but powerful as Celia relives the terror of being caught up in demonic forces and fighting for her life. (That demon who marked her in her childhood just won't give her up.) Once again, (as in the previous book), the titular object (the Eldritch Cross) is not mentioned until the book is nearly ended, and it has little to do with the main plot.
This is another action-filled story in a strong urban fantasy series. My only nit-pick is that day in and day out, EVERYONE seems to be after Celia, either to persecute her or to kill her outright, including the local police, siren haters, vampire hunters, drug lords, and a tenacious demon. She can't relax for a moment without someone attacking her. Although this makes for compelling action and lots of drama, it doesn't leave much time for introspection or for the development of personal relationships. Click HERE to read an excerpt.
The vampire bite completely changes people's attitude toward Celia. Some humans and supernaturals want to kill her; others want to institutionalize her; and a few—her close friends—want to protect her. Before the bite, Celia had many friends in the local law enforcement community, but now, she is shocked to discover that most of them want to put her behind bars.
In this book, Celia has two possible love interests: Bruno DeLuca, her mage ex-boyfriend, and Kevin, a sexy werewolf, but their characters and their relationships with Celia are mostly undeveloped in this book—especially Kevin, who remains largely in the background.
Celia has several close friends: her secretary (Dawna), Kevin's sister (Emma), and her best friend (Vicki). Celia is the usual urban fantasy heroine: brave but reckless; smart but stubborn. She has had the stereotypically unhappy childhood, with plenty of mommy issues. Blood Song ends in a cliffhanger, as Celia's grandmother reveals startling—and previously unknown—facts about Celia's genetic make-up. Click HERE to read chapter one.
BOOK 2: Siren Song
Celia is still adjusting to her new vampire life style, and it's not always easy, so therapy sessions have become a regular part of her schedule. She is also learning more about her siren heritage, particularly her ability to enthrall men and alienate women.
BOOK 3: Demon Song
In Demon Song, Celia is trying to help her friends Dawna and Emma recover from their demonic misadventures in the previous book. In the meantime, Vicki has asked Celia to investigate her reasons for leaving a quarter of her estate to a stranger in Arkansas. (Vicki herself doesn't know why she did it; she had a vision that told her she should.) Before Celia can get too far into that investigation, she gets dragged into a rescue attempt in which Kevin and his girlfriend are the victims. Since Celia still hasn't forgiven Kevin and his family for what they did to her in Siren Song, she's not too happy about being coerced into helping them.
Eventually Celia discovers that her two tasks are intricately connected and that, once again, a demon is out to get her. Celia's love life is picking up, but she's not sure if it's because of her personality or if it's just her growing siren powers. Now she has three romantic possibilities: Bruno (the ex-boyfriend); John Creede (the sexy mage); and Christopher Gaetano (the weird medic, who, so far, has just asked her to give him a call).
Demon Song has other story threads involving the siren royal family as well as Celia's mother and grandmother. Also in this third book, Celia is continuing to learn how to handle her vampiric emotional fluctuations, even as they grow stronger. She can be very scary when she's hungry.
I enjoyed Demon Song. Adams and Clamp tell a compelling story and do a great job of weaving the love interests into the plot. Celia can be a bit of a drag when she insists that everything bad that happens to anyone she knows is always her fault, but that seems to be a common problem with urban fantasy heroines. I particularly like the way that Celia has grown and changed over the three books. From her panic after the vampire bite in book 1 to the revelation of her siren heritage in book 2 to her growing problems dealing with her vampire side in book 3, Celia is always an interesting character, and I'll keep following her as this series continues. Click HERE to read chapter one.
Celia's contact at the FBI—Dominic Rizzoli—pulls her into the case, and eventually Bruno and Creede also help out as they all try to figure out who is at the center of this disaster. Celia has a personal stake in the outcome because she was injured in the school attack and is in danger of dying from the mysterious plague. She seeks help from everyone she can think of, from doctors to magic practitioners—even a voodoo doctor who wears a feathered headdress of leather adorned with beads and chicken claws. As you can imagine, she's desperate for a cure.
In the midst of all this, Celia's alcoholic mother breaks out of her imprisonment on the sirens' island and heads back home, where Celia must track her down. In addition, Celia's younger (dead) sister, Ivy, (who is now an annoying ghost) is so frantic to help their mother that she possesses a young girl. Then, to top things off, John Creede goes missing.
There are a few bumps in some of the story lines and some gaps in the action. For example, when Creede runs into Celia at Isaac Levy's shop, he tells her that he knew she was there because he saw her car outside. But Celia didn't drive her own car; she came with Dawna in Dawna's car. Then, Creede and Levy meet for the first time, even though Creede has seemingly been in Levy's shop numerous times before—at least once with Celia. (pp. 116-118) In another scene, Celia has a knock-down, drag-out battle with a zombie and winds up covered in zombie goo. This happens in a hospital corridor, and after the fight she doesn't bother to scrub down and sterilize herself. Instead, she goes off to visit her mother, who is a patient in that same hospital. Then she has contact with several more people and doesn't clean up until she gets back to her office. Now this is a potentially fatal virus, and everyone who comes in contact with it is at risk of infection. So this kind of behavior on Celia's part borders on negligent manslaughter (either that or inattention to details on the authors' part). Another problem: We don't hear anything about the titular Isis Collar until the story is 87% complete—just 50 pages from the end.
One last suggestion: Please, please, please, cut way back on the amount of print dedicated to Celia's constant need for meat broth and bloody smoothies? We get it: She needs to eat often and she can only drink liquids. We don't need the constant descriptions.
Even with its faults, this is a solid, action-packed addition to the series. Celia is an appealing heroine who does her best to hold back her vampiric blood lust and live as "normal" a life as she can. Her relationships with Bruno and Creede are interesting to watch as she has deep feelings for both of them: lusty passion for Creede and easy familiarity with Bruno. But can Creede get over his alpha-male superiority complex? And will Bruno defy his mother's hatred for Celia? Which one will win out in the end? Click HERE to read an excerpt.