Plot Type: Urban Fantasy (UF)
I wish that I could have liked this book more. The feisty heroine and the story idea were both great. The setting was authentic. The first-person point of view was adequately handled. The supporting characters were interesting. But...on the other hand, the plot had a lot of gaps. I actually did like the first chapters of The Sweet Scent of Blood, but then more and more supporting characters appeared—particularly in one violent scene—and the magic started swirling to the point of frustrating confusion. It was hard to remember just who everyone was and what kind of magic each could wield. Sometimes I felt that I had accidentally picked up the second book in the series rather than the first. Critical information about important past events was provided just a bit too late in the story, although, I admit, most of the necessary facts were presented before the very end of the conflict. I'll keep reading the series, though. Now that some of the key facts about Genny's childhood have come out, perhaps future plots will be easier to decipher. Click HERE to read chapter 1. Click HERE to read chapter 2.
Wow! That's a lot of plot, and it moves along at breakneck speed, so the situations and the characters can become a bit confusing. We learn more facts about Genny's childhood, Rosa's history, and Malik's role in both. Keep in mind that none of these characters fully trust one another and that minor characters can turn out to be very important to the plot. If you sink yourself into the story and just keep reading, everything will become clear by the climactic resolution. Some aspects of the resolution fall into place almost too neatly and too quickly, but the whole thing still works. The ending is a cliffhanger, with Gen being given some time to think about how she is going to deal with her life-changing decision.
Let me be absolutely clear on this next point: Please don't read this book first or you'll have no idea what's going on. The Sweet Scent of Blood sets up all of the exposition and explains the relationships among the relatively large cast of characters. Without that information, you'll be lost in The Cold Kiss of Death.
I like this series even better since I've read the second book. It's not the easiest world to understand, and there are no characters who are either all good or all bad, so you've got to have your brain in gear whilst reading along. Although Genny has many of the typical characteristics of the usual urban fantasy heroine (i.e., smart, sassy, tragic childhood, low self-esteem, developing powers), she is also an engaging personality with whom we can empathize and root for as she tries to normalize her life (as much as possible) and find her perfect life partner. Click HERE to read chapter 1.
In this book, we get some welcome insight into the relationship between Genny and Malik, something that's been lacking up until now. We (and Gen) also learn some of Finn's personal secrets, and this has an immediate effect on their romance. As the story moves along, Genny discovers that everyone seems to know a lot more about her heritage and about the curse than she does, and she is constantly frustrated when she finds it difficult to make people open up and give her the information. Eventually, Genny winds up in an up-close-and-personal showdown with Helen and with a villain whom she thought was one of the good guys. By the end of the story, Genny has learned a lot more information about her family tree—some of it happy, but much of it tragic. She also fears that Malik may be in trouble with her husband, the evil Autarch, and that she and Tavish may need to intervene to save him. But that's all to come in the next book(s). Just read and enjoy this one for its fast-paced plot and quirky characters.
This book isn't as overstuffed with plot as the previous two, so the author has room to fit in some characterization. The addition of information about the past lives of Finn, Helen, and Malik strengthens this book and enriches the series as a whole. Click HERE to read chapter 1.