Science Fiction Book Review

The Blood Series

The Blood Series (2004 editions) Tanya Huff, Orbit, 6.99 each, pbks

There are five books in the Blood Series; they are: Blood Price (1991) 330pp, ISBN 1-84149-356-2, Blood Trail (1992) 344pp, ISBN 1-84149-357-0, Blood Lines (1993) 358pp, ISBN 1-84149-358-9, Blood Pact (1993) 376pp, ISBN 1-84149-359-7, and Blood Debt (1997) 362pp, ISBN 1-84149-360-0. Together they tell the story of ex-cop, now private detective, Vicki Nelson and her partner Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII and vampire. The supporting cast includes Vicki's old partner and former lover Michael Celluci and street punk Tony. Vicki leaves the force when she acquires retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which causes tunnel vision and decreases the ability to see at night, in order to become a PI. In the first novel Vicki is investigating a string of deaths, which the tabloids attribute to a vampire, only to meet Henry Fitzroy, a real vampire, also trying to track down whoever, or whatever, is responsible for the murders. Together they face a demon and team up. In the second book the pair and Mike Celluci help out some of Henry's werewolf friends, targeted by a religious fanatic. In the third the threat is a resurrected mummy trying to take over the city; the fourth sees a mad scientist re-animating corpses into zombies; and in the fifth, Henry is haunted by ghosts who want him to find their murderer. You get the picture.

These are fairly well-written 'beach readers' (not a criticism) that will not stress the imagination too much, so long as you can get over the hump of an eyesight impaired ex-cop who thinks it's a good idea to become a PI with the very disability that caused her to quit the force. The books suffer a little from the same limitations of all 'episodic' fiction, which is to say that you know nothing really bad can happen to the characters, because they have to appear in the next book. The one exception to this is the fourth volume (no I won't give it away), which accounts for the gap in years before volume five. I'd recommend these for when you're tired of reading War and Peace and just need a little brain candy, but I have to say that there is nothing really exceptional about them.

Tony Chester

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