Bloodshot - Cherie Priest

I've read various books by Cherie Priest, who is a prolific and talented writer of what I think is called Southern Gothic (see Four and Twenty Blackbirds), as well as a series of steampunk novels that start with Boneshaker, but it took me a while to get around to getting my hands on a copy of Bloodshot. I'm pretty sure I'd read something that told me that this book and its sequel were it, rather than being the start of a longer series, and my local library didn't have it either hence the delay. 

 

Anyway, in some ways Bloodshot is a fairly standard urban fantasy novel, where supernatural creatures exist alongside humanity, which may or may not know they are there. Our protagonist, Raylene, is a vampire who makes a living as a thief and who is contacted by another of her kind after his escape from a period being imprisoned by the government and experimented on - his eyesight was destroyed even beyond normal vampire ability to heal and he hopes that if Raylene can get the records from that time,there might be a cure.

 

One of the things I liked about the book is that Raylene makes no bones about the fact she's prepared to do pretty much whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle and also to fulfil whatever objective she has at the time. So when she finds a trespasser breaking into the place where she has been stashing the things she's stolen for a number of years, she doesn't just interrogate him, she also treats him as a convenient snack. There's no angsting about this, though the ongoing body-count starts to get a bit high towards the end of the book and some people might struggle with this. 

 

Anyone who reads my reviews regularly will know I am no fan of 'instalove' and that particular bugbear is avoided, although it's quite obvious from the outset that there's attraction between Raylene and Ian, her client. Along the way, Raylene gets herself a human sidekick (who is conveniently an ex-Navy SEAL, which I thought was a little too convenient, but who also works as a drag queen). It's implied that there are other supernatural creatures knocking about, but vampires are pretty much it to date and from the blurb for the second book (Hellbent) it sounds as though they remain the focus.

 

Anyway, Bloodshot was an entertaining enough book, though not something that's going to set the world on fire for me. I think if it was the start of a lengthy series, I probably wouldn't bother, but since Hellbent is apparently all there is, I may well see if I can get my hands on it...