Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blood trail by Tanya Huff

Blood trail is the second book in The Vicki Nelson mysteries so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first book in the series.  I recommend that you read Blood price before you read this review or Blood trail.

Vicki Nelson never expected to meet a vampire. and she certainly never expected to become friends with said vampire, but after the demon attack that left her with permanent scars Henry has become a fixture in her life.  When Henry invites Vicki over to meet some potential clients Vicki discovers that the world is even bigger than she thought - there are vampires and werewolves in the world, and someone is picking off the werewolves one-by-one in their fur form.  With no other cases on her plate Vicki agrees to travel to the family farm with Henry to see if they can track down the assassin before any more members of the pack are killed.  

Easier said than done however, as Vicki has a lot to learn about the werewolves before she can even start investigating.  Werewolves may look human, but they are anything but, and Henry has to walk a fine line with the alpha male if they want to get anything done.  With Vicki's eye sight being next to useless for long distances and totally useless at night it seems like they might be sunk before they've begun - but Vicki is not one to give up easily.  As they close in on potential suspects the tension ratchets up a notch when Mike Celluci decides that he is going to have it out with Vicki about Henry's apparent lack of a past (or a present for that matter).  Having another alpha male in their territory is the last thing the pack needs, especially when another player enters the game with murder on their mind.

The Vicki Nelson mysteries, or The blood series as they tend to be called by some, are some of the earlier urban fantasies that blended together fantasy and crime elements.  Even more than two decades later the books are highly readable and apart from the odd thing have aged really well.  In this second outing in the series Vicki and Henry head out of Toronto to a sheep farm run by a family of werewolves who are nothing like the "typical" werewolves you see in horror or fantasy - they are born not made, the transition is smooth from one form to the other, and they keep their full intelligence and reasoning in the fur form (except where hormones are involved, but that's true of everyone).  

This was an engrossing read and even though I have read it before, the ending was still satisfying.  Some of the urban fantasy authors of today can thank pioneers like Huff and Lackey for paving the way for their worlds - I was encouraged to re-read Blood trail after reading my way through the early Patricia Brigg's novels, and while they are very different authors there is a sense of the same kind of world building and "logic" behind their stories.  A great read that deserved to be rediscovered and enjoyed, and that new readers will hopefully discover for the first time.

If you like this book then try:
  • Blood price by Tanya Huff
  • Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
  • Children of the night by Mercedes Lackey
  • Burning water by Mercedes Lackey
  • Spiders bite by Jennifer Estep
  • Dead witch walking by Kim Harrison
  • Angel's blood by Nalini Singh
  • Cast in shadow by Michelle Sagara
  • Kitty and the midnight hour by Carrie Vaughn
  • Moon called by Patricia Briggs
  • Cry wolf by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Brilla

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