Plot: Raylene is a vampire who makes a “living” liberating art, sensitive documents and other possessions for her wealthy patrons. She keeps a low profile and makes a policy of keeping away from her own kind. She should have stuck to her policy. When she takes a case from Ian, a blind vampire who was the victim of government testing, she suddenly finds herself on the run from men in black.
I read a lot of YA novels so I’ve read my fair share of vampire fiction, I have a bit of vampire fatigue to be honest (fairy fatigue might soon follow, I fear). So, when I heard that my favorite steampunk author (along with Scott Westerfeld) was writing a vampire novel, I was a bit doubtful. But it turned out to be a lot of fun. This isn’t Twilight or Buffy; it feels very fresh. Priest’s vampires are very human but they remain dangerous murderers. Her heroine is a vampire but I wouldn’t call this a vampire story anymore than I would call Boneshaker a zombie story. It is an action-packed noir mystery with some complex and kick-ass heroes. Though it does help the noir tone that her investigator was alive in the days of P.I.s and femmes fatales.
I don’t love this new series as much as the Clockwork Century. I will admit that I got a bit anoyed with all the rookie mistakes made by a thief that has been on the job for over 50 years… though they did do their job of moving the plot along. But the action is fast paced, the mystery engaging and Priest’s women are as strong and awesome as ever. Best of all is Adrian, also known as the drag queen Rose; he/she escapes all stereotypes and simple definitions and is honestly hot as a man and as a woman. In Adrian, Raylene has found a sidekick who is truly keep up with her physically and intellectually (now if she could just stop focusing on Adrian’s package). I hope they’ll continue to work together in future novels.
The second book in the series, Hellbent, is already in stores. Check it out.
Challenges: GLBT Challenge (10)