Series: The Sentinels #1
Published by Zebra on December 31, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.
Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line…literally.
Born in Blood has a world divided by “freaks” and “norms”. Those with special gifts live in Valhalla where they are kept safe by their Sentinels. Human authority grudgingly use the services of what they call “freaks” when they either suspect magical involvement or they are having difficulty solving a case with the basic human skills. Most of the occupants in Valhalla contain abilities ranging from psychics, to diviners (those that can read the last thoughts of a dead person’s soul before it leaves) and some have superior strength and the ability to transport themselves and others at a thought. Besides the special skill of the bad guy, I am sure there were others at Valhalla, they are just slipping my mind.
I have to say I had that problem with most of Born in Blood. I could not connect with the protagonists and the romance seemed to lack a fire I was looking for. I just couldn’t understand that if they were hot after each other for ages before this case, that they chose this time to actually do something about it. At the beginning, Duncan seems almost ambivalent to Cassie’s presence despite the few mentions of how good she looks. I don’t know when the switch was flipped that he didn’t care about her being a “freak” and was willing to pursue a relationship, but it happened at some point that I missed and their relationship turned into an all-consuming thing. It was all-consuming for them, but I just didn’t feel the fire. Cassie felt weak to me, not the normal kick-ass heroine I normally look for when they are involved in solving violent crimes. I don’t want to seem picky, but it bothered me that in the book Cassie has short, spiky hair but the cover model has long.
Most books have a bad guy that in some way wants to destroy something then control everything. I’m fine with that. But for some reason when the bad guy repeatedly states that he “wants to rule the world”, I hear that cartoon Pinky and the Brain where he also claims that. He definitely was a cold, calculating villian. His plan was a really good one. I did enjoy his accomplice. She was definitely an interesting character and I would have loved to see what more she could do and spend more time with her.
I felt that Born in Blood was a really light paranormal, and I didn’t feel sucked in and invested in the story. It was just an ok read for me.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: